Bo Hu - Man in the Well - 2016
Beautifully shot short film by the Chinese novelist and film director Bo Hu, great to see this on the somewhat big screen of my apartment.
Bo Hu - An Elephant Sitting Still - 2018
My good good friend Bea recommended this highly and she was right as rain when she said it was a superb film. Strikingly original photography with stunning depth of field and a near monochromatic / muted palette. Very nice (at times) soundtrack which really adds to the pacing of the film. Subtle and strong stories so expertly acted by this cast all making it a film to watch over and over. It is such a shame Mr. Bo Hu is no longer with us to continue his wonderful oeuvre.
Carl Franklin - Devil in a Blue Dress - 1995
Still trying to see all the Franklin films, this was a pretty solid one by him.
Jia Zhangke - Ash is the Purest White - 2018
Great film, would like to see this again as it has many layers to spend time with.
Jonathan Glazer - The Fall - 2019
Amazingly strange and beautiful short film, that you would expect from Mr. Glazer. This film really offended my pup Leviathan, who made a big stink and got angry when it was on, a sign it was a good film perhaps?
Craig Brewer - Dolemite is My Name - 2019
Great comeback film for Eddie Murphy.
Martin Scorsese - Italianamerican - 1974
I had the laserdisc of the 3 short Scorsese films while in college and would watch these 2 over and over. I had not really seen since the 90s, but found I remembered much of the details from it. As an example; whilst I do my own cooking, Catherine Scorsese's advise comes to mind (which could mean daily) where she explains she keeps a towel in her hand during cooking because she is always wiping. Perfect documentary.
Martin Scorsese - American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince - 1978
Such a powerful film, one that would get viewed over and over by this viewer when a youngster, and not only because of being fascinated by Mr. Prince as a character, but by Scorsese's direction which can be so graceful, like the moment when he motions the camera man with a subtle hand gesture to pan during a dialogue, something so small gives a strong impact.
Tommy Pallotta - American Prince - 2009
Revisits Mr. Prince.
Julius Onah - Luce - 2019
Strange to see Tim Roth play a bourgeoisie sort of gent.
Scott Z. Burns - The Report - 2019
Was an ok film perhaps worth watching to see Adam Driver.
Viktor Kossakovsky - Aquarela - 2018
Stunningly beautiful film about ice and water. A profound immersion into this world full of not only lushness but also tragedy as we watch with horror as trouble comes to some men racing along the ice.
Martin Brest - Beverly Hills Cop - 1984
Watched this often as a 9-10 year old, but not since then. The film is quite solid with the exception of the rot gut music which often brings down these 80s films. Bronson Pinchot is perfect as the art gallery salesmen, and wouldn't it be wonderful to experience that in a New York City gallery rather than the blank looks one gets from the models in Gagosian and the like? I like 48 Hours more but Eddie Murphy's range here as an actor is more noticeable. As a kid his SNL James Brown hot tub bit really shaped my youth, and films like Coming to America gave this youngster some good dialogue to thrown down in the high school parking lot like "If lovin' the lord is wrong, I don't want to be right."
Don Siegel - Invasion of the Body Snatchers - 1956
I love Siegel's films but for me the Philip Kaufman remake is much better. Worth seeing though.
Jamie M. Dagg - Sweet Virginia - 2017
Very attractive cinematography by Jessica Lee Gagné. Pretty good quiet film with some scenes that are completely cinematically powerful, moments you only find in life when watching a really good film. My wife kind of makes fun of me for liking Jon Bernthal, but the guy really has a strong presence in film, a mixture of classic anti-hero mixed with raw American old school machismo? not sure but he does a good job at it. The rest of the cast is solid: Christopher Abbott, Imogen Poots, and Rosemarie DeWitt.
Martin Scorsese - The Irishman - 2019
Second time with this film, one of the best films seen in the last few years, just perfect. Anna Paquin's performance here is stunning on second viewing, how many performances does one see so strong with so few lines of dialogue.
Noah Baumbach - Marriage Story - 2019
Not a Baumbach enthusiast, but enjoyed the film. An online friend had recommended it and the subject matter obviously was intriguing, and honestly anything with Adam Driver is worth watching. This viewer (meaning myself) joined the many millions of Americans growing up in the 70s and 80s with parents divorcing at an early age and going through custody issues. I think the second or third film I saw in the theater was Kramer vs. Kramer, which I honestly don't remember the details of but it resonated through my childhood. Driver and Johansson gave their all in this film, both performances at moments hover perhaps pretty close to the area of ham, but the ham never gets really cooked and the innocence they bring to the film brings these performances into some area of near perfect beauty? I am thinking mainly of the scene that gets heavy in Driver's new LA apartment where there is a severe emotional breakdown. Both quite powerful actors who make this film extremely watchable and I would certainly watch it again.
Ki-young Kim - The Housemaid - 1960
At the offices of The Art of Memory we are coming up with a list of Asian films we have either sat down with and loved, watched and don't have a clear memory of, heard of and want to see or never heard of and want to see. More on that later but The Housemaid seemed like an appropriate film to watch as a sort of beginning of an informal study. Most of the films on the list are 1980s to present, with the exception of Japanese classics from the 50s-70s, yet this film has the unbelievable date of 1960 considering how cutting edge it is. Extraordinary film with levels of surrealism and early experimental cinema (Buñuel, Deren, and that rich history), class conflict and an intense fascination with desire and perversion. Strange thing about the film is on top of the just gut wrenching ending, the director tacks on some moral advise as a finale, which I assume was forced on him by studio or government. Beautiful film.
Karyn Kusama - The Invitation - 2015
Attempted to watch this last year and couldn't handle the film and turned it off. Here we go with a second try at it, considering that Kusama's film Destroyer had moments of beauty and I liked her Criterion intro to the Korean film The Housemaid. The Invitation has virtuosity in direction, stunning low-light photography, and it is generally just a well put together film. The way the film revolves around the architecture of the Hollywood Hills house and its relationship to nature, is rewarding if you are interested in that sort of thing (which I am), but I think where the problem was for this viewer that the characters for the most part are just unbearable to spend time with. An exception was when John Carroll Lynch shows up as the scumbag (a character he does well, like in Zodiac), not only bringing dread but also a touch of a touch of comedy if you grew up with him in Fargo where he mentions to his wife Marge Gunderson "You got to eat a breakfast, Marge." In The Invitation, the main female character and new boyfriend (from Game of Thrones) are just completely oppressive and honestly I can never tell if these things are intentional or if I am just a sensitive person, but my gosh when those two were on the screen I wanted to fast forward. The film ends with anther story suggested, and I think that other story would be more a film I would be interested in, perhaps Kusama will make that film at some point.
Martin Scorsese - The Departed - 2006
This Scorsese film I never liked but it was on and I sat in to give it another (3rd perhaps?) chance. Has moments here and there but really hard to identify that signature Scorsese style.