Saturday, June 15, 2019

plato's cave ninety (being a film journal)

5.19.2019 - 5.31.2019
Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Harry Bradbeer - Fleabag season one and two - 2016-2019
Waller-Bridge as the memorable character Fleabag, subtly interacting with the spectator in an intimate and quite unique way. Reminded me of Louie, starting off a somewhat standard tv comedy and quickly transforming into something unexpected and intelligent, breaking the rules of traditional narrative, almost avant-garde in a way.

Niels Arden Oplev - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 2009
This film is better than I had thought it would be, I mostly enjoyed Michael Nyqvist.

Newt Arnold - Bloodsport - 1988
Great film worth many viewings.

Todd Phillips - The Hangover - 2009
I ended up falling asleep midway and the next day the film was no longer streamable... I can live with that.

5.31.2019 - 6.5.2019
GOT season six

Drew Goddard - Bad Times at the El Royale - 2018

Joon-ho Bong - Mother - 2009
Great performance by Hye-ja Kim as the mother. The Koreans make some oddly fucked up films.

Aki Kaurismäki - The Match Factory Girl - 1990
Final installment of his Proletariat Trilogy, after his Shadows in Paradise and Ariel, starring the superb Kati Outinen.

6.6.2019 - 6.14.2019
GOT season seven and eight
I must admit the reason I went through this show beyond a general interest, was because the last season got such bad press, I figured it would be pretty good. Seems when yr average Merkan says something is bad it is pretty good. The dark episode specifically got a lot of shit from people and man these folks must have no ability to comprehend a moving image because it was just a spectacular bit of film-making, uncommon and sublime, I have trouble understanding why someone invested in the show would have a problem with it? It was also a unique moment when the series went beyond the obvious LOTR influence (many shots in the series and especially the battle sequences are just blatantly taken from the great trilogy but who can blame them). This episode reminded me of Lynch's rather intense and lush episode 8 in Twin Peaks. The last two seasons were the best for this viewer, I especially liked seeing the dragon fascist meet her demise, and the battle sequences were really well put together, like the Battle of the Bastards and the Massacre at Hardhome. I would be interested in reading intelligent writing on the show's ending but in a 20 minute search was unable to find any, even surprised the NY Times had such a brain dead review.

David Mamet - Redbelt - 2008
Third or fourth time viewing, becoming one of those films that gets viewed once a year. Mamet's finest in the opinion of this viewer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance is really wonderful, beyond compare, not only in the world of martial arts films but just in contemporary cinema he is one of heaviest of the heavies.

Stuart Rosenberg - Cool Hand Luke - 1967
A film I watched a lot as a young man. So brilliant with a memorable cast (Harry Dean, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Joy Harmon as the car wash lady and many others) and a wonderful visual style. It is a nice treat to hear the few Harry Dean songs and also Paul Newman's Plastic Jesus which was a song I listened to many times in high school covered by The Flaming Lips.

Ruben Fleischer - Zombieland - 2009

Blake Edwards - Experiment in Terror - 1962
Have always been a big fan of Edwards' Days of Wine and Roses, and I found myself a little embarrassed realizing I had never seen this SF classic film noir. What a film, dark as hell and featuring an intensely perverted performance by Ross Martin as Red Lynch. Always a pleasure to see Lee Remick as well.

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