9/7/08

My Week In Film (9/1 - 9/7)

I gotta work on this schedule...



Singin' In The Rain (1952)
(Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly)



Does anything else need to be said?

★★★★


The Twelve Chairs (1962)
(Directed by Tomas Gutierrez Alea)


And sort of a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways, even if overall I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first 3 films in this series (but about the same as Accatone). The pre-credit sequence caught me totally off-guard and had me wondering if the film was really starting or if I was watching something completely different.

_____________________________________________________________

Yeah, I'm surprised at how much fun and funny this was. This is probably the most enjoyable film we've had so far (tying probably with Mother Joan for the best. You know, I knew absolutely nothing about this film so when the pre-credit sequence came up, I started wondering what the hell kind of film I was about to watch.

Quote from: pixote
The topical political nature of the film caught me off-guard as well; for whatever reason (ignorance, mainly), I was expecting something very escapist and generic; certainly not so rooted in the post-revolutionary climate of Cuba in 1962. I wish I knew more about the history of that time because I feel that I missed out on a lot of the nuances here. Also, probably due to Cold War propaganda, I was also surprised how playful the film could be at times about the nature of the revolution, the characters' feelings about it, and so on; not the social realism I was expecting, I guess.

______________________________________________________________

Even though the film has a clear political nature to it as you say, I liked the way that it didn't really make a big deal out of it. At points, it's actually extremely silly (the american wannabe? Cheesy). So, yeah, it's definitely a film about a specific place and time but it's not bogged down by the specificity. Agree on wanting to know about Cuban history.

Quote from: pixote
I was skeptical about Reinaldo Miravalles (Oscar) at first, but by the end I thought he was pretty great — tremendously appealing, for sure. Just in the little things, too, like his posture and expression while eating that ice cream cone at the circus. Beautiful.

_______________________________________________________________

Yeah, his character is definitely the best thing about the film. The two main characters' shifting relationship throughout the whole film was pretty great.

I'm pretty sure some kind of political allegory could be read into the film but since I know nothing 'bout dat (and I generally don't care for it), I'll leave it alone.

My random thoughts are over.

★★★


April Story (1998)
(Directed by Shunji Iwai)

After Lily Chou-Chou, every Iwai film seems to be a disappointment. Either it resembles way too much the television dramas that play on Japanese television (except catatonic) or... it's just boring. The guy obviously has talent and at points this film does actually work. But the rest of it feels so... blah. The acting is good, yes. So is the cinematography. I don't want to call it trivial or anything but... Maybe I should just watch Chou-Chou again and stop hating on this dude's movies :)

★★


They Live By Night (1948)
(Directed By Nicholas Ray)

A pretty great film about a young couple whose only wish is to be alone together and love each other. Of course, society has other plans. I don't get the dislike of Farley Granger. I've liked him in all the stuff I've seen him in. He's kinda awkward but in a charming way, you know? He plays a guy who broke out of jail and although there's no way that Farley Granger spent seven years in prison and still looks that you buy into it regardless. I loved all the helicopter shots of cars going across empty roads. But the heart of the film is really the love story and O'Donnell and Granger totally sell it. Why can't they leave the poor kids alone :(

★★★★


Umberto D. (1952)
(Directed by Vittorio De Sica)

Umberto D. is a quiet tale about an old man and his dog. He's living on his pension but can barely pay his rent and is in debt. However, the film really isn't all that bleak. There's moments of happiness scattered in between as well (mostly from Umberto's dog). The film is mostly made up of Umberto's attempts to earn money and pay off his debt and keep his apartment. However, his situation keeps getting worse until he calmly comes to make a decision. What's remarkable about the material is that I never felt myself being manipulated. I don't really care about dogs but THIS FILM MADE ME CARE ABOUT THEM IF ONLY FOR A BIT!!~! I'd say that's a pretty big achievement.

★★★★

Jhon's Film of the Week is... Singin' In The Rain.


2 comments:

sean said...

I really love April Story, for the beautiful sentimental imagery you acknowledge as well as the slightness and low-key simplicity of the story. It's the opposite of Lily Chou-Chou's epic ambitions.

Speaking of which, Lily Chou-Chou's a great candidate for Gen Y-defining film, isn't it?

roujin said...

I'd be pretty worried for the Japanese youth if [i]Lily Chou-Chou[/i] was representative of that generation. But I'd say you're probably right.

Anyway, I still have hope for Iwai to come through for me again. [i]Swallowtail Butterfly[/i] looks to be pretty awesome and apparently comes Quentin Tarantino approved?