Saturday, April 29, 2017

plato's cave twenty five (being a film journal)

wim wenders - kings of the road - 1976
seen recently at BAM. second viewing (first time on VHS)

cinematography in this film by the great robby müller (covered elsewhere on this website) and martin schäfer, in which roger ebert compared to the photography of john ford films. stunning. i love the image of them filming into the moving truck, serious guys.

music by axel linstädt, member of the german krautrock band improved sound limited. gets very heavy.

i can't say i like the other two films in the trilogy much, but this is one of wenders' best films, and one of the great films from the new german cinema.

it is a truly cinematic experience to watch the two male characther's relationship to one another progress over this three hour film. teaming up after what i saw as the hanns zischler character's falling asleep at the wheel (but read was a light-hearted suicide attempt), and spending much of the beginning of the film not speaking, to finally being very close to one another in an uncommon way.

in fact, the rüdiger vogler character seems to pass on a relationship with the beautiful lisa kreuzer (memorable in wenders the american friend), to be reunited with his traveling mate. very touching. 

living in a time and place where one must spend all of one's time working to pay expensive rents and groceries; seeing a film like this with two gentlemen and scholars vagabonding across germany makes one really displeased with the way the world is operating now.

Monday, April 24, 2017

plato's cave twenty four (being a film journal)

simon donald - fortitude season one - 2015

my wife and i have just started taking care of a puppy. his name is leviathan, and he lives up to his name. he is trouble.

have not watched as many movies the last few weeks due to that and a cold. have watched some television. specifically bosch, goliath and recently fortitude. the first two, despite some good actorshippe (from the wire etc. and billy bob thornton) were basically rubbish. fortitude was a little better, with its lush landscape and alcoholic disorientation and depression, but also not stellar. one thing making it stand apart was the ben frost soundtrack. mr. frost started with a bang with steel wound, theory of machines, and by the throat, then somehow lost me. but who the hell cares about my opinions, i am ashamed to even have them. if anything, perhaps mr. frost got carried away with the intense volume and machismo of live music which is all the rage. mr. frost surely did add some bass-oriented heavy atmosphere to fortitude, that was often times wonderful, but it gets lost in the sound design (or something....), and the moments of mediocre television.  still basically glad i watched it.

from the stills, it is clear the photography by wojciech szepel, john conroy, david luther, gary shaw, and christopher ross is very nice. the relationship to john carpenter's the thing is apparent. in terms of actorshippe, richard dormer is pretty amazing!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

plato's cave twenty three (being a film journal)



hugo weaving double feature. i can't figure out why, but i had never seen stephan elliott's the adventures of priscilla, queen of the desert. a great film, with some stunning performances by weaving,  terence stamp, and guy pearce. memorable photography by brian j. breheny. the australian and new zealand films have really been speaking to me lately, with the bizarre landscapes, gritty photography, and top notch actorshippe.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

plato's cave twenty two (being a film journal)

alexander korda - that hamilton women - 1941

second time seeing this film. stars laurence olivier, vivien leigh, alan mowbray, and sara allgood. in addition to the nuances of these fine actors, i was taken by the cinematography. the film was photography by the respected rudolph maté.

other noteworthy films photographed by rudolph maté :
- carl theodor dreyer - michael - 1924
- carl theodor dreyer - the passion of joan of arc - 1928
- carl theodor dreyer - vampyr - 1932
- fritz lang - liliom - 1934
- rené clair - the last billionaire - 1934
- william wyler - dodsworth - 1936
- leo mccarey - love affair - 1939
- garson kanin - my favorite wife - 1949
- alfred hitchcock - foreign correspondent - 1940
- ernst lubitsch - to be or not to be - 1942
- sam wood - the pride of the yankees - 1942
- zoltan korda - sahara - 1943
- charles vidor - gilda - 1946
- orson welles - the lady from shanghai - 1947, w/ charles lawton jr. & joseph walker

there are many more i have not seen. will check them out further

Sunday, March 26, 2017

plato's cave twenty one (being a film journal) mike leigh

mike leigh - all or nothing - 2002

the films of mike leigh part five

"it's about love and passions and coping on a low income." mike leigh on mike leigh.

along with mr. turner, this film is (among other things) a collaboration with the great actor timothy spall. his character in this film ranks with leigh's best. mr. spall has made his mark in profound ways in many good and mediocre films, his actorshippe is beyond compare. other notable performances by him are as peter pettigrew in the harry potter films, as winston churchill in the kings speech, and in sweeney todd: the demon barber of fleet street.

timothy spall
"if it hadn't have happened, you might have driven...
around the next corner and killed a little kid.
it's what's-its-name, fickle finger of fate.
if you knew what was gonna happen to you...
when you woke up in the morning, you'd never get out of bed.
that's life.
the old clock ticks, world turns around...
tide comes in, tide goes out. you're born, you die. that's it."

"phil (spall's character) suffers from being a romantic and a person with an imagination" mike leigh on mike leigh

other mike leigh films :
- home sweet home from bbc1 play for today tv - 1982
- life is sweet - 1990
- secrets & lies - 1996
- topsy-turvy - 1999
- mr. turner - 2014

lesley manville
other mike leigh films :
- grown-ups from bbc2 playhouse tv - 1980
- high hopes - 1988
- secrets & lies - 1996
- topsy-turvy - 1999
- vera drake - 2004
- another year - 2010
- mr. turner - 2014

paul jesson
other mike leigh films :
- home sweet home from bbc1 play for today tv - 1982
- vera drake - 2004
- mr. turner - 2014, as william turner snr

marion bailey
other mike leigh films :
- meantime - 1984
- vera drake - 2004
- mr. turner - 2014, as mr. turner's lover sophia booth

sam kelly
as sid, "sweatin' like a pig ain't i?"
image 2 "tell me again how lucky i am to work here"

other mike leigh films :
- who's who from play for today tv - 1979
- grown-ups from bbc2 playhouse tv - 1980
- topsy-turvy - 1999
- mr. turner - 2014

helen coker
other mike leigh films :
- vera drake - 2004

alison garland
her only mike leigh film

timothy bateson
as harold, this is his only mike leigh film

sally hawkins
other mike leigh films :
- vera drake - 2004
- happy-go-lucky - 2008, her leading role with leigh, a stunning performance

ben crompton
his only mike leigh film, known for eddison tollett in game of thrones

alex kelly
neurotic women in cab

other mike leigh films :
- vera drake - 2004


alan williams
as drunk guy in cab

other mike leigh films :
- vera drake - 2004


gary mcdonald & diveen henry
as neville, cab company owner and sister
her only mike leigh film, other leigh films with mcdonald:
- secrets & lies - 1996

daniel mays
as the right bastard "i don't wanna talk, i wanna shag" and many other despicable things

other mike leigh films :
- vera drake - 2004

ruth sheen
other mike leigh films :
- high hopes - 1988
- secrets & lies - 1996
- vera drake - 2004
- another year - 2010
- mr. turner - 2014

peter taylor
as the mc, his only film, only mike leigh film

martin savage, dorothy atkinson, and heather craney
as silent cab passengers

other mike leigh films with  martin savage :
- topsy-turvy - 1999
- vera drake - 2004
- another year - 2010
- mr. turner - 2014
with dorothy atkinson :
- topsy-turvy - 1999
- mr. turner - 2014, as turner housekeeper hannah danby
with heather craney :
- topsy-turvy - 1999
- vera drake - 2004

joe tucker
as fare dodger

other mike leigh films :
- secrets & lies - 1996
- career girls - 1997

edna doré
other mike leigh films :
- high hopes - 1988
- another year - 2010

cinematography by dick pope

other mike leigh films :
- life is sweet - 1990
- naked - 1993
- secrets & lies - 1996
- career girls - 1997
- topsy-turvy - 1999
- vera drake - 2004
- happy-go-lucky - 2008
- another year - 2010
- mr. turner - 2014

music - andrew dickson
other mike leigh films :
- meantime - 1984
- high hopes - 1988
- naked - 1993
- secrets & lies - 1996
- vera drake - 2004

Saturday, March 25, 2017

being hercules segers

hercules segers (dutch, ca. 1590 - ca. 1638)

for the very small number of coszwaxes initiated into pre-abstraction...... i am drunk on it, but really... what the heck, this stuff is lovely