Yeah, I thought the concept was pretty interesting, but they were never able to take it anywhere beyond some half-baked Robin Hood / Bonnie and Clyde stuff.
The Intruder certainly had the sleep inducing qualities of peacefully drifting in a boat. I’m still willing to give Denis another chance, as I liked Beau Travail a lot more.
Actually, I felt BT was more somnolent for me. But I suspect I felt utterly lost in that film. (Why the long takes of the men working out or at the disco? These films didn’t work for me in terms of visuals or evoking any kind of interesting feeling, and I had no clue about the purpose of those shots. I’m not saying those shots didn’t have a meaning, btw; I just wasn’t able to determine the meaning.)
@Jazz, I couldn’t really figure out any meaning out of it either, but I still liked it. I think Denis used her style of filmmaking a lot more effectively there than in The Intruder. Anyway, I’ll hopefully catch a screening of 35 Shots of Rum and Chocolat next week and I will be able to make up my mind on her.
One of the great living treasures of contemporary French cinema, 57-year-old director Claire Denis is a major artistic voice whose ceaselessly innovative experiments in narrative filmmaking have garnered the support and admiration of cinephiles, critics and many of her fellow imagemakers around the world.”
yes Robert, i’m well aware of my outcast position here, no need to rub it in ;-)
JAZZ:“don’t know if The Fighter was really ambitious, but the filmmaking was better, I thought. I just thought the handling of the dramatic elements were mediocre.”
And that’s what i thought about Fighter!! hahaha. The domestic scenes were like low grade Mike Leigh to me, and the mix of inspirational boxing film was awkward, although again, perhaps more ambitious than The Warrior. I just felt Warrior was more authentic in how it depicted those kind of characters. and i’ve known plenty of those kind of tough guys in my life btw. rough nuts that spend all day at gyms. The Fighter didn’t ring true to me of that sort of behaviour at all.
“Warrior was more authentic in how it depicted those kind of characters. and i’ve known plenty of those kind of tough guys in my life btw. rough nuts that spend all day at gyms. The Fighter didn’t ring true to me of that sort of behaviour at all.”
I would argue that the characters in The Fighter aren’t those “rough nuts who spend all day at gyms” – ie the characters in Warrior are pretty different imo. If you look up footage/interviews of the people The Fighter portrays and compare it with the film, the film seems to capture them pretty accurately.
I couldn’t really figure out any meaning out of it either, but I still liked it.
That’s how I feel about L’intrus, fwiw.
I think Denis used her style of filmmaking a lot more effectively there than in The Intruder.
How so? I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next, where the film would go, in L’intrus. I didn’t feel that way at all in BT.
Anyway, I’ll hopefully catch a screening of 35 Shots of Rum and Chocolat next week and I will be able to make up my mind on her.
I liked 35, but it seems very different from her other films. (I haven’t seen Chocolat.) I think I might be having trouble with her more political films, as I’m unaware and largely igorant of the political and cultural subtext in those films (like BT or No Fear No Die).
And that’s what i thought about Fighter!! hahaha. The domestic scenes were like low grade Mike Leigh to me, and the mix of inspirational boxing film was awkward, although again, perhaps more ambitious than The Warrior…
Actually, I didn’t think The Fighter handled the dramatic elements very well, either—especially the character’s motivation of the character for fighting. The film suggests, but doesn’t establish, a link with his brother and his mother.
But Warrior did an even worse job, imo. And the acting was spotty, while the acting in The Fighter was not—and sometimes it was quite good. (Melissa Leo’s performance and to a lesser extent Christian Bale’s.)
Ok jazz, nothing more to say i guess.
Just started J.Edgar. already off to a bad start. decaprwitad old man mankeup and a terrible accent introduces the story in a beyond tired framing device for a bio
Im already regretting it hah
35 Shots of Rum and White Material are excellent films. Chocolat is ok but I wouldn’t judge Denis solely on her debut. Compared to her more recent films, I was underwhelmed by it.
The Reckless Moment (Max Ophuls, 1949) – I think some of Ophuls’ films are fantastic, and I’m not very discriminating when it comes to noirs, but I found this one to be almost intolerable. The dialogue is mostly inane, and one of the child actors is just unwatchable. Disappointing, because I was looking forward to seeing this. 3/10
A Serious Man 4/5
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS 0/5
Garbage, pure garbage. Badly written, a rehash of old Woody Allen tropes — not ten minutes have passed before he’s ripping off ANNIE HALL and it devolves into a knockoff of THE KUGELMASS EPISODE. Only the sublime Marion Cotillard manages to rise above Allen’s foolishness, another criminal waste of one of our greatest actresses.
I’m done with Woody. For good.
From Dusk Till Dawn – 8/10
Not a Tarantino fan, but this was pretty cool. The mid film tone shift is great and unexpected, even when you kind of know it’s coming if you’ve read anything about. For those who haven’t, I STRONGLY recommend going into this knowing nothing, you’ll be in for a cool surprise. Tarantino is a horrible actor, but his innate awkwardness and utter lack of any charisma whatsoever works well for the role. He’s no Brando, but it’s interesting character actor work here. The script is pretty good, though occasionally the dialogue sounds a bit too forced coming out of Clooney’s mouth, even by Tarantino standards. Final shot is really cool.
Four Weddings and a Funeral – 3/10
Awful. So embarrassing at times you feel the need to avert your eyes… very poor filmmaking, shameful I dare say.
35 Shots of Rum and White Material are excellent films.
You liked White Material, huh? It just seemed to cover very well-worn terrain, without adding or saying anything interesting.
Certified Copy (2010) – Abbas Kiarostami
Kiarostami gives us a literate script, at times reminding us of Rohmer, at other times Bergman. First time actor and opera singer William Shimell is able to mainly hold his own with the legendary Juliette Binoche. The film seems straight-forward enough until it takes a sharp left turn just past the mid-point. Then, we are in Last Year at Marienbad territory with the viewer playing a cerebral guessing game of did these two apparent strangers know one another some 15 years previously – or is this an elaborate charade? What is a copy, what is the original?
A nice European art-house style film from Iran’s most highly accomplished director. Now, I can’t wait to see his Japanese feature, Like Someone in Love.
Yep, great film.
I enjoyed Certified Copy as well. (I believe there is a thread on it.) I think I need to watch it again, though.
Juliette Binoche my god… she’s always great but there is really something powerful going on with her in that Certified Copy… great film. First Kiarostami film I’ve liked actually, let alone loved.
I think Binoche really elevates Certified Copy. She is just so mesmerizing to watch. One of my favorite films of the year.
@Jazz – I thought White Material was a really compelling character study about a woman who refuses to give up and leave her home (it reminded me a bit of Disgrace).
I thought White Material was a really compelling character study about a woman who refuses to give up and leave her home (it reminded me a bit of Disgrace).
…and not a movie about colonialism?
I’m curious to hear what made the character compelling and interesting to you?
Certified Copy didn’t really hit me until the second viewing. It’s still nowhere near my favourite Kiarostami film though.
J.Edgar wasn’t too bad, lacked focus though, and Eastwood didn’t take the film where it needed to go. He should have interrogated the character more. instead he just left a few things open. for example, Hoover’s methods may have been unprecedended, but they were often unethical. Clint doesn’t see the need to explore this potential, as well as actual, violation of human rights. instead there are a few cheap sequences where someone tells him ‘yo hoover, don’t you think you are going a bit far?’ and that’s it. The film is at its best when it’s focussing on the public perception of Hoover, and the way that Hoover adjusts himself accordingly, in line with their criticisms, in order to be the ‘best’ he can be. In these sequences, we get both an understanding of his ruthlessness, and his desire to be ‘admired’, as well as his vulnerability. We don’t learn too much about what motives him beyond the notion of admiration, but i think Clint was wise to avoid too much psycho-analysing, although occasionally the film takes his actions at face value in a way that is somewhat detrimental to the film as a whole.
Hoover makes a fascinating movie subject, but this film doesn’t do justice to the complexity of the man, or perhaps more specifically, the ethical complexity/implications of his actions(Hoover wasn’t necessarily a complex man per se). The real question ought to be, how much is too much? and do the ends justify the means? Again, Clint seems largely silent on this issue. instead, the film flashes back and forth in time to no avail other than providing a few glimpses and snapshots without any overaching theme. Decaprio is decent, but nothing special, and his make up is terrible. The film is well shot at times, but horribly lit in others. Perhaps Clint needed a bigger budget? It seemed rushed. Overall, it wasn’t a snooze fest like Invictus and Hereafter, but it wasn’t particularly compelling either. Clint is probably one of the few directors in America that could have made a great film about Hoover. This isn’t it though. 5/10
Joks — what’s your favorite Kiarostami?
^probably Close Up, at least out of the ones i’ve seen
Just saw Chris Cunningham’s remixed music video for Gil Scott-Heron’s “New York Is Killing Me” and it is incredible. Perfect 10.
faust – sokurov 2/5
last sokurov i saw was the lovely haunting ‘confession’. what the hell happened between then and now? someone lock him in a room with just some clive barker books for company? goethe goes nightbreed. me and costume dramas are through.
Saw Savages a few hours ago. Not good at all.
While probably not the WORST of 2012 so far, it’s certainly the most disappointing!
If you’ve seen “Savages” already, read my spoiler-filled ending analysis thread here:
WARNING! Thread Contains Major Ending Spoilers!!!!!
Barbarella (Dir. Roger Vadim, 1968)
I do not have any helpful intersubjective criteria with which to judge this movie. Sexy? Kind of. Weird? Yes. Stupid. Hell yes. I’ll give it this: it has one of the absolute best opening credit sequences ever committed to film.