My Week In Film (7/6 - 7/13)

Now that I'm working I seem to be watching more films than when I wasn't?

Yi Yi (2000)*
(Directed by Edward Yang)

It's been maybe a year since I last saw Yi Yi , the marvelous film from Edward Yang. I still remember that first viewing very clearly. I sat down on the couch and almost three hours later I got up. I didn't stir. I knew I had seen something great. When my friend watched it and bashed it as being uninteresting or something or other, I wanted to respond but my memory of the film wasn't that great. I only remembered its greatness. I knew I had to watch it again. It took me a while but now that I've seen it again, I know for sure that not only is it a great film, it may be the greatest of them all. My expectations after a year of New Asian Cinema viewing mostly composed of lots of silence and stillness left some room to be surprised. It's a really dynamic movie. It approaches life's everyday rhythms in such a beautiful way that it feels that if I'm to I'm a participant in these lives. And while Yang keeps at a distance usually with layers of glass between the characters and us, we are always with them emotionally. Yi Yi is a film that's about lives that mean something. Just like yours and just like mine.


The Wackness (2008)
(Directed by Jonathan Levine)

I really enjoy coming of age films. Some of my favorite movies could probably be pigeonholed into that category. Maybe I'm just at the right age where that formula just gets to me. Who knows. I expected to kinda like this film and to some extent, I did. But so much about this just rubs me the wrong way. I mean most of it is just clearly about this Luke guy wanting to bust a nut 4 realz, yo. That isn't necessarily bad but when the film wants me to care about him at the end, well, it just isn't happening. It's not bad just sort of annoying. Best thing about it is the early 90s rap soundtrack.


Pierrot le fou (1965)*
(Directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

After publicly lambasting a lot of the works of Godard and saying I was done with him for the next few years, not half a year later and I'm already rewatching a film of his. On first viewing, I kinda thought the film was fun because I thought it was random. However, on a second viewing, there's a lot more going on than I previously caught on to. Maybe it's just that I'm a completely innatentive viewer. This is actually a film about men and women and everything in between and how they simply can't comprehend. Belmondo wishes to lead an intellectual life reading and writing on the beach while Karina longs for night clubs, guns and an adventure novel of a life. Is there something to all of this? There may be something to it and Godard does everything he can to illuminate these thoughts; quotations, pop art, song, everything. Something strange and wonderful is going on in this film and I can't wait to know more.


Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (1974)
(Directed by Rainer Wender Fassbinder)

I think most of my enjoyment of this film comes from having completely different expectations. I expected something really fucking dull and dour. You know, the stereotypical "German" film that I have in my head. But this is based more on melodrama than anything which I'm really big on apparently? Fassbinder does a really great job of isolating this unlikely couple as opression rears its ugly head. It's really well done with lots of great cinematography and whatnot. But really the best thing here is the human element and the sadness one feels as Ali and Emmi dance. Here's looking forward to more greatness from Fassbinder :)


Reprise (2006)
(Directed by Joachim Trier)

There are moments in this film where the filmmaker's have me convinced that they're really going to capture how it feels to be young, ambitious and "whatever."Then they throw in some little detail that's kind of annoying and my mood is ruined. Then they build it up again. It's strange because I really enjoy the mood and the spirit of this film for the most part but some scenes just don't work, some are silly, some are really great. However, it never really coalesces or whatever into a whole. Maybe a second viewing later on will provide clearer thoughts? Future filmspot candidate :)


Tale of Cinema (2005)
(Directed by Hong Sang-soo)

And yet ANOTHER of Hong's tales of male absurdity and selfishness replete with lots of drinking, lots of sex and lots of... zooming? About as good as the rest or about as bad. I can never tell. Just like the other stuff I've seen of his, there's a split in the narrative which lends the film its title. This split is what informs the second half of the film as our Hongian hero (an asshole, basically) "woos" (or stalks) an actress. I'm not sure how much the film says about how films can inform our actions or whatever but it's metaness is interesting. I'm also not sure what the purpose of the seemingly random zooms are but since it's Hong, i'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully, the samfullers of the world can help me understand.


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Yi Yi.

Because it wasn't obvious already.

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