My Week in Film (7/6 - 7/12)

Suicide Circle (2002)
(Directed by Sion Sono)

It was alright, I guess. Nothing in the film really beats the opening moments where 54 (?) schoolgirls jump in front of a train. The rest is fairly atmospheric (if muddled) police procedural with its fair share of social commentary, ridiculous kill scenes and androgynous psychos. So, a good time, I guess. But, it really is muddled and as it goes on and on, you start thinking that maybe it's just disorganized to shit because there's no way all these disparate elements are going to come together in any way that make sense. I was right. Still, it's cool to see that one dude from Mystery Train again. Can't beat the schoolgirls, though.


Stardust Memories (1980)
(Directed by Woody Allen)

A filmmaker visits a small town that's showing a retrospective of his early, funny films. Wait, this is a Woody Allen film? A Fellini film? A Bergman film? I haven't seen that many Woody films but this seems extremely self-referential. At one point, the audience screams out "why do all comedians turn out to be sentimental bores?" A scene of perfect joy and wonder is critiqued the moment after. It's so morose and awkward as Woody juggles the women of his life, not wanting to get married, discussing Bicycle Thieves with the eyebrows of a cello/violin player, remembering the love of his life (even though she was insane and he knows it). The cinematography is excellent with vibrant b&w throwing you back to the 60s european arthouse days but still with the woody trademarks (just as he would've wanted). It's kind of too morose and self-involved (in the greatest ways) but there's a pain there that I haven't felt in any of the other Woody films I've seen. It's an endless cycle, the cinema.


Adventureland (2009)
(Directed by Greg Mottola)

Man, Unsatisfied is a great song. And this is good film. Yeah, tried and true territory but it feels like it's done rather well here. Honest and smart and all that shit about what it's doing and what it means and "I'LL JACK OFF ON YOUR FACE." That scene with Joel and the main dude talking about Melville feels like something out of All The Real Girls. It's funny, with your jokes about semiotics, and other bullshit. The Razzmatazz, Ryan Reynold's greatest performance, the quiet patheticness of our smallest actions (blowing them up to mean something more), fucking up, saying the wrong things and shit. It doesn't mean anything but it means everything, you know? How could I be anything else? Look me in the eye.


Working Girls (1986)
(Directed by Lizzie Borden)

Endless cycle. That's how the film plays out. It's a day in the life of a working girl. Molly goes by bike to work, an apartment with all the thingies you need inside it. What I found most interesting about is the routines and details that made up the life. How you learn about the closet with all the towels, and about the clients having to be "completely comfortable" before they can accept any money. The observations about how this line of work is just like any line of work with the endless bitching about the boss and the routines and showing the new kid how it all works are striking and interesting. It's too bad it's marred by extremely amateurish acting which destroys any type of emotional connection possible. Also, yeah, this movie is repetitive. Molly has sex with some random guy (each one slightly different) then comes back to the main room to keep talking to the other girls. The film only really takes place in this single space so it feels kind of claustrophobic (and I guess that says something about how these women are stuck in this role, or are kept there or whatever). eh, whateverz,



Baghead (2008)
(Directed by Duplass Bros)

eh, could've been better. The concept was interesting and the character relationships were actually brought out rather nicely (I'm thinking of the wordless interlude when they're swimming). It could've used more visually-oriented filmmaking like that. Instead, it's just kind of lots of close ups on people's faces, always shaky, zooming, eh. The horror aspect does at points actually deliver some scares but it resolves too predictably and the characters get lost in the shuffle (for me). So, interesting, sometimes scary, sometimes sorta funny, mostly just whatever.


Moon (2009)
(Directed by Duncan Jones)

It was good, I guess. But largely just sort of chugging along making discovery after discovery, pulling smilie face after smilie face. Here, feel confused, sad, happy, whatever. Sam Rockwell is good, I guess, but car crashes aren't and the entire experience is kind of weird in my mind now. Excuse me while I'm blinded and help someone put their bike up. What? Yes. Clint Mansell's score is also kind of meh but the movie chugs along, keeps you entertained, within reasonable standards. It kills the creativity inside you, but that's a small price to pay for good popcorn. Excuse me. I am talking to you. Tastes like nothing.


Zoo (2007)
(Directed by Robinson Devor)

wow. I'm not entirely sure what I expected but this was certainly not it. It plays less like a documentary and more like a total immersion into this weird cocoon of a world that the main people are living in. It's so damn beautiful and soothing and calm and there's a profound loneliness and sadness when things go wrong for these people and their little paradise that they managed to build for themselves is gone. It never tries to explain and I'm not even sure it really tries to recreate anything besides just kind of alluding to the facts, but it manages to shake you somehow. Yeah, the cinematography is kind of amazing and the wall-to-wall music helps in the effect but there's just something sad about the whole thing. Yes, I'm talking about horsefucking. You know, I actually used the name Mr. Hands as my online handle for a while. What a douche I was.


Jhon's Film of the Week is... Zoo

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