Recently viewed films

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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:12 am

Big Eyes by Tim Burton last night with Ms. Lisa. A more conventional effort by him and a slightly one note production. The story of would be artist, Walter Keane, and his wife, Margaret, the real artist. Played by Christopher Waltz, his Walter is over the top but Amy Adams, as Margaret, manages to give a sensitive and coiled portrait of a women too held down by men. In many ways this movie has a strong feminist undercurrent as Margaret gains empowerment in the end. It is also a non too subtle discussion of what constitutes art and who decides what is art. I remember the joke in Woody Allen's Sleeper about it being a 'pure Keane' in the future worth millions. A slight film that is still worth a watch.

https://youtu.be/2xD9uTlh5hI
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:36 pm

"Maps to the Stars" by David Cronenberg last night with Ms. Lisa. Thinking about it during the day allowed disappointment to creep into my thoughts about the movie clouding my initial reactions. The film probably could have used Viggo Mortenson who ably aided Cronenberg's last two movies. This one is just too jaded and cynical in its portrayal of Hollywood and one particular vapid family chasing fame and riches. They are a toxic buch that is unable to outrun or whitewash their secrets. When they interact with an actress long past her limited prime-Havana Segrand-as played by Julianne Moore, it is a toxic brew of social climbing, career backstabbing and indulgent narcissism that is tiresome and boring. The vacuousness of their lives as they live in their expensive homes and play with their expensive toys is numbing. I never want to hear the term 'chore whore' again. Sunset Boulevard did this story so much better.

https://youtu.be/fwxmnyoofPs
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:23 am

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night-a first film by Ana Lily Amirpour and an auspicious debut. Shot in black and white and filled to the brim with sub textual references to film history, it is a stimulating update on a vampire movie with suggestive feminist undertones. Bad City-an Iranian urban/industrial wasteland[actually Bakersfield, CA], has some problems-least of which is a young woman in a chador walking the streets on the fringe in the darkness. Ms. Amirpour fills her screens with the best references to classic Italian Neo-realist films and Spaghetti Westerns. She can frame expertly a wide canvas on the screen and fill it with interesting and arresting images-sometimes too often as the screen goes static. She infuses her movie with pop references- James Dean, Jean Seberg and Madonna for starters and she can build a story around some classic themes like money, sex and violence. She also has a sense of humor. The intertextuality she employs throughout the story is never tiresome and it serves to add layer upon layer to the moving images on the screen. She also uses music well, filling the action with Iranian pop and the grand swells of an Italian western theme. There are two images I continue to retain-the 'don't be a bad boy' scene with the young street urchin and the image of the young women gliding down a deserted street on a skateboard with her cape flowing like bat wings around her. Perhaps one more which occurs frequently throughout the film-a black veiled woman off in the darkness on the edge of the shot, blurry, a vision of nothingness, of real horror. I enjoyed this movie.

https://youtu.be/_YGmTdo3vuY
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat May 02, 2015 3:03 pm

The engaging documentary/film "Actress" last evening with Ms. Lisa. Though ostensibly about a specific conflicted woman, caught between her many roles in life, it could easily be viewed as a meditation about the complicated emotional and personal lives most women have in this world-trying to be all things to all people. The director Robert Greene has creatively shot these conflicts by often dissolving the action to slow motion or quick cutting to shots of fractured ice on the Hudson RIver or shots of muted/shadowed rooms in a home.

Brandy Burre plays the actress, something she is in real life. And as you watch her one is never certain if she is not acting at all times in her own life. There never is a time when she seemingly is not aware of the camera or eyes upon her. Or when she is not self examining herself in mirrors or giving varied readings of past lines from roles. There is a double meaning in the movie's title. In the end these two have 'created' a disturbing study of one woman's attempts to juggle a life. It is a storyline that I think will resonate for many female viewers, and male ones as well.

An added bonus is that this documentary was shot in my neighborhood here in Beacon, New York. These people are my neighbors and the shots of my town and local streets were fun to spot and take note of as they appeared on the screen. The sight of 'Simone', a sweet cat that Lisa and I encounter on our walks around the block, was especially nice. Simone is a star.

https://vimeo.com/105982840
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun May 10, 2015 5:47 am

Mr Turner the other night with Ms Lisa Cohn Sjoholm. My favorite film about an artist-bar none. It helps that it concerns one of my favorite painters but in the hands of Mike Leigh-a superb cast, cinematography, script and visual presentation combine to make a most satisfying 3 hours of viewing. And that is what one does with this movie-Mr Leigh has made the conscious choice to not display many of the great man's paintings but instead to show the viewer how they were conceived , visualized and executed by Turner. Where they came from in this world. As one person says in the movie- 'the universe is chaotic and you, Mr. Turner, make us see it'.

And what a subject he is, too -exhibited and admitted to the Royal Academy at age 14, the supreme painter of his day and perhaps England's greatest, and a complicated man bursting with contradictions. In the choice to have Timothy Spall play the master, Leigh has managed to give us a story about art and the creative process and we see it come gloriously to life on the screen and canvass through the actions and words[grunts] of an inspired Mr. Spall. And Turner was a character. His genius stunted him in many ways-particularly in his interaction with family, staff and peers. He had little use for the common things of this world. His time was filled with observing and trying to capture those observations in a new way of seeing. His fascination with light and color is still reverberating in the art world as his vision was a precursor to impressionism and expressionism. That fascination with light is brought to full view on the screen by the cinematographer Dick Pope as he recreates many of the effects of light as seen in Turner's paintings.

One of the finest times I spent in a museum was a few years back at the Met when I saw the major retrospective of Mr Turner's work. Now I have this wonderful representation of his life. It is simply a great and critical evaluation of a master's life.

https://youtu.be/Tn4zSR_5ioI
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu May 14, 2015 6:46 pm

"Still Alice" last evening with Ms. Lisa. Julianne Moore is the sole reason to watch this movie-her ability to show a mental deterioration that is at the same time gradual and relentless in its totality is impeccable. As Dr. Alice Howland, a distinguished linguistics professor at Columbia University suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's, she gives a nuanced performance that holds one throughout the film.Too bad the rest of the film's participants do not have the same effect. The direction of co-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmorland is pedestrian at best-there is little subtlety in their visual story telling. Their scenes move awkwardly with ungainly transitions and shots. Even Alec Baldwin, who I usually enjoy, was dull. It was nice to see a variety of scenes shot on the Columbia campus. Just a weak illness of the week movie-"Amour" and "Far from Home" and even "Your Not You" were far better.

https://youtu.be/ZrXrZ5iiR0o
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri May 15, 2015 1:42 pm

Great reviews.

Unfortunately my film watching is Monster High and Barbie (if I'm particularly unlucky).

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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:05 pm

I meant to see Inherent Vice back when it was in theaters in December of last year. It never really came to one around here that I saw so I have been waiting for the DVD release. I finally saw it last night with Ms. Lisa. This shaggy dog detective story with its slapstick humor infused with the paranoid rhythms of Thomas Pynchon's prose and the dulling effects of too much narcotics is probably as close as I will ever come to watching one of this literary master's books come to life on the movie screen. And for the most part Paul Thomas Anderson has made a watchable movie out of the book, complete with whole swaths of the dialogue and nearly visual equivalents of Pynchon's descriptive prose.

It is the aftermath of the 60's excess-'hippies' are no longer cute and police brutality, financial venality and corporate maleficence are rampant. Nixonian vice pervades the air with rumors of 'The Golden Fang' with its aura of oppression by 'the man'. Within this haze of paranoia and pot fumes Shasta Fay Hepworth shows up in Doc Sportelo's living room one evening asking Doc for his help in finding her current boyfriend, Mickey Wolfmann. What ensues is a layered puzzle of plotting that is thickly peopled by eccentrics, lost damaged souls, and those who would prey upon them. One quickly learns not to trust the narrator. One also feels that the travails of ordinary people have hardly changed over the centuries as they are continuously oppressed by 'the ancient faces of greed and fear which have only tightened their grip on our miserable lives.'

I liked this movie- it is not Pynchon but it comes damn close. The choice to cast Joaquin Phoenix as Doc was inspired.

https://youtu.be/wZfs22E7JmI
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:32 pm

Playing some catch-up- Mad Max Fury Road by George Miller this past Saturday with Ms. Lisa and featuring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult but really featuring 2 & 1/2 hours of cinematic motion - a symphony of action that I have never seen before on the movie screen of a theater. It is one wild ride and nary a computer generated special effect-all accomplished with a supreme mastery of framing and setting up a sequence and then pulling it off with a seeming ease few others possess. Throw in a nihilistic free for all of a future world that is broken and a teaser of redemption in its final scenes and a powerful feminist bent and you have one memorable time in the dark....Kudos to Mr. Miller and his cinematographer, John Scale,-they have joined the ranks of David Lean and John Ford and Akira Kurosawa. Even Ms Lisa liked this one.
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby ice nine » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:26 pm

I wish Love and Mercy was better that it was. It is a good film, not great. The scenes showing the Pet Sounds era were well done
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:25 am

Movie night with Ms. Lisa and a chance to revisit an old tradition- the summer blockbuster on the big screen. This time the reboot of that dinosaur franchise Jurassic Park- now retooled as Jurassic World. Bigger, more dinosaurs, better graphics, sophisticated computer generated activity, big theme music-unfortunately they forgot to retool the story. Cobbled together with elements of Frankenstein it is that tired old trope of science gone rogue and it creaks. Thankfully the monsters don't. The actors are serviceable, people are consumed and mass mayhem ensues. But that is about it as the movie goes. Like the trailer says if it looks bad, run.....
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:07 pm

"While We're Young" by Noah Baumbach last evening with Ms. Lisa. Pure enjoyment-funny, thoughtful and colorful in its usage of NYC. The cast- Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Grodin, and Adam Horowitz , once of the Beastie Boys, are pitch perfect. Stiller and Watts' characters are well into their middle years and things seem flat-fun is in short supply. Enter a couple of ascendant millennials [Driver and Seyfried] and things are shaken up for the older couple. Where in a previous movie by Baumbach, the delicious "Francis Ha", the young are portrayed as fighting aging and having to grow up- this movie reverses the line and grownups are most anxious about their age and envy the youth of the next generation. The movie works best in its little moments- looking at the world the characters inhabit and share and the small conversations they conduct. The movie's anger is muted by a seeming wisdom attained with age and it is echoed in the opening quotes from Ibsen's "The Master Builder". The usage of a hat as a visual metaphor for age particularly hit me hard[I have been guilty of using this same prop]. There is a line in a review about this movie that catches the film for me-'there is a difference between lifestyle and life'. One final thing-Baumbach knows how to use music and in particular the music of David Bowie- just as he gloriously used Modern Love in Francis Ha his usage of Golden Years at the end of this one feels so right.

https://youtu.be/NRUcm9Qw9io
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:53 pm

5 Flights Up by Richard Lomeraine the other evening with Ms. Lisa. Staring a well matched Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as an aging married couple dealing with the realities of advancing older age and living in a five floor walk-up in Willliamsburg, Brooklyn and the encroachment of gentrification and the potential for cashing out and relocating to a more age appropriate building perhaps in Manhattan. Having lived in their neighborhood since the early 70's, gentrification is now irreparably changing the locale-not always for the good. Do you get out and cash out or ride with the tide-that is the gist of the movie. What makes it watchable is the chemistry between the two leads. They seem truly married for decades and yet they are still very much in love and in touch with one another. Even the actors who play the couple as younger versions of the two eerily mirror the symmetry and chemistry between Freeman and Keaton.

Subplots involving terrorist fears and the myriad types of New Yorkers who compete for living space in the city don't always work and take away from the main story which is wobbly at times, too. The reason for watching this movie is the two stars- you have seen them do this kind of performance before but somehow this one just seems to shine. Like Love is Strange from last fall, 5 Flights Up is a most joyful tug at the heartstrings as it portrays aging love between two connected people.

https://youtu.be/PreX3h3QYHY
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:32 pm

A visually stimulating, kinetic directorial debut last evening with Ms. Lisa- the film "'71" by Yann Renange. It is 1971 and the 'troubles' have exploded in urban Belfast, North Ireland. Raw British Army recruits are being shipped out to police the erupting streets of the city including Gary Hook, played convincingly by Jack O'Connell. On patrol in a Catholic neighborhood they are taunted with feces and urine thrown by youngsters from behind barricades and then by increasingly menacing crowd where the director exhibits his mastery of action and storytelling and plotting in a dazzling display of virtuosity -you are inserted into a seeming real time as the crowd's faces and voices and anger and menace encloses in upon you. The chase sequences are fresh as the camera trembles and goes out of alignment as you move with Hook and his pursuers through the twisted back alleys and lanes almost as if you are in a maze. This movie is a long journey into one night, just like a novel from that land, and it is equally a forging of a human soul in the crucible of real life. I strongly recommend this movie.

https://youtu.be/J-BaKfl1Ms4
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:38 am

It Follows, by David Robert Mitchell, and featuring creative cinematography by Mike Gioulakis and an evocative, exceptional musical score by Disasterpiece, that is a treat in itself, with Ms. Lisa the other night. My daughter, Justine, had told me about this movie and how it literally scared her more than any other movie she had seen. She saw it at a special preview screening and it caused her to clutch her boyfriend's hand tightly through the whole film and not let go. The story works on many levels but it is at heart a ghost story without ghosts. It is a dramatization of that age old story of teenage and adult fears that are ultimately existential torments- unbearable, undiminishing moods that take hold of us as we come of age. Our actions have consequences. That nothing is permanent is ultimately the horror. Taking place in the desolation of suburban Detroit the camera work consistently and ominously builds dread with its tracking shots and set close ups which make one still feel the looming infinite space around the characters. The score, as in Halloween or Carnival of Lost Souls, musically affirms the visual and mental dread. Whether sex and its consequences, existential dread, teenage angst, one can enter this film through a variety of approaches and it can support all those interpretations. For me it was a near perfect dramatization of Borges' story The Book of Sand. It is a movie that does not have to slash and splatter blood to invade one's subconscious. All it needs is that blur at the edge of the screen which doggedly comes into focus frame by frame and which culminates in the final shot of the movie. Bottom line, one of the best horror films I have seen in my life.

https://youtu.be/HkZYbOH0ujw
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby bambooneedle » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:53 am

ice nine wrote:I wish Love and Mercy was better that it was. It is a good film, not great. The scenes showing the Pet Sounds era were well done


Agree. Went to see it on an awesome hot date last friday, which it's got a great title for... Still very good and I'd definitely recommend it. Yes the good parts were very good along with the period reproduction and both versions of Brian Wilson were played really well I thought, but it had some acting sequences that didn't really seem very believable (I'm thinking eg. the scene when the manager scolds BW for eating). Other bits like when Wilson wigs out on the plane were very well shot and I thought it was very well shot overall. The character development of the rest of the band except for Mike Love was pretty non-existent really but the film was about BW and that might have made the film 30mins longer. It didn't really bring his relationship with his father to light much as I'd kind of expected having read about some cruel stories. It served the date well, great music and insight into it and the band and a great looking film.

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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:56 am

"The Women in Gold" by Simon Curtis last evening with Ms. Lisa. Starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann and Ryan Reynolds, mis cast, as Rudolf Schoenberg. It is the story of the attempt by a family member to get back priceless artwork stolen from her family by the Nazis over 60 years ago. In this case the "Mona Lisa of Austria"- "Adele Bloch-Bauer 1" by Gustav Klimt and four other of his paintings. Ms. Mirren has channeled her inner Elizabeth 2nd to play Maria and her late in life quest to have returned to her the beloved portrait of her aunt, Adele. It is perhaps one of the most eponymous works of art in the 20th century. As played by Ms. Mirren, Maria is clearly a woman of force, cultured, patrician with a keen sense of her worth. What could have been a nuanced story about art and provenance is too often instead a pedestrian reworking of good guys vs bad guys. Not that we cannot be reminded of the perfidy of the Nazis too much nor the marked exultation that a good portion of the Austrian populace showed the Nazis during the 1938 Anschlus. I would have liked to have seen a story that worked in more of the remarkable world and artists, writers and musicians that filled Vienna at the turn of the century into the first third of the twentieth century. Sadly the one thing I learned from the movie is that it is estimated over 100,000 works of art were stolen from families like the Bloch-Bauers never to be returned.

https://youtu.be/9bx3KTGBEaI
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:26 pm

"Danny Collins" by Dan Fogelman last evening with Ms. Lisa. This one was surprisingly refreshing with a warm, engaging star turn by Al Pacino as a rich, dissolute pop star[seemingly modeled after a Neil Diamond type] and an equally lingering performance with some nuance like he gave this year, as well, in "The Humbling, where he also played a variation upon an aging 'lion'. As a performer filled with self-disgust, just going through the motions for the most part in his life or what remains of it-he is brought back to life by a gift given to him by his long time manager and friend Frank Grubman[I know too obvious] played by the welcome Christopher Plummer for all it is worth- a personal, hand written letter from John Lennon addressed to Danny when he was a young songwriter starting out in 1971 cautioning him to stay true to himself and to avoid the trappings of fame and fortune-a letter never delivered to Danny. The rest of the movie is a working out of a what if motif. Though formulaic in the resolution and presentation- there is a warmth in the story and the other characters played by Bobby Carnnavle, Jennifer Garner and, especially, Annette Benning that pulled at me. I am a boomer and this movie is designed to pull at boomers. It does that particularly well because it periodically invokes St. Lennon whose poignant songs punctuate the soundtrack-I am susceptible these days to notions of what is and what could have been and what perhaps could be. This movie manipulates those notions just right more often than it wallows in maudlin and trite-it does not hurt that Al showed up to act either.

https://youtu.be/AndERTFMYd4
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:59 am

"Irrational Man" written and directed by Woody Allen last evening with Ms. Lisa- my birthday treat. Watchable if not top shelf Allen. Abe Lucas, philosophy professor, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is in town in Providence, RI to teach- faculty star intellectual stud and near dead to the world both intellectually and physically- a living embodiment of his studies and a walking poster person for the cry that 'life is meaningless' which has been a subtext in Allen's work for decades. The character gives Allen the opportunity to verbally recite in his script the old chestnuts from philosophy's greatest hits of the last three hundred years commencing with Kant and winding down to the irrationalists who resided in France mid-century over 70 years ago. Abe is part rejuvenated by a young, intelligent co-ed, played by Emma Stone, and a desirable faculty member, played energetically by Parker Posey but more so by a decision to 'act' rather than to proselytize. That act reverberates with past efforts by Allen and by work that has had an impact upon him-Crimes and Misdemeanors, Matchpoint, Crime and Punishment, The Stranger and Strangers on a Train. Allen, I think, would rather you come away believing that a genius is misunderstood and unfairly judged by the moral standards of the masses. Hence the irrational man of the title-I think, however, that it is more like a critic put it- the title would be better served as the "Rationalizing Man".

https://youtu.be/hP8mPkyBntw
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:35 pm

The Canadian film, "Mommy", last evening with Ms. Lisa. Quite the revelation and most impressive work from the young director, Xavier Dolan. The two central characters, Steve, a fifteen year old bi-polar boy, and his mother, Diane Depres are stuck in their own circle in living hell. Played by Antoine Oliver Pilon and Anne Dorval, they are in each others face nearly every frame as they struggle to maintain a normal mother/son relationship. That is not easy with the severe ADHD that impairs the son and I think to an extent the mother. The framing is squeezed to the point that it is painful to watch the restricting emotions that fuel these two. It mirrors the way one would take a selfie of one's self only it is magnified a 1000 fold. This is a painful movie to watch and the final scene reminded me so much of the end of Truffaut's 400 Blows but not I suspect with as good an outcome. This was a powerful and impacting movie experience.

https://youtu.be/d7rtSqI0ZeA
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:21 am

"Timbuktu" by Abderrahmane Sissako last evening with Ms. Lisa. I have been anticipating viewing this movie since this winter when it first came out in theaters. I was not disappointed in the least. This story of a Tuareg family of herders trying to live their seemingly idyllic life in the sand dunes outside of the fabled city while being harassed by the Islamic jihadists who have overrun the city and the surrounding countryside is heartbreaking. The time is 2012 and these Islamic fanatics have overrun the community arbitrarily instituting their obscene social laws such as women needing to always wear socks and gloves. It is sharia law run a muck administered by men who do not practice what they demand others follow. And it is females who have the most to lose at the hands of these fanatics. Sissako has an almost gentle way of telling this story- he deftly mixes comedy in with his scenes of brutality[and there is brutality plenty with one scene of a stoning of an adulterous couple buried to their necks in the sand that is stomach turning]. He even manages to make the Islamist's somewhat likeable-reminding the viewer that meanness and hatred can often come from the most ordinary amongst us. His images of life terrorized by these hooligans in this mythical city are disturbing. The mixture of beauty and strangeness and evil lingers with one. The most disturbing image is the scene towards the end where a reasonable Imam questions a jihadist as to why they behave the way they do and for what reason- the silence of no reply is deadening. This is a movie that I think will stay with me for decades.

https://youtu.be/Cs2dYAlbINY
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:51 am

"Far From the Madding Crowd" directed by Thomas Vinterberg last evening with Ms. Lisa. It features beautiful cinematography of the Dorset countryside shot by Charlotte Brun Christensen and the movie provides the viewer with the bare bones story line of one of English literatures's great female characters, Bathsheba Everdine, a proto- feminist daemon. That is the problem with this movie however; it takes one of my favorite novels by Thomas Hardy and turns it into a pseudo travelogue of the 19th century English countryside and an idyllic lifestyle that was rapidly vanishing. The main characters as played by Carey Mulligan, Matthias Shoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Juno Temple are more cardboard than living, complicated individuals in this latest movie version of the novel. They swoon, smolder, scowl and flaunt their mustache on cue. Hardy's novel has much more of flesh and blood and emotion and a great narrative fueled by the capriciousness of fate. The 1967 version from John Schlesinger was far more vibrant with a willful Julie Christie and the stolid Alan Bates. It continues to be my favorite. One can watch this film, it passes pleasantly enough, but for me it was a 'cliff notes' version and nothing more.

https://youtu.be/5-_9AFwMDmQ
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Jack of All Parades
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:10 pm

"Red Army" the documentary by Gabe Polsky the other evening with Ms. Lisa. It is the story of the great Red Army Hockey team of the the 70's and 80's; their marvelous and equally tragic history as told principally through the eyes of their captain and perhaps greatest player, 'Slava' Fetisov. Everyone knows the story of 1980 and the miracle on the ice at Lake Placid. This film gives the other side and it is near heartbreaking at times. Fetisov and his other four teammates constituted what arguably can be said to have been the best hockey team ever assembled. Their style of play was a beautiful thing to watch as they almost danced down the ice scoring goal after goal. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991- they were near abandoned by the very system that had assembled and nurtured them as young teammates. Their dispersion into the NHL was not always smooth. Remembering it all, Fetisov is both thoughtful and petulant-a hockey great who still looks like he could lace them up and get out on the ice. The team that was built by the inventive coaching of Anatoly Tarasov and nearly destroyed by the cruelty of Viktor Tikhonov is worth spending some time watching. They were a thing of beauty at their peak.

https://youtu.be/a_euhvZQMaw
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

ice nine
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby ice nine » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:06 pm

Just to let Jack know that someone reads his reviews I am posting the two movies I saw this week. Woody Allen's Irrational Man is a nice little film dealing with philosophy. If you expect your typical Woody Allen film this may not be for you. The dialogue is first rate and the locations are beautiful. Phoenix is the second film I saw. It is a German language film having to do with the after effects of the Holocaust. It is not your typical Woody Allen film, either. They are both slow moving, nice, art-house films that are worthwhile to be on the lookout for.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think that you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt
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Jack of All Parades
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:47 am

Last night I watched "Two Days, One Night" with Ms. Lisa. It is a most satisfying movie, powerfully brought to life both by the supremely realistic direction of the brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and by the riveting performance of its lead actor- Marion Cotillard, who gives one of the finest recent performances by an actor I have watched in some time. It is a Belgian working class neighborhood, but it could be anywhere given today's world economy and the action on the screen is as 'real life' as I have ever seen depicted- it is not embellished in the least. Sandra Bya, played by Ms. Cotillard, is an every-person, working mother and wife fighting to save her job and her dignity as an individual. She is placed in this role because her employer has posed a moral dilemma for her co-workers at the solar panel plant where she is employed- either your 1000 Euro bonus or her job. Ms. Cotillard totally inhabits her character with her drooping eyelids, slumped shoulders with the seeming weight of the world upon them, and the burdened gait of one who is near defeat. Depression has previously enveloped her and she is struggling now not to succumb yet again. Fortuantely, she has a husband, Manu, who tries to bolster her and to keep her upright and fighting for her dignity. He is ably played by Fabrizio Rongione. The movie is Sandra literally going from door to door of her co-workers and pleading her case for why she should keep her job and they lose their bonus. The camera painfully lingers hard on each encounter. The movie captures the commonplace reality of most people's work week and environment. Each person is struggling to get by and meaning, identity and happiness is too bound up today in a variation of Darwinian individual competition and not in the former enabling collective action that used to infuse the work place.

This movie makes you think and feel-it accomplishes that by having artists at the top of their game work their magic. Ms. Cortillard is my favorite actress since the career demise of Deborah Winger. She is memorable in her role, here. The movie's ending is powerfully affirmative and earned through every frame.

https://youtu.be/Tb3zBq6gVRk
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'


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