THE ARTIST — 9/10
A tasty surprise, that rare movie that actually is as much fun as it thinks it is. What SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN would be like if it was a good movie.
La vocation suspendue 1978 Raoul Ruiz has adapted the novel of the same name by Paris born philosopher, artist, Pierre Klossowski who was introduced as a teen to Andre Gide by his mother’s lover, and cemented their friendship by sharing with Gide, his collection of picture postcards of Morracan boys: Pierre had done his homework. Gide payed for Pierre’s education advising him to study philosophy. With the outbreak of WW2 Klossowski entered the seminary to study for the priesthood but withdrew without being ordained and the novel recounts the internal divisions in Catholicism at the time over the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. As might be inferred by the Klossowski Gide relationship, what some would consider perverse sexuality figure in K.’s concepts and indeed, the film follows the machinations of Mother Angelica and the Inquisitor Malagrida which are perverse indeed. Ruiz shoots the film in 2 styles, that of a TV serial in color and that of a 40s film in black and white depending on the character being followed. Unraveling the scarlet threads would probably require reading Ks novel—if it were available in translation—but the fun K. (and R.)is having with the Church comes through plain enough.
Malagrida plotting his campaign for the charms of Sister Vincent.
Carnage (2011) dir. R. Polanski
Great screening. A respectful audience, no cell phones or texting, no chit-chat, and everyone got the tone of the movie. We laughed our asses off!
oops! Double post.
The Iron Lady : 7/10
Went with my mom and from the very first scene she couldn’t believe it was Meryl Streep.
Screening was packed, Meryl is still a big draw.
Re: Carnage (Director: Roman Polanski)
Funny. We must have been at the same screening because that was the same experience I had.
Toll Booth (2010) 8/10, followed by a Q&A with the film maker. Very happy about the whole experience.
The Devil Inside
.666 out of 10
State of the art WTF-ness— an inept, unpleasent, incoherent, and headache inducing fake documentary. The current “worst movie I’ve ever seen.” I’m betting that actually being possessed by a demon would be slightly more pleasant.
SANTINO: there is some really corny scenes in Volver—i.e when Cruz ‘sings’, for example—but overall i prefer it slightly to Broken Embraces, although the latter is more interesting visually. But even then, the films are nothing spectacular to look at either imo. I think his use of form is quite superficial in a lot of ways(I can almost hear Wu choking on an embutido right now). Would anyone really waste their time with a close shot analysis of his films?
I honestly think Almo is probably one of the most overrated directors in cinema today. Not that he isn’t good, but people don’t just say he is good, they claim he is one of the best, and i just do not understand that at all. The stories are on the level of t.v movies to me. I know a lot of people buy into the soap opera feel of his films, particularly the ones of the last 15 years or so, and even see a degree of complexity in them—something i’ve also never understood—but overall, i just think there are far more interesting directors in Europe than him.
as far as more accessible Euro directors are concerned, he is probably one of the best, but overall? No way.
…people don’t just say he is good, they claim he is one of the best, and i just do not understand that at all.
Is it because of the way the films make them feel about themselves or is it a formalistic opinion?
^^i don’t know Robert. I’ve never understood the idea that he is a ‘master of form’. Sure he can balance colours well, and occasionally his films are vivid to look at, but it’s just the odd shot here and there, and the appeal is closer to pop art than anything that grabs me particularly. But maybe that is my snobbish taste coming through hehehe.
I’d say it’s mostly the stories and characters. mostly. at least for the people that love his films.
and i’m mostly speaking of the films he has made over the last 15-20 years btw.
Among other things, a salute to the working man.
His work is like easy-listening radio; soft rock, cool jazz etc
A Dangerous Method 5/5
Distinctly Cronenbergundian. Beautifully acted and directed – filled with Raul Ruizesque deep focus 2-shot compositions of character. Perfectly captures the Freud-Jung relationship and the early history of psychoanalysis and its culture.
Well, somebody’s gotta get rid of those trolls. “But there aren’t any trolls in Norway.” WhadidItellya.
really? Even in a bland period drama setting? ;-)
I’ll get around to it eventually, but it doesn’t look ‘exciting’ to me.
The beautiful thing about the film is that it’s not “exciting.” Sort of what Cronenberg did with sex and car crashes in Crash he does with Freud and Jung. It’s a slow burn. It’s also good fun too if you’re into psychoanalysis. It has Cronenberg’s droll sense of humor all over it.
Written on the Wind 1956
DIR Douglas Sirk
SCR George Zuckerman
CAST Lauren Bacall, Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Robert Keith, Grant Williams, Robert J. Wilke, Edward Platt, Harry Shannon, John Larch, Joseph Granby
This one was a huge hit for Universal and produced the only Oscar nomination for a Sirk work – Malone best supporting actress. He made many forgettable films but Cahiers caught onto some of them because of the vivid style.
vibe: it’s out there….
“I honestly think Almo is probably one of the most overrated directors in cinema today. Not that he isn’t good, but people don’t just say he is good, they claim he is one of the best, and i just do not understand that at all. "
I might tend to agree with this. I think he’s made three amazing films and for that he’s someone I have a lot of respect for. But since then, his movies have been easy to appreciate more for the style and less for the substance. Still, not many people are making films like him so I’m glad he’s out there. But no, he’s not the first guy that comes to mind when I think of the greatest filmmakers working today.
“The beautiful thing about the film is that it’s not “exciting.” "
I was bored out of my gourd.
But I’m not smart, so there’s that.
I agree Almodovar’s films generally tend to be in the ‘good’ category rather than the ‘great’ category. But, the sheer quantity of films in the ‘good’ category is pretty impressive.
I don’t know any real film obsessives who really love Almodovar but, to make a possibly valid observation, he tends to be one of the “favourite” filmmakers of artistically-and-literary minded people who like but don’t love film. I’m not sure that makes him “overrated” or not. Anyway, he’s generally good and occasionally great in my books with only a few complete duds in his length filmography.
Why did A Dangerous Method bore you, Santino? I found it absolutely enthralling.
GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – 7/10
Some fine performances, from Ms. Mara and Mr. Craig, and Mr. Fincher’s patented atmospheric skill, make the film more than watchable. But it felt overlong, at 2 hours and 40 minutes — I checked my watch more than once.
ARI: Most film critics love him. are they not film lovers?
having said that, i’ve only ever met one film academic that loved his films, and know plenty of cinephiles that find him ‘kitsch’.
Jirin, agree. and consistency is often undervalued. i’ve seen no great films by him, at least not yet, but no real stinkers either.
Perhaps he is great at being good? ;-)
A Separation (2011) 5/5
midnight in paris (2011)
très charmant blah blah. enjoyed the premise (a variation on the much better purple rose of cairo). i like owen wilson but even i was getting a little sick of him here. fiancée and her family were stereotypes and about half the jokes fell flat. still i have to admit i mostly enjoyed it. could’ve used more of brody’s dalí character; he was my favorite of the historical figures. it is indeed the best new allen film i have seen in quite a few years but the very calculated effort to recapture some of the old magic feels a little forced. still nice try, woody 6.5/10
Sketches of Kaitan City dir. Kumakiri Kazuyoshi
Aside of the section of the recluse old woman, this film avoids easy emotional manipulation, and achieves a tone of melancholy that is underscored by an unassuming score by Jim O’Rourke.