Early Summer 9/10
I adore that sequence where the two single girls and two married girls are passive aggressively belittling each other to validate their own choices.
Children of Men (re-watch)5/5
I enjoyed the human aspects much more this time around.
-Xavier Dolan is a welcomed old soul, fresh face in cinema. You see the Godard and Allen influence in this film, though I appreciate the humorous affects and surprises of Godard than the clearly evident Allen openings of interview style testimonies about bad relationships that re-appear and are not really redeemed until very late. The musical cues get a little tired and are not used to great effect as it is in the cheeky final scene. In the end, the film has its flaws and Dolan’s directorial eye and acting is honest and beautiful with some of the writing still need of some polish. Cannot wait for his future work.
-A found footage film anthology within a found footage film. Surprisingly strong in its critiques on modern masculinity and masculinity that recollects Ti West’s other films with the ‘final girl’ phenomenon (I know he is not the only director but each installment has his finger prints all over it) and horror film pretense but also Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer. Four out of the five found footage stooge is very effective and individually distinguishable in its own kind of horror though again mainly interconnected by the themes of gender. I will say the third one in the woods is by far the worst, not only the most ‘raw’ of the found footage but it is just a poorly thought out revenge plan that might as well be a sequel within its own universe and very alienating to the viewer. Its placement as the third film is more of a buffer as the last two installments, especially one that involves Skype, are very strong. But otherwise, this is incredibly effective and scary film where its scares are earned very well. Often Ti West over-stretches, here V/H/S is far more contained and used within a certain pretense in the way that made The Roost his best film. Highly recommend it to horror fans.
" Surprisingly strong in its critiques on modern masculinity"
like what? I’d say it’s pretty hard to ‘strongly critique’ masculinity now, at least from a realistic and honest perspective where men don’t negotiate their masculinity in a restricted social space that is curiously free of women.
I’m skeptical of found footage films, but i’ll check it out eventually.
Saw Billy Friedkin’s “Killer Joe”
On a technical standpoint, it’s pretty weak. The cinematography is like a bad 70s tv movie and Gershon is way over-the-top (even for Gina Gershon, who always seems to overact)
But Mr. Alright, Alright, Alright is a revelation here and the film is really fun to watch.
PS. Maybe I’m desensitized as hell but this shouldn’t have been NC-17. It’s hard-R material IMHO
So, in other words, Killer Joe is not great filmmaking but it’s loads of fun.
Oh, and Thomas Haden Church is freakin’ hilarious
Every line he says is pure gold
Am a huge fan of Brakhage and Frampton.
Also not my favorite, but I did enjoy the Maclaine too when I saw it. And I like Peyote Queen.
Yaya for Avant Garde! It doesn’t get enough love. Thanks for indulging me.
The people who find the footage themselves and many men within the different segments show degrees of manchild, nihilist destroyers, and men who just think with their libidos. There are the usual tropes of chivalric males and the svengali controller, of course, but nearly all the segments and universe within the film were critiquing modern male behavior. The female roles in the film are not as explicitly stated as the men, a bit more closer to the tropes and certain shades of the Ti West female lead.
So, felt like seeing something fun and stupid and went to see The Campaign, and it was fun and stupid.
This will be rated on a Gymnastics like scale with 3.25 being the max in degree of difficulty, so The Campaign gets a fun 2 stars, an hour and a half of a decent waste of time.
FELLINI SATYRICON — 9/10
Fellini’s great mad headtrip through ancient Rome, projected on a big screen in a good print at the Museum of the Moving Image. Fascinating for much of the way, but there’s an undeniable drop in energy, entirely deliberate though it may be, that I found more problematic than I had before. But the film’s greatest sequences still astonish — Trimalchio’s feast and his mock funeral, culminating in the story of the Widow of Ephesus, are really magical and appalling.
I went crazy on a beautiful Saturday and went cracking at my “must watch right now” q that has been piling up for years,
Enter the Void – 3/5
La Cienaga – 4/5
My Darling Clementine – 4/5
We Won’t Grow Old Together – 4/5
Drowning by Numbers – 5/5
M – 5/5
Even at 80 years, Fritz Lang’s so-called masterpiece remains so unsettling and disturbing as it surely was in its day, proving that less is more, with gripping images making a larger impact that if we actually see “everything”.
To day, countless of films have imitated it but few has reached the potential this work puts on the viewer.
Raining Stones 3/5
Only other Ken Loach film I’ve seen is Looking for Eric. I enjoyed that as well. Interesting director. His films feel authentic in their depiction of life in the UK.
We the Party (Director: Mario Van Peebles)
Being a white male in my mid-twenties, I realize I am totally not the audience for this movie, an “urban” take on practically every whitewashed teen movie ever (Project X, American Pie, Can’t Buy Me Love) but this movie is totally atonal. The problems this film has with it’s tone are crazy and halfway through the characters start making a documentary about homeless people. Where did THAT come from?
It just felt to me like it wanted to be both a fun silly stupid teen movie and an “Important” film. It fails in both cases.
Oh, and Moises Arias is the ugliest dude since Max Schreck.
Anyone else see this movie? Your thoughts?
ROSCOE…Re Satyricon, Life Magazine sent Eileen Lanouette Hughes to Rome to spend 6 months on the set of the film and in her book she discloses many interesting items about its actors and its production. She relates the interesting background on the hiring of Max Born and her conversations with Max. Also she managed to read the script despite Fellini’s paranoia as he was afraid Gian Luigi Polidoro would copy his ideas. She said the script was much sexier than the film as Federico could not escape his Catholic upbringing and couldn’t bring himself to film what he had written. Polidoro’s Satyricon is strictly comic but I have never been able to find English subs for it.
@Ogier — I have that book, and read it years ago, and will probably give it another look. I remember her accounts of Fellini’s treatment of Hiram Keller and Martin Potter, endlessly flattering the one and being rather dismissive of the other.
Jape I gave it two stars cause I thought some of the homeless stuff worked as long as you don’t think about the whole get laid underpinnings. Van Peebles is not quite the social critic his father Melvin is (who happens to be one of my top 5 favorite directors)
The Muppets-2/5——The best part about it was keeping an eye out for the celebrity cameos….the bitter truth that this movie solidifies is that the Muppets are no longer relevant and all of the nostalgia in the world can’t change that.
Blue Like Jazz-3/5—-a film about spirituality and the search for truth that actually works for the most part. Based on Donald Miller’s best seller.
@Rgrimes – I sort of loathe Miller’s approach to Christianity, so I’m interested to see how it has been translated into film. I have a few friends interested in seeing it, so I’ll probably get my chance soon.
I kind of dig Miller’s approach…..as a Christian I feel that we do have a lot to apologize for….for the way we’ve treated people over the years, for the lack of love and the harsh judgmental attitude……I loved his book….I think the movie captures the essence of it…although the movie is basically a fictionalized account of Miller’s life at Reed University I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it.
I mean the film isn’t going to win any awards or anything but it’s light years ahead of the Kirk Cameron school of schmaltzy crap.
La Jetée (1962)
Chris Marker’s mystical slide show
You think every Christian needs to answer for every misdeed done by a Christian? That’s a dangerous way of thinking.
//You think every Christian needs to answer for every misdeed done by a Christian? That’s a dangerous way of thinking.//
No…not necessarily. I think admitting our flawed humanity makes us less self righteous though. We sometimes give Jesus a bad rap and for that, we certainly should apologize. Christians screw up just like everyone else is the point. I think the world sees us as a bunch of hypocritical holy rollers.
Then the hypocritical holy rollers should apologize. ;) You should stand your ground and focus on the positive aspects of Christianity and make a good name by showing off your pluralistic tolerance.
@Rgrimes & Jirin – I tend to side with Jirin here. For me, the apology stuff really situates Christianity as being primarily a cultural phenomenon. Christianity, as far as I’m concerned, is about worshiping a God. It is about seeing Jesus as God and about participating in all the theological branches that spring from that tree. The fact is that Christianity has had so many different cultural expressions over the years that wringing hands over past violations denigrates the teachings of Jesus and his death and resurrection. Better to focus on the Gospel and leave the Crusaders and hate-mongers in the dust.
While I’m poking around in this thread…
¡Alambrista! (Dir. Robert M. Young, 1977)
Here is a film about immigration that lacks sentiment but also manages to avoid cynicism and tragedy. Young’s film is tender and naturalistic. A nice treat.