Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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

George Stevens - Giant - 1956
The three classic James Dean films on Filmstruck. All superb films. Monty Clift is my favorite of the emblems of stirring post-war rebellion and nonconformity, but re-watching these Dean films, his magic is undeniable, a smooth naturalness mixed with anti-hero.

John Sayles - Lianna - 1983
Had seen this film once before but didn't remember it being such a solid film. Very sensitive work, surprised the main actress Linda Griffiths wasn't a bigger star, she died young of breast cancer.  Sayles plays a good role in it as well, a little sleazy in contrast to Griffiths' good heartedness. Reminded me a bit of Chilly Scenes of Winter with John Heard in its mood. Lianna's shitbird husband Jon DeVries looks a bit like Leslie Howard.

Robert Benton - The Late Show - 1977
Second time with this film. Good stuff! they got away with some strange films in the 70s. A lot of pure nonsense in this one. Note the pre Big Lebowski business.

Nicholas Ray - The Lusty Men - 1952
Third time seeing this classic Nicholas Ray film. Watching a bunch of his films on Filmstruck lately. Ray didn't mess around. Strong high contrast photography by Lee Garmes who shot some Josef von Sternberg films.  Always a pleasure to see Arthur Kennedy.

Gordon Douglas - Them! - 1954
Have seen this many times, felt like a rewatch. Thinking a lot these days about exceedingly natural actors, where the craft is invisible. James Whitmore is one for me. Hadn't really put it together he is Brooks from The Shawshank Redemption.

Jane Campion - In The Cut - 2003
Second time seeing this film. Honestly didn't remember the plot much but remembered the moodiness, atmosphere and depth of field photography. Really good film!

David M. Rosenthal - How it Ends - 2018
I like apocalyptic/plague/zombie films so gave this one a go. The film starts pretty good and I was honestly surprised, and had a pretty good flow/rhythm, but sadly the film lost itself at the end. Forest Whitaker makes it worth watching.

8.8.2018 - 8.12.2018
Derek Simonds - The Sinner season one - 2017-18
This was a really intriguing and watchable show, Biel and Pullman top notch. I think it has quickly become one of my favorite recent TV shows, I already want to see it a second time. I knew Biel's name but had not seen a film with her. She is great in this, looks like a women from the 70s.

Christopher McQuarrie - Mission Impossible - Fallout - 2018
Very good stunts etc by Mr. Cruise. I liked the film quite a bit. Reading about and watching the footage of the camera man jumping out of the plane backwards and waiting for Cruise to get close enough to focus on his face in the magic hour light blew me away, that is contemporary film making!

8.10.2018 - 8
David Simon & Ed Burns - The Wire Season Two Episode Six through Twelve - 2002-2008
Second season, has some great business, a little bit flawed compared to first. The character "The Greek" brings to mind Jonas Mekas if he turned to criminality (Business, always business),

Anthony Russo, Joe Russo - Avengers: Infinity War - 2018
A comedic retelling of Beckett's Sucking Stones.

Irving Pichel, Enrest B. Schoedsack - The Most Dangerous Game - 1932
Second time. Hard not to think of Zodiac when seeing this film.  The count is a bit of a tender foot to be considered viscous. Hard to deal with the music in the ending but the photography by Henry W. Gerrard is quite nice.

Brian De Palma - Mission Impossible - 1996
John Wood - Mission Impossible 2 - 2000
After seeing the recent one I am going back to watch the earlier films as I never had the privilege. I usually have trouble sitting through a De Palma film, this one was the same deal, and couldn't sit through the Woo number two either.

Maxime Giroux - Félix et Meira - 2014
I listened to Luzer Twersky on Marc Maron and enjoyed the conversation. He costars in this film, good love story, fine acting. Enjoyed the film, although strange ending, maybe too abstract? Lots of films lately with these strange endings.... Living in an hasidic part of town, it is hard not to be curious about them even though they continually disrespect my dog.

J. J. Abrams - Mission Impossible III - 2006
This one much more watchable and of interest than the first two. Philip Seymour Hoffman a real sob in it, just being a fan of his work is reason enough to watch the film.

Edward Zwick - Jack Reacher: Never Go Back - 2016
Not a bad film, entertaining.

Wes Craven - Scream - 1996
First time seeing this film. Two things I noticed: there was all this pointless reverb in the sound design, someone had a pretty bad ear who did this film. Secondly, I had to my knowledge never seen a Rose McGowan film, Christ is she terrible in this, and Drew Barrymore even worse. Matthew Lillard made up for them though... pretty funny stuff with him. I became a fan after seeing the third season of Twin Peaks.

John Ford - The Searchers - 1956
I try and watch this film once a year. Just one perfect film. Really took watching it over the years and reading about it to get into the nuances of it, although they are plain as day. Starting watching religiously in my late teens, so about 25 years of viewing. I wonder how I will see it in my 70s.

Daniel Espinosa - Life - 2017
First time seeing this. Not bad, not sure about the ending, some good characters in the film and actors portraying them.

Rob Bowman - Reign of Fire - 2002
One can only kill a London dragon at Magic Hour.  A Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey film, shot by the British cinematographer Adrian Biddle. Saw it around when it came out but couldn't remember for some reason. Not a bad film, I always like a good post-apocalyptic film and this one gets the job done. I think the dragon's are not bad looking in the film.

Coen Brothers - Miller's Crossing - 1990
A Coen Brothers film I have watched many times, watched it with my wife who had never seen it and had trouble explaining what was going on, it is one of those films that doesn't make a lot of sense but I never really questioned that element of it. Such great acting and the Danny Boy scene is just astounding, one of their best sequences, funny as hell and extremely visceral no matter how many times you have seen it. Lush photography by Barry Sonnenfeld who shot Blood Simple. and Raising Arizona. Hard not to see so much contemporary "art photography" just being a copy of the visual style of this film and many others equally stunning.

8.12.2018 - 8.22.2018
Derek Simonds - The Sinner season two episodes one through three - 2018
Just about as good as the first season so far, Carrie Coon, Bill Pullman and Tracy Letts. There is a scene between Letts and Pullman in episode three that is as heavy, complicated and virtuosic as it gets. Natalie Paul is amazing in this as well.

Steven Soderbergh - Out of Sight - 1998
Had only seen parts on cable. Good film, Lopez's lipgloss stuff was lame-o.