Anybody planning on attending the NYFF and what screening?. Here are the films that I will watch this weekend of september 24 Poetry, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Certified Copy.
Film Socialisme (Wed Sep. 29, 6 PM)
Meek’s Cutoff (Fri Oct 8, 6 PM)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Sat Sep 25, 3 PM)
The Cinema Inside Me: Olivier Assayas (Sun Oct 3, 2:30 PM)
I’m coming from Virginia to see Film Socialisme on Wed Sept. 29, 6 P.M. Also I will see Certified Copy on on Oct 1st.
i’m watching these
uncle boonmee who can recall his past lives
of gods and men
the strange case of angelica
we are what we are
I’ll be there this Saturday at the David Fincher Q and A as well as seeing a Japanese film called Dry Lake.
Just saw Uncle boonmee, will need a second viewing…still haven’t processed it yet. Would like to know what u guys think about it?
I will attend Aurora on Sunday Oct 3rd.
Was at the David Fincher Q and A. I managed to ask him a question. Was going to try to get him to autograph my DVDs, but he had to make a plane to Sweden and was out of the Walter Read Theater before I could reach him. I guess he’s going to do the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Also saw Dry Lake, that is part of a series of films by a Japanese director whose name escapes me. My friend and I didn’t realize that that was just part of the regular programming of The Film Society of Lincoln Center and not part of the festival. Oh well.
I thought Dry Lake was a good film. Not really a great film but I thought it was enjoyable. I thought the acting was very good in it. People there were telling us that The Social Network is a really good film.
Dy Lake, 1960, Masahiro Shinoda.
Thanks Brady. for filling in the information about Dry Lake.
i wish miral would be playing
I saw Uncle Boonmee as well SP. I can kind of see why so many critics are turning cartwheels over it, yet I think it’s a movie I really like and admire, rather than love.
It was neat to get a T-shirt, as well as sit a few rows behind Wes Anderson:
Wes Anderson looks very much like his films…
He seems like one of those people that have a closet full of the same outfit.
I plan on seeing Silence and the Goddard movie as well as Carlos, also happening at the MAD museum @ Columbus Circle is an Alejandro Jordowosky retrospective, all this aside Enter THE VOID is playing IFC film center.
Hey Clint, i think Q&A was helpful for me to get an idea of what Uncle Boonmee was all about, same think i would recommend anyone to see it and get there own opinion…anyhow I had the chance to hang and take pictures with the director at the opening night, very cool guy!
Just saw Film Socialisme.
The screening itself wasn’t exactly ideal. I saw roughly thirty people walk out at different points of the film (one couple about fifteen minutes in) and at least two or three cell phones went off. I could understand this kind of behavior at a regular theater, but not during a screening at the New York Film Festival.
In terms of the movie itself, I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. Here are just a few thoughts/observations:
1.) The movie is divided into three separate sections: the first takes place on a Mediterranean cruise ship, the second at a gas station involving a family and a film crew, and the third is more of a free-flowing audio/visual essay.
2.) The movie has an assortment of different visual aesthetics, featuring everything from HD to a cell phone to old archive footage. The movie’s HD segments are often extraordinarily beautiful, very crisp and eye-catching.
3.) What is the point of the ‘Navajo Subtitles’? Well, my take on it was a further extension of the film’s disjointed aesthetic nature. With the constant and abrupt jump cuts, scene changes, music cues and jarring silence, the world presented to us is one beyond total comprehension, even if you are fluent in French and the many social/political/literary content the movie espouses. Even the characters are lost and don’t understand what they’re saying. In the modern internet age, where totally unrelated topics lie just a few clicks away from each other and Twitter has made it fashionable to reduce our existences to sentence-long summaries, this struck me as scarily relevant and meaningful. It should also be mentioned that the first shot of the movie is of waves, Godard capturing their powerful and sublime fluidity as they undulate wildly. This fluidity is juxtaposed perfectly with the discontinuous, chaotic nature of what follows.
The problem with “Navajo subtitles” is that the supposed disjointed effect only applies to people who don’t understand French or German. If you can understand those languages, you don’t get the full “Brechtian” effects of the disruptions. Is Godard a French chauvinist?
In addition, the other disruptions (static noises, sound drop-outs, etc.) are old news for Godard and other filmmakers. I got this message DECADES ago, when Godard had a better sense of humor and was even more of a socialist.
At the festival, I noticed that none of the three speakers, including my former professor Annette Michelson, said anything about the subtitles or what this film had to do with socialism (except for a few “borrowed” images from POTEMKIN and OCTOBER). What they said about Godard’s themes and techniques were mainly true about his OLD (pre-1980) work. Nobody mentioned that, except for some of the astoundingly beautiful images (mostly of the sea and sky), this film was a hodgepodge masquerading a masterpiece of avant-garde cinema.
Some of us can tell the difference. I was about to shout out “the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes anymore” after these speakers went on about the pseudo-poetics and old French puns on histoire/history vs. histoire/story, but I decided not to disrupt the proceedings. Maybe AFTER the 3 speakers had their say, something interesting was discussed by Richard Pena or the audience but at that point even this confirmed (pre-1980) Godard fan left.
On other festival screenings, LENNON NYC was a decent doc about John Lennon’s life in New York (and L.A.). Much of the footage had been seen before. Yoko Ono was on hand in the balcony to take applause and fortunately she didn’t sing one of her avant-garde scream “songs.” Although I was a great admirer of John Lennon as a songwriter and peace activist, this film demonstrated (unconsciously) that he only wrote 4-5 decent songs after the break-up of the Beatles and that most of his activism was rather naive, although “Imagine” and a couple of other songs are among his best and he spread some money around to the right causes. Most of the material was also old news.
The Elia Kazan tribute by Scorsese and Ken Jones was excellent, especially in its use of clips. Kazan’s testimony to HUAC was mentioned but we mainly heard his side of the story, which was that it was a tough decision to make, a choice of two bad things. Many will not forgive him for that. But the work is nonetheless extraordinary, including a full screening of a restored AMERICA AMERICA, which was photographed by Haskell Wexler, one of the biggest lefties in Hollywood. AMERICA AMERICA is a bit too long (3 hours), with two too many adventures for its protagonist to encounter for what it has to say and it takes the hero almost 2.5 hours to actually reach New York, but, overall, a moving experience.
I see you’re saying Frank. I’m not sure that I can try to defend the movie; heck, I can’t even say that it has any meaning. And while I’m sure that the disorientation caused by the Navajo subtitles is only for the non-French viewer, I’m not so sure that the meowing cats or the flailing woman falling into the cruise swimming pool are more understandable to the French viewers.
But that may be Godard’s point. As passionate as Godard seems, it may all very well be nothing but total mumbo-jumbo that he crams into Film Socialisme‘s 101 minutes. This isn’t exactly unsurprising coming from him. I’ll admit, as much as I adore 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her or Pierrot Le Fou, I freely admit that more than half of it goes over my head. Yet no filmmaker is better at employing sound and image to more exhilarating effect. As lost as I was during Film Socialisme, there were moments when Godard would throw in a swirling classical piece or cut to a beautifully composed HD shot or montage, and I forgot my confusion and was moved by the artistry Godard so effortlessly imbues. I don’t love 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her for all of it’s subtext and meaning, I love it for Godard’s command of film, how he can make me feel and think like no other director can.
By the way Frank, as an aspiring film theorist/critic I’m totally inspired by all of your accomplishments. Hopefully I’ll see you at a screening!
Clint: Thanks for your kind remarks about me.
As far as the new Godard is concerned, I will concede that there are visual-sound images of extraordinary beauty and meaning in Film socialisme but there were many more such images in the earlier films you cite. A few world-class images ans scenes are not enough to sustain a feature-length movie and most of J-L G’s films up until about 1980 offered much more, in terms of meaning and aesthetics, in my opinion.
Just saw Meek’s Cutoff. It’s a very strong film; visually exquisite and has some great performances.
OLD CZECH LEGENDS (Staré povesti ceské) (1953) 91min
Director: Jiří Trnka
Among the many anniversaries to celebrate this year is the centenary of Jiří Trnka, the great master of puppet animation whose contributions to that special art were as essential as Walt Disney’s were for cel animation. For his OLD CZECH LEGENDS, Trnka chose six classic folktales, while being careful to vary their tone and tempo, and transformed the jaded heroes of national legends into living characters—incarnated, of course, by his specially made puppets. Yet beyond his mastery of puppetry was Trnka’s extraordinary grasp of cinema: his work is equally impressive for his innovative editing, lighting, and sound. Winner of just about every conceivable international film award, Trnka raised the bar for all puppet animators to come, and his influence can be powerfully felt in work by Jan Šjvankmayer and the Quay Brothers. Print courtesy of the Czech National Film Archive.