Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer – 2016 Cedar

  Despite the solid ensemble cast this is really a one-man show featuring Richard Gere, it’s one of his best performances and he rightly received raves for it I purposely picked this imagine of him (above) with the ear buds because days after the performance this indelible character will be in your memory- very complex and rich character. You need to see the full film to archive it (which is actually pretty rare- usually I can tell pretty quickly)- you have to admire the slow web that is being woven- largely from Gere’s character and cedar’s slow-developing and complex

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer – 2016 Cedar2017-05-31T22:07:47+00:00

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story – 2005 Winterbottom

  I’ve seen it twice now and it’s a little more of a modest recommend than I had remembered from my first viewing I love how, like 24 hour party people, it’s absolutely hilarious and reflexive. It borrows from many great films but chief among them is annie hall. Coogan even quotes Groucho Marx and they cut to him as a young boy in scene (like annie hall) and say “…even as a boy” Influenced by fellini, specifically 8 ½ with actors talking to the camera as the camera moves (and actors back up) like Fellini and since it’s

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story – 2005 Winterbottom2017-05-31T16:18:58+00:00

Play Misty for Me – 1971 Eastwood

A confident and entertaining debut for Eastwood I think it’s important that Eastwood stays with what he knows- the film is a meditation on celebrity, features the California coastline, heavy on the jazz… he keeps to what he knows Strong performance from Jessica Walter Clearly an influence on fatal attraction Simple and modest thriller- don’t love the abrupt ending Not a perfect film- there’s a scene that feels like surrealism (out of place) and I’m still not sure (and I’ve seen the film 3-4 times) whether she actually tries to stab him The helicopter shot opening, in a debut,

Play Misty for Me – 1971 Eastwood2020-07-03T10:31:39+00:00

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – 2010 Edgar Wright

Again, Wright’s film begins and ends for me with the editing. The transitions are just so inspired. It’s really an orgy of style- split screen, great editing, animated flashbacks, swirling titles, Seinfeld-like music with audience laugh track cues much like Oliver stone’s natural born killers The narrative gets tough to stomach at times and certainly keeps it from coming too close to the top 10 of the year-- but wright’s editing keeps driving the story forward Talented young cast from cera, pills, larson—Schwartzman is perfect as a smug producer Bill Pope from the matrix here as well A true

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – 2010 Edgar Wright2022-01-04T22:53:55+00:00

Hot Fuzz – 2007 Edgar Wright

It’s simply one of the better edited films of the 00’s decade—there is such care and artistic decision and rendering in each transition- it’s really inspired (and funny) It doesn’t stop at the editing- there’s great freeze frame work and zooms. Yes, it’s meant for partial (if not total in some spots) parody but it works on its own to enhance the narrative (which is solid) and on its own as a purposeful imaginative venture form Wright I’ve seen it twice and it blew me away the second time. I think with my first viewing I was just so

Hot Fuzz – 2007 Edgar Wright2017-05-24T17:09:49+00:00

Animal House – 1978 Landis

Borrows heavily (pop soundtrack, date (I think it’s 1962 for both films), ensemble cast) from lucas’ American graffiti- hilarious nostalgia A wonderful, booming Elmore Bernstein score Love the casting of Donald Sutherland “Louie louie” by the kingsmen 3 times in the first 15 minutes noted for Belushi’s performance but it is much more of an ensemble piece Great individual scenes driven by not directorial decisions- like the “shout” song A very MASH slapstick ending except they have the parade blowout instead of the football game In the archives but not in the top 10 of 1978 Recommend

Animal House – 1978 Landis2017-05-23T19:08:18+00:00

The Prestige – 2006 Nolan

Shows off nolan’s narrative deft right from the beginning- a man reading the diary of a man reading his diary There aren’t many, three by my count, but there are some gorgeous establishing shots here- which is Nolan new for admirers of Nolan’s work The intricacies of Nolan’s screenplay both reward the initial viewing with the shock parallel editing (Nolan trademark) ending but also, it has the nuance to reward repeat viewings as well Reminds me of Ridley Scott’s the duelists going back and forth (or the great battle montage form rushmore One of the more gorgeous, still-frame shots

The Prestige – 2006 Nolan2020-07-03T10:31:39+00:00

Split – 2016 Shyamalan

I don’t want to go overboard and call it narrative genius but it’s certainly captivating cinema and all three narrative strands (the young girl flashbacks, doctor and McAvoy, and McAvoy and captive 3 girls) are riveting After many disastrous movies I’m encouraged about the recent trend for Shyamalan. The visit wasn’t archiveable, but it was nonetheless his first film that didn’t smack of self-importance (god those pregnant pauses were/are unbearable) and split is just a far superior film that continues that trend. He might not be Nolan or Spielberg but he’s now 47 years old with 3 archiveable films

Split – 2016 Shyamalan2017-05-23T16:34:18+00:00

Shaun of the Dead– 2004 Edgar Wright

I think it initially gained traction because of the laughs (Pegg and Frost are brilliant) but Edgar Wright sure shows promise here- it’s very rare to see a very nice tracking shot like this is a straight comedy. The repetition of the tracking shot (from his house to the convenience store) is not only technically superb but crucial for the comedy of the scene to work Requiem for a dream­- Aronofsky-like zoom editing- edited with passion and fervor Heavily influenced by Romero- especially dawn of the dead- which already had a lot of humor in it Very nicely edited

Shaun of the Dead– 2004 Edgar Wright2017-05-22T21:10:48+00:00

The Trip – 2010 Winterbottom

A very different film from both the genius earlier collaborations between coogan and Winterbottom- 24 hour party people and Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story- this is closer to the my dinner with andre two people (men) talking genre Amazing impersonations from Brydon and Coogan—Caine, Connery, Richard Burton, Woody Allen Genuine pathos slowly achieved- it’s really a nice unambitious archiveable film Chapter day breaks Hilarious traits from Coogan- he’s obsessed with having a nicer room than Brydon Not sure about the surrealism Great formal symmetry here with landscapes, food, and wine—but not only that- comparisons between the two

The Trip – 2010 Winterbottom2020-07-03T10:31:39+00:00

Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance – 1974 Fujita

Starts off with an absolute bang- a stunning long take tracking shot with some complicated choreography action sequence of lady snowblood killing like twenty people Instead of a revenge film it’s a very political film and much slower Still has the nice black and white photo montage (with narration) flashbacks- but they aren’t as good as the first one and they didn’t do the drawing one either Really well directed film with long takes and smart framing- but the narrative is pretty bad There are multiple hang-on-the-wall picture frame photography shots – very nice blocking and reverse zoom final

Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance – 1974 Fujita2021-08-18T03:02:52+00:00

Lady Snowblood – 1973 Fujita

Starts off with a bang- a gorgeous white snow landscape and then turning that snow into red for the credit sequences I had no knowledge of her prior to the movie but Meiko Kaji is really good here in the title role Clearly the film had a massive influence on kill bill and Tarantino Straight revenge film- she has almost like a supernatural/hero trait being possessed to revenge her mother Long chapter break titles (like QT) and plays brilliantly with narrative structure manipulating the flashbacks, having one flashback accomplished with voice-over and black and white drawings, another one with black

Lady Snowblood – 1973 Fujita2020-07-03T10:31:39+00:00
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