Friday, May 19, 2017

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

recent films the last couple of weeks

peter yates - robbery - 1967
first time watching. one great film. white knuckle

jordan peele - get out - 2017
strange twist on the horror genre. not without interest. kill those wonder bread force feeders

denis villeneuve - arrival - 2016 & prisoners - 2013
second time for both of these films. i love them, and the jóhann jóhannsson soundtracks are just pure pleasure. i have watched sicario a few times in the last year as well, probably my favourite of the three. intense film. actorshippe is very strong in the three of these: hugh jackman, amy adams, benicio del toro

cohen brothers - no country for old men - 1996 & the big lebowski - 1998
watched both of these recently for the hundredth time. never gets old. especially pleased watching tbl under the spell of a g&t or two

mike nichols - working girl - 1988
those haircuts are painful. I like alec baldwin in it

john carpenter - escape from new york - 1981
another film i have watched endlessly over the years. not one of my favourites by him but there is some real magic to the film and a great cast

joshua marstan - complete unknown - 2016
i like the cast but the film was not quite there, something didn't work, maybe the story. after reading stories by folks like proust and melville, this kind of story seems a bit like old shite. the cast is good which is why i watched

Saturday, May 13, 2017

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

anna boden & ryan fleck - mississippi grind - 2015

some loser night/exterior shots from mississippi grind. second viewing of this off/almost-masterpiece. typical of all gambling films; the viewer (or this one more specifically) is very uncomfortable from beginning to end. even when they win they are losers in the most poetic sense. 

reminds me of peter wright's tune song for the losers. this tune simply exemplifies something essential in understanding works like these: only losers can experience the dreary (3 film stills above) in a true sense. the way charles baudelaire's fleur du mal excites.  the occasional shot of a loser bar or a dreary part of town has more meaning in this film than just connecting it aesthetically with 70s cinema.  for this viewer, these shots tap into the vision of our two characters. they experience the world in a unique way. a life comprised of 80% depression/misery and 20% euphoria with 10% of that euphoria drowned out and forgotten from drink and the like.

another brilliant performance from ben mendelsohn. he is indeed one of the best living actors. what he gives to these films is something not easy to calculate. an extremely subtle almost non-performances. and in that way, virtuosic.