Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Films Viewed (July 2010)

35 Shots of Rum seemed like a resposnse to arugments I don't know much about in French culture. I am a fan of the director Clarie Denis, but wasn't too moved by this film.

Se7en can be checked off my earlier list. I can see how it was impactful in its time, but it seems also kind of standard-issue to me today. I think seeing it in 1995 would have been a bigger deal.

Pick a Winner is a collection of videos and films from Load Records that I bought from the merch table of the band USAISAMONSTER. I skimmed through it once, filed it, and forgot about it. Good to finally sit down and soak in its weirdness.

Lessons of Darkness is a hybrid doc by Werner Herzog. Burning oil wells, science fiction scenes in the desert. Suggested by someone as appropriate due to the situation in the Gulf for a group watching that never occurred. So I borrowed the DVD.

Please Give was my first encoutner with the films of Nicole Holofcener at a jam-packed screening on a brutally hot day of the holiday weekend. I can see now why someone commented that her films are always welcomed.

Fata Morgana was on the flip side of the Herzog DVD I borrowed. Quite a trip through the desert. I do wonder if the tale of making it enhances the film, but it is clear that its influence is far-reaching.

Stones in Exile was the first thing I used my new Netflix account to watch over the computer instantly. Yes, I have gone over the dark side. Yes, this was not the most interesting documentary, but I still dig on that record.

Mickey One, although mostly a mess, is visually compelling and sometimes just plain insane in what it is about and after. Studio American does French new wave.

Cyrus reminded me in Mickey One in the sense that it is a "big" overground film being intentionally made in an underground style. For some reason, I gain pleasure from the experience of seeing these films despite how much I dislike this in other art forms.

The Last Detail was another Hal Ashby film to check off the list of his "must-sees." Like 35 Shots of Rum, I felt left out of the situation and the argument, although you can feel the tension of making this kind of movie in the Vietnam era. The incessant profanity from those cursing like the sailors they were must have been boundary-pushing at the time, but has little impact to the modern coarsened ear.

Good Dick was a film I have been meaning to see for some time. The copy at the Video Americain I frequent was stolen, so the Netflix Instant (which can be streamed right to our new television) provided the film to me finally. It is rare to see a film deal with female sexual dysfunction this openly and effectively.

Winter's Bone was a window into a world, buoyed by the performance of Jennifer Lawrence as a young woman in search of her father in the Ozark backwoods.

M has been on the list for so long it is laughable. I even own an earlier edition of it on Criterion DVD! The version I watched was the most recent clean-up of the print. Smart, savage, satirical... it is wild to see someone like like Fritz Lang running amok in a new art form.

Inception is looking like the only summer film of the summer, and can be highly recommended. Otherwise, I have been wholly unmoved and uninspired by this year's model of blockbuster.

Beautiful Losers is a documentary about a group of kids who skateboarded and made art together and apart in the early 1990s. It was a wonderful explanation in regards to what attracted me to this culture when I was a lad.

Pirate Radio was an intriguing premise turned into an abysmal film. Don't be fooled. It is a waste of time. So many "oh god no" moments based on ham-fisted script and directorial decisions I lost track.

The Hangover made 277 million in domestic box office. I was chided by my students for having never seen it. Now I have. So there, students!

The Charles
The Rotunda
The Landmark Harbor East
Other (Video Americain, Netflix, suburban multiplex)
Total: 16 features, 1 video compilation (6 in theaters)