Friday, July 29, 2011

In the Realm of the Senses (1976)****
A more forthright depiction of human sexuality in a serious motion picture you are unlikely to see. Once that novelty wears off (early in the picture), you are left with an intense depiction of 2 people trying to remove themselves from the world via sex. Beautifully shot and acted.
The Tree of Life (2011)****
It's original, expertly crafted, ambitious, thoughtful. Terrence Malick continues to create a unique cinematic language that tries to film how humans experience life. Seems to be all in the head of the Sean Penn character as he struggles with ennui and disillusionment. Oh and there are dinosaurs too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Michel Gondry | The Talks:
"He forced me to go see Kill Bill Vol. 2 and I walked out of it, just like every time I go and see a movie by Quentin, besides Pulp Fiction – I finished that one. But all the others are too mean for me. I mean, he is a brilliant director, much more skilled than me. You see great performances, great images. Everything is great, only the message is dangerous. It’s all revenge and vengeance, about being mean and cynical. I would almost say that these movies are not made for my son, but it is exactly those movies that young people love. Even if they are too young they just sneak into it."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Potiche (2010)**
Earns its two stars only because of the iconic French actors GĂ©rard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve. It's not funny, it's not memorable otherwise.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Macbeth (TV 1961)**
Apparently produced with a budget of $163 Canadian, what we're left with are the actors and the words. Even in this 85 minute, condensed form the words are marvelous and the actors are not bad. Sean Connery's brogue is appropriate for once and he does a good job as the lead. Quite rushed and stagey.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Statement on the Gang of Six Plan | Press Releases:
"'It is striking that the Gang of Six chose to respond to the crisis created by the collapse of the housing bubble by developing a plan that will give even more money to top Wall Street executives and traders. By contrast, the European Union is considering imposing financial speculation taxes to reduce the power of the financial industry and raise more than $40 billion a year in revenue.

'The plan calls for substantial cuts elsewhere in the budget which are likely to cut into the incomes of large segments of the population, especially the sick and the elderly. The cuts it proposes to the military are just over 1.0 percent of projected spending over the next decade."

This is the plan Obama calls "a balanced approach". Jesus.
Miranda July, The Make-Believer -
"But when she showed me the construction-paper card, holding it very carefully, she was clearly touched by this man’s love for his wife. With her film, she’s trying to understand and excavate something of that love. There was no fetishizing of the oddball, no crippling nostalgia, no lack of gravitas, either in that desire or in its result.

Maybe not everyone will believe this about her. I asked her what, if anything, she would like to say to those people. “I would just say I’m totally not kidding,” she said. “Life is too short. This is all too hard to do to actually be kidding about the whole thing.”"

via @ebertchicago

Monday, July 18, 2011

Synecdoche, New York (2008)****
One of the finest films ever made, builds to an unrelenting crescendo of regret, loss, despair and death. Must be seen more than once to appreciate due to it's unconventional "story".
Timecrimes (2007)****
Nifty time travel pic shows that imagination and talent trumps heavy handed special effects, focus-grouped, muddled scripts and star-driven action movies every time. Keeps you thinking and involved the whole way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Shining (1980)****
Tremendous production design propels this beautifully shot ghost story. Kubrick tinkered with King's novel, making the supernatural elements much more subtle, but it's still pretty obvious that Jack had a lot of help in his descent into madness.
Is David Brooks Really Clueless About the Inefficiency of the U.S. Health Care System? | Beat the Press:
"This means that Brooks' discussion of our willingness to die when life loses its joys is beside the point. The choices around the end of life are important and difficult, but that is not our health care cost problem. Our health care cost problem is the cesspool [of] corruption that we rely upon for our health care."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stardust Memories (1980)****
Fantasy and reality are indistinguishable (mostly) in one of Woody Allen's best and most imaginative films. It's funny, but it's mainly very serious.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Greed, Excess and America's Gaping Class Divide | Taibblog :
"They'd be right, were it not for the relative comparison -- for the fact that out there, in that thin little ithsmus between the Upper East Side and Beverly Hills, things are so fucked that public school teachers and garbagemen making $60k with benefits are being targeted with pitchfork-bearing mobs as paragons of greed and excess. Wealth, in places outside Manhattan, southern California, northern Virginia and a few other locales, is rapidly becoming defined as belonging to anyone who has any form of job security at all. Any kind of retirement plan, or better-than-minimum health coverage, is also increasingly looked at as an upper-class affectation."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Full Metal Jacket (1987)****
How humans are built to adapt to madness. "I am in a world of shit, but I am alive. And I am not afraid."
Man's penis cut off, put through garbage disposal - Yahoo! News
"He was conscious when his penis was removed," Nightengale said."

Hell hath no fury...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The King of Comedy (1982)****
First of all, this is NOT a comedy. It is a harrowing, annoying, irritating exploration or annoying, irritating, crazy people obsessed over celebrities. Great performances, great casting, some absolutely perfect scenes makes this one of Scorsese's best. Not necessarily an "enjoyable" film, but very admirable.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Interview: Donald Sutherland for The Mechanic | The Hollywood News:
"Thats exactly what it was like and we staggered out of the room 3 hours later and you thought maybe you would never have sex again for the rest of your life (laughs). It was devastating but he cut it together in little sections of what appears to be you know conjugal relationships of married people who have lost a child.
They cut it together with no sound no ‘oooahhh’ none of that. Oh I don’t even know what it sounds like anymore-I’ve forgotten. And then the footage of getting dressed and this wonderful music. And what it did was-you don’t remember us making love, what you do when you see that movie is you remember yourself having made love. It’s not voyeuristic-and thats why it stays in peoples hearts. And now, I have a son named Roeg, which really is brilliant."

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Research find new way to measure penis length -
"Penis length cannot be determined by how big his hands or feet are -- those and other supposed indicators have been widely discredited for years. But now a team of Korean researchers has produced what may be a more reliable guide: the ratio of the length of his index finger to that of his ring finger. The lower that ratio, the longer the penis may be, the researchers wrote Monday in the Asian Journal of Andrology."

Apparently the author of this piece did not consult any women about the significance of this, because to most women it is width that is more important than length. (At least that is how I am able to make it through each day.)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Klute (1971)***
It's called "Klute" but it's really about Bree Daniel and also very much about the time in which it is set. Not much of a thriller, but the actors are very good and the photography and casting are top notch.