My Week in Film (2/23 - 3/1)

The Ladies Man (1961)
(Directed by Jerry Lewis)

Maybe the French are right. But I can see why everyone else hates this guy. I'm sort of in between cuz at points all the facepulling retard shit drives me up the walls and the next moment I'm laughing my ass off. I don't know. Maybe it just takes a bit to get used to. I'm in the camp of this being pretty funny BUT ON TOP OF THAT we get all this amazing direction that I totally didn't expect. And I love the way the camera pulls way the fuck back to almost reveal the edges of the sets (and this is a huge set) as we see Lewis run in like five different directions at once. It's kinda goofy and some of the actual emotion stuff doesn't really work for me (like the chick crying at the end) but the scene after she fails the audition or whatever is pretty great. I really hated the TV interview though just cuz it was just Lewis being annoying (not funny this time) for whatever reason. There's probably a bunch of shit regarding masculinity and repressed sexuality here as well but I'm just too lazy to think about it when you have that awesome scene with the gangster dude and his hat which has to be one of the funniest sequences ever. Then there's the forbidden room part which is about as creative and as awesome as anything ever. This will be interesting.


Two Lovers (2008)
(Directed by James Gray)

"ache-filled romanticism" was it?

There are probably problems story-wise but nothing that I can't really block out because this thing is overflowing with sincerity and awkward emotions of the greatest kind. At first, it starts out with Phoenix at his most morose, basically reverting back into teenagedom as he moves back in with his Jewish parents. He's essentially a kid again at the beginning of the film. But then he suddenly has women and opportunities. And there's love. Well, maybe there is. I don't really know. It's all shot in this wonderfully dreary way. I don't know, just thinking of the interiors in this movie makes me really depressed. Then there's the scenes (and I'm most likely stealing this from somewhere) are drained completely of life and color. What does this mean? There's probably class relations sort of stuff in here like the stuff with the Brandi Alexander or whatever but whatevers. I'm confusing myself now. James Gray is pretty cool. I find the repeated use of nightclubs in his films amusing but I guess it helps that his films have routinely excellent music in them and it seems like he's actually working out audio/visual majigger thingies out in his films. Whatever this means. He's talented? Yes, very. Oh, and Phoenix is a wrecking ball in this film. Totally fantastic. The totality of his awkwardness is incredible (as is his [s]raping[/s] LOL rapping and breakdancing) and in moments of heartbreak, all he does is just change his face a little bit and SHIT IS GONE. This is a sad, sad story. Hope I die before I get old :(


Nenette et Boni (1996)
(Directed by Claire Denis)

Just one glance, just one cigarette. Seriously. This is pretty unlike Denis' later films in that it's not like some totally visceral and hypnotic experience. It's actually more of a character study even if those characters are always kind of a mystery. In essence, this should be my favorite Denis just because it deals with broken/makeshift families and that sort of thing is completely fascinating/heartbreaking to me. However, this shit's pretty vague and I had to strain to make a lot of these connections (I dunno, I'm dumb). but I had a pretty big grin on my face most of the time Boni was reading out his sexual fantasies (and I'm like "Exactly!" ergh... Image) and how those ideals measure up to real life (zomg there's like a whole reverse shot article on it). I think I was into it for a lot of it and just seeing Boni make pizza and kiss it and whatever and seeing Nenette smoke even though she's pregnant (oh the french!) made me smile a lot. The ending is totally improbable but it just filled my heart with joy for some reason. Anyway, the film is kinda vague and some of the transitions and exposition was done in a way that I'm not sure I totally understood or even noticed so there's that... I dunno. It might be a film worth revisiting.


The Unbelievable Truth (1989)
(Directed by Hal Hartley)

I don't trust anybody. Man! All the stuff that's great in Trust is here. Well, I guess I miss Martin Donovan but Robert Burke is almost as appealing as he is. Just the stuff about outsiders and conforming and I don't know, man. It's just the entire feeling behind the thing and most of the Hartley movies that I've seen that completely get to me. It's the events piling up in a rather hilarious manner that totally makes sense, it's the totally great intertitles, it's the score, it's how cute Adrienne Shelley is, it's everything! Also, Hartley really does end the movies totally perfectly and I don't think I would like the films as much if they didn't have pitch-perfect endings (except maybe Amateur). I don't know. Pretty much one of my favorite directors now.


A New Leaf (1971)
(Directed by Elaine May)

One of the funniest movies ever. Really. Like Matthau plays this huge rich douchebag, loses all his money and then tries to get married to stay rich. That's when he meets Henrietta, played by Elaine May (so hilarious). The whole movie is kind of this entire joke on how socially retarded Henrietta is but also how open and humane she is while Matthau is the exact opposite. But it's also a love story! One that's delightfully mean and kind of savage. My grinch heart melted with Matthau's facial expressions and Elaine May is so awesome (with all her botany and her sweetness). This movie is fucking perfect and hilarious and I'm so glad I was able to see it :)


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... A New Leaf

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