5/31/09

My Week In Film (5/25 - 5/31)



INLAND EMPIRE (2006)
(Directed by David Lynch)

This is the Great Leap Forward. Or, something. I don't know. This is easily one of the most disorienting and fragmented and intense/weird/adjectives/whatever films I've ever seen. I missed the textures of Lynch's other films but they've been replaced by different textures and weird light sources and ridiculous closeups of people's faces. I don't know what's going on besides the fragmented identity of an actress (or a Polish prostitute?) but it's fascinating and weird and atmospheric. I would've loved to see it in the theater (numerous times). But, somewhere around the 45-minute mark, I got really lost and I'm not sure I ever caught up again. I would really love to rewatch just the middle hour and a half with all the scenes in Poland and shit (you know, the heart of the movie?) before I even begin thinking about what it all means. Right now, I was just very high on the visceral qualities of it. Lynch is a great man.

★★★1/2



Predator (1987)
(Directed by John McTiernan)

Not better than Die Hard but what is? It's a pretty bad ass film, really, with all the dudes constantly flexing and shit and doing god knows what. Carl Weathers is amazing and this is the first time I've actually appreciated The Terminator's presence in a film (been too long since I've seen the other ones). What I liked the most about the film is those last 20 or so minutes where it's just Arnie vs. Predator. That's some great filmmaking right there (can't remember for sure but was it nearly silent? dunno). Either way, it was really badass. Just like most great things.

★★★1/2




A Married Woman (1964)
(Directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

I loved it when all you was a disconnected body part, shit all fragmented and FUCK, with that great b&w IMAGE. All those hands, feet, eyes, the female body, dissolving into each other with the greatest awesomeness in all of CINEMA. That's like the greatest movie ever right there (male gaze or something). It's like a proto-2 or 3 Things without the endless expansiveness and philosophical/sociological bent. Its ideas are rooted in characters (even if they're slightly abstract characters). It's all good here, YEAH, one of his very best. Maybe I find fragmented hands, lingering, all alone, against white walls, the most beautiful thing in the world. But, more importantly, how can she increase her cup size?

★★★★



The Devil Probably (1977)
(Directed by Robert Bresson)

This might be the best Bresson film I've seen so far. Part of it might be the unblinking despair at the heart of it and that disgust at the modern world bullshit that seeps through every now and then. But, I can take or leave that stuff because the filmmaking here is pretty great. It's the usual stuff we've come to love but now it's DEADER and LIFELESSER and BORINGER. Paris is like the worst place in the planet (I'm assuming this is Paris, who cares basically) and these fucking disgusting students do nothing but go places and protest and do nothing but stare like zombies. It isn't a critique (this or Bresson's depiction of youth), more like an addition to an overall thesis or something (anyway). What. How convoluted can I make this (shit) be? The last parts of the movie are where everything crystallizes for me and the feeling that this world is shit (or something else) and the world moves around you like you don't exist and when you're gone, nothing will change (or something). I hope I'm not interrupted when I die. CINECAST!, that scene in the bus is like ridiculous/amazing to the max. I want to live in these fleeting moments. I want to hear the music. POW!

★★★★



The Terrorizers (1986)
(Directed by Edward Yang)

This thing is insane. I don't think I could do it justice. Frankly, I don't think I even got most of the plot cuz I kept getting confused by other shit and getting in lost in the ridiculous editing/pacing/everything. It's a world I can't forget (or other things that I'm not sure what they mean). I think I figured out why I couldn't really get into it at first. Each scene sets up the narrative threads of the film (so at first they're disconnected) and you're not really sure how everything is connected (well, duh!) but I was kind of thinking "so, how are these random people doing random things going to add up?" Well, I think it does. As I said I may have missed out on some of the basics of the plot so I don't feel like I should say much about thematics without seeing it again. I can safely say that it's aesthetically perfect/perfection/WHOA. And the film ends on such a sick note. It's awesome.

★★★1/2



I Fidanzati (1963)
(Directed by Ermanno Olmi)

This is an often beautiful film filled with a resignation (or a hope?) and distinctly beautiful images, delineated by these wonderful lines, popping from places, geometry (huh?). I enjoyed the non-linear style and that same "hugging" cinematography is back from Il Posto to tell a story about two fiancees who are separated from each other cuz one of them has to go to another town to work. I liked those early moments the best when you're unsure of your footing but the grace notes at the end weave a magic all their own. I imagine this movie gets better with time.

★★★1/2



The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987)
(Directed by Kazuo Hara)

What an uncomfortable film. It basically consists of this one dude who goes and accosts all these dudes that were in the army with him and trying to get them to talk about a possible war crime or some shit. One of the most interesting things for me (just culturally) is how they invite into their homes (and are polite to) this totally hostile guy who threatens violence in more than one occassion, insults them, boasts of his superiority as a human being. The guy at the heart of it is a fascinating figure. Will read more on this.

★★★



Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
(Directed by Steve Box + Nick Park)


This was lots of fun. I kind of hate Wallace and his bullshit. I mean, come on! But everything with Gromit is pure gold. Well, it's all good. It's just that Wallace gets on my nerves (as he is supposed to do, I guess). Whatevs. Eh, these Brits... they can be good. . . sometimes.

★★★


Où gît votre sourire enfoui? (2001)
(Directed by Pedro Costa)

Good shit. It makes the film that Straub-Huillet are editing look like shit though so who knows. Straub is kind of this awesome old man and hearing him talk about film is pretty awesome. He tells all these stories as he walks in and out of rooms, just talking bullshit. Huillet is off to the side actually doing all the editing and telling Straub to shut up. It's hilarious. The film is dark as fuck as it was shot in their editing room and the angles are oblique and surprising (Costa!). Straub and Huillet are always arguing about how a single frame change in one of their cuts will alter the meaning of the edit. It kinda makes you think about how maybe other directors are pretty lazy (?). Anyway, it was good (interesting) stuff. I should see one of their films.

★★★



Duck Season (2004)
(Directed by Fernando Eimbcke)

pixote is a wise thing and this was good but... I don't know. Everything's good except the (almost) soul-baring that goes on. It's surface-level and only gives you background. Mostly, I liked it when they just played Halo. fuck everything else. Anyway, the constant power outage is pretty bad (and how could they still use the phone?) but it does free up my lazy ass from doing things. The kids were pretty great and everyone was charming and stuff and I liked the Jarmusch-esque fade-to-blacks (or whatever). A good time was had by all. Anyway, I really love that final image.

★★★



Crazed Fruit (1956)
(Directed Ko Nakahira)

What an infuriating film. I can't believe I own it. Not nearly as sexy as it should be and with leads that make me want to bash someone's head in. I was into the casual douchiness of the protagonists and watching them just go thru girls and whatever. When it asks me to take things seriously, I just balk. The cinematography is sometimes impressive and the ending is pretty interesting (although kind of retarded) but it doesn't excuse the rest of the boring/cliched nonsense of the beginning. Can I just watch Cruel Story of Youth again?

★★

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... A Married Woman

2 comments:

worm@work said...

Hmmm, you should rewatch The Terrorizers. Those are not enough stars :).

Bill Thompson said...

Really old I know, but yep, most of the end of Predator is silent and it is glorious.