Saturday, March 30, 2019

plato's cave eighty six (being a film journal)

Abel Ferrara - King of New York - 1990
Really one hell of a film, Ferrara has a great sense of visual rhythm and color. Some explosive bits of violence not unlike Michael Mann climaxes, shot beautifully and constructed like a French poem. Ferrara's other films Bad Lieutenant, and The Funeral are masterpieces, Fear City pretty damn good (see below). Great film.

Marc Turtletaub - Puzzle - 2018

Dan Reed - Leaving Neverland - 2019

Robert Benton - Still of the Night - 1982
Interesting how memory works. I thought this film seemed strangely familiar but not until the end I realized I had seen it. Had some good moments, Roy Scheider always a pleasure.

James L. Brooks - Broadcast News - 1987
The beginning and end of this film on a rewatch are completely without interest, and some dated business that doesn't sit well, but a film worth a watch if you are a William Hurt fan. Hard not to be critical of films from this time period but overall this is a good film.

Randa Haines - Children of a Lesser God - 1986
Another William Hurt drama. Quite a unique and underrated actor, no one really like him that I can think of, his way of speaking, mannerisms, and intellect. Smoke, Altered States and Body Heat are his best I believe. Always a pleasure to see Piper Laurie.

Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi - Free Solo - 2018

Alan Clarke - Made in Britain - 1982
Besides being one of the best British films (in my opinion), there is much humor found in Made in Britain. Tim Roth's deliverings of "wanker" this and "bullocks" are raw and quite uncomfortably beautiful. Such a perfect film. Alan Clarke is the most underrated British director, I assume because he mostly worked for television? I first saw them on film in a movie theater, so have always thought of them as "cinema".

Aisling Walsh - Maudie - 2016
One of the few good biopics on an artist. A few others that come to mind are Peter Watkin's Edvard Munch, Martin Provost's Séraphine and Maurice Pialat's Van Gogh. Ethan Hawke is on a roll.

Christopher McQuarrie - Mission Impossible - Fallout - 2018
Watched this with my father in his new place and really enjoyed his commentary. He wasn't crazy about the film but enjoyed watching it.

3.18.2019 - 3.20.2019
Cary Joji Fukunaga & Nic Pizzolatto - True Detective season one - 2014
I believe my fourth time watching this, still quite a complex story after so many viewings. Currently reading The King in Yellow perhaps prompting a fifth viewing. I found this article to be enlightening regarding many levels of meaning in the show, some of which I had figured out but mostly not. Had not thought about Martin Hart's children being victims of the diabolical child murder collective, that particular aspect of the show is just hard to deal with.

Michael Winner - Death Wish - 1974
A film which I saw as a kid but could not remember, but (perhaps because it came out the year I was born) I enjoyed the hell out of it. Nothing like watching a western take place in the grimy streets of New York in the 1970s. After a recent viewing of Once Upon a Time in the West, I realized how much I liked Charles Bronson. Thought of Travis Bickle mentioning cleaning the streets a couple of times : "Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets".

Ang Lee - The Ice Storm - 1997
Top notch color palette and ambiance.

Abel Ferrara - Fear City - 1984
An enjoyable low-key Abel Ferrara film, pretty raw with a good cast. Hard to find an early Melanie Griffith where she doesn't disrobe, I find the "acting" sections of the film bring it down but the rest is pretty heavy, women walking in streets or missing trains, strippers, sleeze bags in clubs.

Stephen Kijak - Scott Walker: 30th Century Man - 2006
Watched this after a day of listening to Scott Walker, hearing about his death in the morning. Incredibly sad news. The footage of him making The Drift here is brilliant, he interviews very well also. Pictured above Mr. Walker is conversing with Alasdair Malloy on how to play the slab of pig, he discusses working with Mr. Walker here.

Hector Babenco - Ironweed - 1987
Had forgotten that Tom Waits was in this. Very good film. I really like the feel of it with a dark dirty palette (shot by Lauro Escorel) and downbeat drone oriented music appearing and disappearing here and there, composed by John Morris. Some strange nightmare moments Jack Nicholson has of people he has killed or have died, they are truly frightening. The TriStar Pictures horse use to really hit me heavy as a teenager and pre-teen.

Matt Wolf - Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell - 2008

David Anspaugh - Rudy - 1993
Another in the series of I hate sports but enjoy sports films. Very over the top and corny but an enjoyable film.

Matthew Ross - Frank & Lola - 2016
Just watched to see Michael Shannon.

PT Anderson - Phantom Thread - 2017

Agnès Varda - The Gleaners & I - 2000
Rest in peace Agnès Varda. I have only seen a handful of films by her so will watch more the next few weeks. This and Vagabond had been my favorites. Sort of in the Mekas territory here, with her playful use of the camera.

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