My Week In Film (10/20 - 10/26)

It's not that I was slacking... I was doing extremely important things... like saving lives... smacking people's hats and shit, you know?

Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991)
(Directed by Leos Carax)

Such a strange film. It starts off by realistically depicting how it feels to be homeless in Paris and then it turns into a romance and fantasy of the greatest kind. Every feeling is expressed to the fullest. It's kinda hard to think of a film more expressive than this one (there are three or so sequences here that evoke such a sense of dazzling euphoria. Mind = blown). But, at the heart of the film, is a love story. One that's obsessive, dangerous and even a bit destructive but damn if it doesn't kill me. Binoche is so amazing in this film. And I can't even begin to describe Lavant who... what the CINECAST! is he doing in this movie? So bizarre. This Carax guy... interesting.


Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
(Directed by John Ford)

So good. I love how most of the movie is kind just about mythmaking and playing with iconography but it somehow isn't boring at all. What surprised me most about the film is how poetic and gentle it was. The cover for the Criterion dvd kinda sums it up nicely.
The film portrays Lincoln as a young man with an introspective streak who'd turn away from others just to gaze into the river. He's also portrayed as a man who's driven to succeed through education. Anyway, I kinda liked how by film's start Henry Fonda looks nothing like our idea of how Lincoln must've been like but as the film progresses we get shots of Fonda fitting that type of image. It's extremely subtle but very effective. However, what I liked the most was that Lincoln was portrayed as an outsider of sorts. He's always watching others and/or standing outside of events looking in. Anyway, this is a great film. Great film. GREAT FILM.


Poison (1991)
(Directed by Todd Haynes)

What an interesting film! Poison consists of three different vignettes interspersed together (ie. told simultaneously). Each one is told in a different style and genre (documentary, horror, oblique prison drama). As pix before me, I was really impressed at how well each of the different parts was executed (the only stumbling block was perhaps the acting; the horror segment, especially). Each segment sort of hints at saying something about "otherness" especially in relation to sexuality though you could probably make the case for a number of things. While it's certainly a fascinating film, I think the film only works on a conceptual level. As in, there's nothing else much here besides trying to get at whatever Haynes' thesis or point is. Poison is fascinating viewing however and comes well recommended!


Love Me Tonight (1932)
(Directed by Rouben Mamoulian)

God, this was so charming and hit me right when I needed it. It opens with the one of the great opening sequences in all film. A city wakes up and with it the sounds of every day life come into focus. These sounds start to develop a rhythm and in a little while a full-fledged cacophony of city life is in display. It's awesome. But that's not to discredit the rest. It's all great. Maurice Chevalier is pretty great as a tailor who has to collect his debts. You know, when he starts singing at the beginning of the film I kinda said to myself "uh, this is a musical? cool." Well, yeah, it is a musical and it has such catchy numbers. I think my favorite may be "Mimi" just because of this little part:

Mimi, you make me sad and dreamy
you could free me
if you'd see me

The whole film is pretty silly and charming with lots of great innuendo but also it's really romantic. The title says it all. It also has a surprising amount of formal innovation (I guess). I'd never seen the use of zoom lens or slo-mo shots this early in film history (excuse my lack of knowledge here) (although I guess Man with the Movie Camera probably had some).

Anyway, fuck all of dat. This is a great, great film. Why haven't you watched it yet?

Also: Maurice's French accent is so fucking awesome. I need to see more of that guy.


Miller's Crossing (1990)
(Directed by Joel Coen)

The Coens do 30s gangster melodrama and film noir... and damn they do it well. The story is one of double crossings and mens with hats (lots of stuff going on with the way people wear their hats and shit). Gabriel Byrne is pretty great here delivering the smooth as fuck dialogue like few can do. The rest of the ensemble is pretty excellent as well. Of course, the Danny boy sequence is marvelous (although extremely ridiculous in its awesomeness). Yes, all the plot stuff and cinematography is aces. But I'm left wanting for something... Is all of this just an excercise? It feels like it. While the point is dubious, this film is extremely entertaining and told really, really well. So, hats off to that.


Kung Fu Panda (2008)
(Directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson)

Much better than I expected. It got me from the start with the really awesome animation at display (plus the furious five thing was funny). The story is pretty predictable and stuff but I really liked all the Jack Black-isms that were at display here (I'm an apologist, what can I say?). That whole "awesomeness" thing is right up my alley. So, I was in the mood for something escapist and I got it. It's really funny, looks really good and it has a panda. What the fuck else do ya want, John? Maybe an eye patch or something.


This may be the hardest week ever for this...

I'll play it safe

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf

1 comment:

aliciahuberman said...

How come no image for Les Amants :O? I thought you had a picture in your forum review?