5/3/09

My Week In Film (4/27 - 5/3)



Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
(Directed by Brian De Palma)

Are all De Palma's this fucking insane? Cuz if so, I gotta watch them immediately! Not even insane like in terms of plot, just in stylistics, cuz this shit was awesome. I think my favorite part has the phantom dude running in a hallway with the camera running right behind him. It's a little part but it really got to me for some reason. Anyway, Jessica Harper should never dance again. Ever. But that shit was hilarious! As were the digs at the music industry with the opening band changing styles all throughout the movie to reflect consumer demands. The music was great, too, and the outrageous camp shit going on really got to me specially in a theater setting with the music blasting. Just, great, great fun.

★★★★



Sugar (2008)
(Directed by
Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck)

This was good. The main actor was pretty charismatic, loved it when he smiled or was dancing with the girls or just looked glum or whatever. He really sold me on a lot of this. The problem is that the whole baseball angle to it felt really fucking tired. Doesn't help that I hate baseball as a sport because how boring it is but JUST LETTING YOU KNOW. I mean, those sequences are done well with nice little zooms punctuating the action at random intervals. And there is tension in that stuff. It's more of the backstage/locker room stuff with the pressure of trying to perform, the buddy who's not doing well and is let go, the new guy who's on your turf, the steroids, I guess. I liked it more when Sugar was trying to mack on that christian girl. :righteous:
The film gets a whole lot better (although this part is also familiar) when Sugar strikes out on his own and the realities of immigrant life are explored in such a powerfully beautiful way that whatever problems I had with it were gone for me. I loved the carpenter business, finding your own community, calling home. Shit touches me more than it should cuz it feels so personal to me. But, what can you do? It's good, some parts are pedestrian but the themes/execution/acting makes me like it a lot.

★★★



Made in U.S.A. (1966)
(Directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

It was great just watching this shit on the BIG MOTHERFUCKING SCREEN although I had some problems with it. Well, it was really messy with themes, motifs, scenes just bleeding all over the place, running into each other, crashing. Whatever. I felt like I couldn't get a handle on anything. Not even its ridiculously labyrinthine plot. Seriously, I had no idea what the fuck was going on. I was able to go with it on a moment-to-moment basis enjoying each scene as separate entities and I fucking loved the colors in this thing which made me forget a lot of stuff! Just that one scene with all that crazy art/poster/whatever and with the random Hollywood references makes me think that some stuff is going on with the tropes of noir (ALSO MAKING THE MOST COLORFUL ONE EVER). I liked watching Karina run around, do her thing and be hot. I like watching Leaud be a silly little bitch. I liked watching Marianne Faithfull sing that one song and be insanely hot. I liked Lazlo Zsabo or whatever the fuck his name is. I liked "Tristesse." I liked the crazy as fuck sound in it. Maybe it was just my theater but the sound was insane. The beeping out of the name of that one dude, that speech thru tape recorder that goes on forever (made my ears buzz). Also, I think this is the first time that I've ever physically reacted to drastic cuts/camera angles/sound effects. Weird. Anyway, don't know how this works as a breakup film, honestly, or how its political stuff works as metaphors for that stuff, too, so I'll just plead stupidity and stick with my Forrest Gump. Stupid is as stupid does!

★★1/2



Doubt (2008)
(Directed by John Patrick Shanley)

lol what's this movie about

Good performances I guess but this shit actually needs more ambiguity or whatever cuz it's painfully obvious what this movie's not about: SUBTLETY. With its shouting and its Catholic school setting and it's A-C-T-I-N-G, I just couldn't care less whether or not anything ever happened. I cringed throughout Henson's scene because it seemed so bizarre to me. I'm like, really? What the hell is happening in this movie? Mostly it just makes me hate people. Anyway, "You blew out my light" is so fucking retarded and stupid and ARGH!

I do have to say that for a movie that was based on a play, there was a surprising lack of theatricality going on outside of the 2-person scenes of just talking. A lot of the settings/scenes felt lived in and real like they were actually working on a filmic level and then those dutch angle shots got in there and annoyed me and that was that.

★★1/2



Election (2005)
(Directed by Johnnie To)

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

The Triads of HK seen as primarily capitalist endeavors and their leaders as businessmen first, murderers second. The politics of it are interesting if played a little too broad for me. The stuff with the trying to get the baton and stuff felt like something out of a different movie. Does the godson/godfather thing set up the sequel or is that just there randomly? Anyway, the politics and the grouping of men together under the auspices of making money and letting the cash flow thru the streets is what interested me and how that greed turns murderous in that stunning ending is awesome. But, still flawed. Anyway, Simon Yam is fucking awesome. Seriously.

★★★

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Phantom of the Paradise

2 comments:

face said...

You become a De Palma fan, and we're done. I haven't seen Phantom, so I can't tell you if the others are crazy in the same way. I can say that most of them are terrible though.

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