My Week In Film (9/29 - 10/5)

Something happened this week. But I forgot what it was.

Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
(Directed by Ingmar Bergman)

This is the first time I'm noticing the overtly theatrical aspects of Bergman's direction and staging (there's that word again). However, Sven Nykvist does offer some great images to go along all the heavy stuff going on content-wise (that whole scene in the boat! Awesome!) This is mostly about the deteriorating psychological condition of a person and how that affects a single family. Then suddenly it turns into something about God and then it turns into something about a spider that may or may not be there. The performances are really great here and although I hahd some problems with the treatment of the disease on initial viewing, I've pretty much forgotten what they were already. I should write more on initial viewing.


A Brighter Summer Day (1991)
(Directed by Edward Yang)

I wonder what I could say... This exquisite film requires just about every bit of attention you can give it. If not, the very offhanded and oblique storytelling will make you start wondering what the hell is going on. The film is four hours long and pretty much all of it feels essential. It's in the details that the narrative derives its power from. It's pretty exhausting but also really rewarding. There's so many great characters (although it's hard to keep track of them) like Honey, Ming, Cat and, of course, Xiao. All of this is told in your standard Asian arthouse way but also rather beautifully and I love some of the downright surreal and fucked up shit that happens (well, only one scene really and it blew my mind). Right now, I feel I need to see this either on the big screen or in some really great release before I can proclaim it one of the best movies I've ever seen... but know that this film is all kinds of great.


Death Race 2000 (1975)
(Directed by Paul Bartel)

Obviously, it's campy but it's also really funny. Carradine is really great as Frankenstein and all his sneering is hilarious as are all the film's sex scenes and random nudity. Of course, the meat and potatoes of the film are just the hilarious deaths. But I think my favorite part of the whole movie is Stallone. All of his shouting and cursing and screaming at his navigator is great + his character is just hilarious on his own. It's a good time to be had by all :)


Gotta love my 4 hour Asian movies...

Jhon's Film of the Week is... A Brighter Summer Day