What’s good that you’ve seen recently? I just saw two amazing films last week, Jia’s STILL LIFE and Mungiu’s 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS. This year will be good for foreign films in the U.S., as IFC Films picked up a number of great 2007 movies, like Mungiu’s, as well as films by Ferrara, Hou Hsiou-hsien, Chabrol, Loach, and Rivette.
I also thought ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’ was amazing…
From the recent films I also enjoyed ‘Persepolis’ and ‘No Country For Old Men.’ I also thought ‘Juno’ was very well done and stylish…Especially the Soundtrack of the film was great.
Did you see/like the Kite Runner? I did not read the book. I really enjoyed the film. However, I left the theater feeling like the first part was very well done (reminded me of Iranian film Children of Heaven), but the director kind of rushed into the second part, which reminded me of watching a Hallmark Channel film when there was no other thing available on Mexican cable. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy subtle approaches to hard themes (La Vita e Bella), but sometimes, you need a harsh impact to convey the author’s intention. Sometimes, you can’t get Rene Magritte to do Otto Dix’s job.
I though The Kite Runner was completely horrible.
It followed every possible cliché a film about Afgahnistan could have.
And the book was way better.
I can’t really enjoy current movies,living near a multiplex right now….
oh man, the kite runner. somehow marc foster has the talent of rendering anything beautiful he touches to precious crap. i don’t think i’ve ever seen a movie of his that i’ve remembered more than a second after i saw it. total abc channel movie.
i saw 4 MONTHS but man i wasn’t entirely impressed, i think it’s the low budget aesthetic these movies purposefully implement that is starting to bug me. it didn’t have to look that way and the documentary-style just made it look less realistic.
that’s getting to me.
‘sweeney todd’ was pretty bloody and fun and grim as far as musicals went though, man, there was so much blood. tim burton is a sick, sick man no? but it was filled with many great moments. oh and wow, believe it or not "iron man’’ was so the shiz. robert downey jr. is finally getting all the big star status exposure he deserves and that’s way cool in my opinion. speaking of him his performance was awesome in ZODIAC!!! check this movie out. nobody has seen this freaking flick and it’s by far david fincher’s most masterful and poetic odes to murder and how it fascinates us and how we can be consumed by the pursuit of truth. beautiful fucking picture.
I actually though Forster’s Stay was good.
It was a well-built,original piece of self-redemption and paranoia.
While I though Sweeney Todd was spectacular in the end,I was a bit deceived during the film….
But I loved Downey Jr. in the film Zodiac.
Zodiac was great, kind of a documentary…. but No Country For Old Men was this year’s best film I think. Hope “burn after reading” will be good.
I liked Werner Herzog’s ‘Encounters at the End of the World’ and ‘Man on Wire’
Sad to say, I have not watched any current movies. The last one I think was No Country for Old Men, and A Scanner Darkly before that. I wanted to see Burn After Reading just because it looked like it would be funny.
Burn After Reading was a fun movie, it’s a pity that there aren’t many films coming out worth seeing on the big screen. In 2008 I only saw Be Kind Rewind, Persepolis and Burn After Reading (twice) in the cinema, all of them were great.
I still think The Dark Knight was a terrible letdown, though.
I’ve written elsewhere at TA about Steve McQueen’s “Hunger”. I thoroughly respect McQueen for having the self-discipline to keep the focus of his film narrow. His story concerns itself with the 1980 and (more particularly) 1981 hunger strikes which took place in Belfast’s notorious Maze prison. Save the brutal murder in his home of one of the warders (a logical inclusion given its already established coordinates within the locale of the diegesis) McQueen doesn’t make the mistake of bothering us with the violence perpetrated by the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland or on Britain’s mainland. A two hour treatment wouldn’t have borne the sandwiching of that part of the history. A less confident filmmaker would have risked even greater damage by giving it cursory attention, to demonstrate an awareness. We know the context. We know about IRA atrocities. We are already aware. McQueen’s film is a testament to the efficacy of that decision. Left with the closer study of life inside the H Blocks from an inmate’s point of view, his scenes are allowed to breathe. We become soaked in the putrefaction of this existence and its occasional disinfecting. These sensorial parameters function at both concrete and symbolic levels to make palpable the inmates’ physical endurance and evoke a sense of their abject dislocation from humanity. To describe the power of the final composite, I can’t resist drawing on a cliché phrase and referring to an artist’s eye for detail. We have a strong sense during the film of the sacredness McQueen’s canvass onto which he so carefully and sparingly commits images and sounds. And if McQueen is quite comfortable drawing attention to the obviously artistic nature of his brushwork it isn’t without one further element of design. Having immersed us so viscerally in the infernal world of the Maze cells, the conspicuousness of his style makes clear the separation between our position as audience and the tableaux of horrors on display. His frame is a gallery space. We are just passing crowds looking into the cage.
We can only hope the man is teasing us with his suggestion that Hunger might be his one and only foray into film.
Check out Syndromes for a Century by that director who’s name I can’t spell. Tsai Ming Liang seems to have gone out of style, or maybe I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone just kind of showed he didn’t have anything really new to say. The Dardenne brothers make a movie every three years, so check out L’enfant. It’s a great example of dogme/docu/handheld/behindthebackatalltimes cinema, even though they probably figit with the sound in post. Actually, alot of contemporary filmmakers tend to use less music (or none) than the old assholes, which I guess is part of the late eighties to now style of realist cinema.
I’ve always wanted to see Weapons that showed up at Sundance three years ago, but it just kind of died after it’s early buzz.
Another good film was The Bridge. It’s pure depression, and anxiety, and what a documentary used to be like: watching an avalanche.