Requiem for a Dream – 2000 Aronofsky

Requiem is a masterpiece of editing/montage It’s a relentless, sometimes repetitive, unsparing and searing fucked up portrayal of the American dream I forgot about the heavy use of split screen Accented sound editing (drugs being taken, remove control, etc)- all of these in these mini-montages (eye ball enlarging upon drug use—it does get repetitive and not in a good formal way A stunningly ambitious second film Expressionistic in mise-en-scene, in narrative with some of the surrealism sequences and in wonderfully edgy and embellished performances Aronofsky absolutely refuses to shoot anything in a straightforward way and I love that The

Requiem for a Dream – 2000 Aronofsky2017-08-31T20:00:25+00:00

Zelig – 1983 Allen

Zelig is an inventive leap for Allen (in a period where he was wildly creative) but also in tune with his normal obsessions and thematic muses such as psychoanalysis, romance, and jazz An important landmark in the history of the mockumentary comedy film subgenre—it’s a year before spinal tap and of course is related to woody’s debut, also a mockumentary, take the money and run and there are elements again in husbands in wives Gordon Willis first Oscar nom (that’s insane)—he made 34 films as DP and 8 of those are with allen made from 1977 with annie hall

Zelig – 1983 Allen2017-08-30T14:33:57+00:00

Matchstick Men – 2003 Ridley Scott

The reviews of the time focused unfairly on soderbergh’s oceans 11 or as good as it gets with the OCD-ness of cage’s character—but I think it has more in common Bogdanovich paper moon with the child grifting or the sting Wonderful photography during the contemporary title sequence- it’s apparent that this is no ordinary filmmaker quite clearly Cage, who goes right up to the edge (and perhaps past it in two scenes) and sam rockwell are fantastic I adore the Sinatra heavy soundtrack Same DP who shot gladiator in 2000 It’s a small accomplishment but in a film like

Matchstick Men – 2003 Ridley Scott2020-07-03T10:31:29+00:00

Jamaica Inn – 1939 Hitchcock

It’s a good film directed by Alfred Hitchcock instead of being truly a “Alfred Hitchcock film” which is disappointing on many levels—even some of his lesser films would be more interesting as an artist Maureen o’hara’s first archiveable film- stunning actress Gothic, windy- owes a bit to val lewton No Hitchcock cameo Hitchcock’s last british film before Rebecca in 1940 with Selznick Novel source material Daphne Du Maurier – same as birds and Rebecca Great early double establishing shot of mansion with miniatures Laughton is very good as the arrogant evil mastermind Wonderful storm set piece on the rocks

Jamaica Inn – 1939 Hitchcock2020-10-14T17:55:31+00:00

Good Time – 2017 Safdie

It is an excellent film, but more than that, it is a work of very promising young filmmakers who make clear ambitious aesthetic choices throughout- I think at least one of the Safdie brothers is 33 so these are young filmmakers. If you follow the credits they have their hand in the writing, direction, acting, music and editing First off, from the opening shot, you’ll notice the choice to focus in on close-ups, this Cinéma vérité hand-held approach to it is very different than the somewhat similar close-up style work of Tom Hooper and say Jonathan Demme JJ Leigh

Good Time – 2017 Safdie2020-07-23T15:36:48+00:00

Robin and Marian – 1976 Lester

Even with the title, Lester is aiming for a very unsexy (Connery looking gruff and ruggedly handsome without wearing underwear) and demythologized take on Robin Hood. It is the first role for Audrey in 8 years. She has tremendous chemistry with Connery here- both are excellent It’s a film filled with larger than life titanic actors and performances. Connery and Hepburn are there of course but we have Richard Harris, Robert Shaw (two of the greatest scene chewers in film history), Ian Holm perfectly cast as King John, and Nicol Williamson is great as well. Connery vs. Shaw is

Robin and Marian – 1976 Lester2020-07-03T10:31:29+00:00

Blackboard Jungle – 1955 R. Brooks

Notorious for being part of the youth movement along with rebel without a cause in the same year and the wild one in 1953 “rock around the clock” bookends the film and is a startling entrée into this world of the asphalt/concrete/city jungle of the film which is really unforgiving It’s no 400 blows as a coming of age film but it sorts of invents the dramatic teacher-teaching-the inner-city-troubled-youth and making a difference sub-genre Glenn Ford and Poitier are very good and elevate some of the weak material- poitier is pure intelligence and vitality embodied- a captivating actor even

Blackboard Jungle – 1955 R. Brooks2017-08-25T14:51:09+00:00

Pi – 1998 Aronofsky

The film has grown on me over the years for sure, but the sheer ugliness of the patchy 16mm photography is so hard for me to get past. There’s a guaranteed top 5 film of 1998 in there with some nice photography Urban paranoia and self-mutilation—Cronenberg in videodrome and polanski’s repulsion comes to mind--- the isolation and head shaving remind me of taxi driver Stong early graphic match editing of trees turning into numbers Lively jump editing with exaggerated sound mix (door locking, noises in his head) Same dp as black swan and requiem – his two best films-

Pi – 1998 Aronofsky2017-08-21T18:50:05+00:00

Murder! – 1930 Hitchcock

It’s hard to believe that this is Hitchcock’s tenth feature- a crime drama set in a theater (something he’d do again often in 39 steps, stage freight)—it’s one of the best films of 1930 and one of the best films of hitchcock’s English period in the 30’s First talking role, and a strong one, for Herbert marhsall The film starts with an absolute bang. The first 10 minutes of the film are on their way to being a masterpiece, we have an opening tracking shot of people coming out of windows after hearing screaming, we have the crime scene

Murder! – 1930 Hitchcock2017-08-21T17:17:14+00:00

Logan Lucky – 2017 Soderbergh

I laughed at soderbergh’s retirement in 2013. I said then that I thought he’d make another movie because Tarantino—I was wrong. Tarantino released hateful eight in 2015 and we didn’t get logan lucky until 2017. Soderbergh is overrated by some but it’s good to have him back even if it isn’t with a bang—at least it’s with an archiveable film I think Logan lucky is just quality enough to have in the archives which gives him 4 archiveable films this decade—I would put this somewhere above the knick and somewhere below contagion and certainly below previous work like the limey

Logan Lucky – 2017 Soderbergh2019-07-26T14:36:18+00:00

Risky Business – 1983 Brickman

It’ s a teen coming-of-age film made with clear artistic intentions. It’s clearly influenced by the graduate but with an 80’s capitalism and materialism spin (complete with wonderful neon titles, a fantastic tangerine dream score, raybans, brilliant soundtrack (phil Collins, talking heads)—the end of innocence lust/greed vs duties duality is set up very nicely in an opening surrealism scene Like the graduate it dips into first person POV with exasperating parents preaching to him about his future Brickman’s debut but he never capitalized on this It is the tom cruise show- he’s tremendous here even without his improvised underwear

Risky Business – 1983 Brickman2020-07-03T10:31:31+00:00

Kings of the Road – 1976 Wenders

Part of Wenders “road trilogy” which includes alice in the cities and wrong move. The narrative is sparse with little momentum—scriptless- but this is simple description- not a negative critique as the film is brilliant Beautiful rural black and white photography—said to be inspired by walker evans photography—minimalist folk score—reminiscent of jarmusch in both aspects (this predates jarmusch of course) and its beautiful rural decay (paris texas director of course) not beautiful urban decay like jarmusch. This is more sprawling than jarmusch who, though a minimalist as well, is very structured and formally bound Like the style by wenders,

Kings of the Road – 1976 Wenders2017-08-17T17:32:08+00:00
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