Sunday, October 6, 2019

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

Quentin Tarantino - Jackie Brown - 1997
Tarantino's classic film.

S. Craig Zahler - Bone Tomahawk - 2015
Equally strange on a second viewing. Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins and the film a reason to watch a second time.

Alexander Payne - Sideways - 2004
Slightly embarrassed how many times I have watched this film. Suffering vague Bay Area depression from time to time I would watch this for the comedy. Always like buddy films and this surely a good one.

Robert Benton - Twilight - 1998
Paul Newman as a private dick.

Federico Fellini - - 1963
Watched this with my wife who hadn't seen it. Interesting seeing the opening shot a week later in Falling Down. Very nice extremes of black and whites.

Ida Lupino - The Hitch-Hiker - 1953
Lovely film, dark as Hellfire, high contrast photography, no MF wishy washy grays.

Stan Lathan - Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones - 2019

Penelope Spheeris - The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years - 1988

Sebastián Lelio - Gloria Bell - 2018
Another solid film from Mr. Lelio, I dig this guy's style. Especially the abstract photography in the dance club, and unique colors only digital photography can give you. Quite a film.

Stephen Frears - My Beautiful Laundrette - 1985
Great film.

Jang Hoon - A Taxi Driver - 2017

Steve Wang - Drive - 1997

James Gray - We Own the Night - 2007

Kim Ki-duk - 3-Iron - 2004

Ivo van Hove - National Theatre Live: All About Eve - 2019
Theatre at BAM live via HD video. Gillian Anderson top notch as always.

Antoine Fuqua - Training Day - 2001

Shane Carruth - Upstream Color - 2013
Could not really remember why I was not taken by this film, but on rewatch I believe it to be the jarring editing that is a tad hard to connect with. Certainly a solidly made film but can't get into it.

Andrei Tarkovsky - Stalker - 1979
One of those films that made this viewer become a solid film junkie. The number of nights I have spent looking for a vein trying to get that original high I got when I watched Stalker as a teenager i cannot count.

Jonathan Demme - Rachel Getting Married - 2008

John Schlesinger - Marathon Man - 1976
One of the very good conspiracy-political films of the 70s, which I like very much.

Martin Scorsese - The King of Comedy - 1982
Had not seen in a while, seemed a little flat this viewing.

Joel Schumacher - Falling Down - 1993
Another I had not seen in a while, one of the really great portraits of Los Angeles. Came out the year I graduated high school, I am surprised I didn't move to LA after seeing this, had a strong effect on me after growing up around the slightly dull East Coast light.

Nancy Buirski - By Sidney Lumet - 2015

Takashi Makino - cinéma concret - 2015
Takashi Makino - On Generation and Corruption - 2017
Takashi Makino - The Picture from Darkness - 2016

Roger Donaldson - Species - 1995
I live two blocks from Michelle Williams. I will have to mention to her I saw the film next time I walk my dog by her house.

Takashi Makino - Emaki/Light - 2011
Takashi Makino - Still in Cosmos - 2009
Takashi Makino - At the Horizon - 2018
Takashi Makino - Origin of the Dreams - 2015

Takashi Makino - EVE - 2002
Takashi Makino - Space Noise - 2015
Takashi Makino - Memento Stella - 2019
Three nights at Anthology Film Archive of Mr. Makino's work, starting with an early 16mm film EVE, and ending with his new 60 minute opus Memento Stella. Purely transcendental works beyond description, one can talk about the methods of constructions but these films are just pure experience, an immersion in the sublime. I found myself as a young man so transfixed by experimental film, but over the years felt quite alienated from it, which especially made these works resonate so strongly. Also these films in a way take a piss on the concept of film's superiority over digital; a trend I notice in the avant'garde and photography worlds. One wonders if an obsession for only celluloid is a bit fetishistic? And leaves little room for the idea that a true artist is someone that can conjure a sort of magic onto the screen (or the canvas or the speakers), and that the method they go about getting this magic to manifest itself is really not that important.

James William Guercio - Electra Glide in Blue - 1973
One strange film with Robert Blake giving a bizarrely uncomfortable performance.

Walter Hill - 48 Hrs. - 1982
Once a year type of film. Really great soundtrack and ambiance, the honky bar scene never gets old.

Chad Stahelski - John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum - 2019
More effective on the big screen but this is def a solid one. I love watching Wick limp around like an old man the entire film, he does a great job at getting that broken gait to explode into pure violence and mayhem.

Carl Schenkel - The Mighty Quinn - 1989
Wanted to see some Schenkel films after Mindhunter season two.

Clint Eastwood - The Mule - 2018
Good anti-cell phone film, made me laugh a few times.

Greg Mottola - Superbad - 2007
Funny film.

Jonathan Demme - Philadelphia - 1993

Greg Mottola - Adventureland - 2009
I have yet to see Mottola's film The Daytrippers, which seems to be one of those hidden gems from the 1990s, this and Superbad pretty good. Very good soundtrack.

9.18.2019 - 9.25.2019
David Milch & Michael Mann - Luck - 2011-12
Felt like re-immersing myself into the world of the low-lifes of this show, particularly the crew played by Kevin Dunn (also in the first season of True Detective), Ritchie Coster, Jason Gedrick, Ian Hart and Richard Kind (most memorable in A Serious Man). It has that nice sort of Robert Altman quality where you can't totally understand what is happening much of the time. On a second viewing, I find large sections of the show hard to watch, partially seeing the depressing lives of these horses and additionally knowing that there were some deaths involved, but non-the-less this series is fully engaging and has some great moments.

Ethan Hawke - Blaze - 2018
Finally seeing this film which I enjoyed very much. Some stunningly beautiful photography by Steve Cosens.

Sydney Pollack - Three Days of the Condor - 1975
Another one of those 70s conspiracy thrillers...  perhaps not one of the best but certainly with some good moments like the beginning killings that are quite gripping in their randomness.

Martin Scorsese - Raging Bull - 1980
Just one of those great films worthy of a once a year revisit. I remember freshman year in film school seeing this in class on a 16mm print and before it started some older cats sitting in the theater ranking Scorsese films and putting this one first, and I realized I had some work to do as I had only seen Taxi Driver, Mean Streets and Last Temptation of Christ, perhaps Goodfellas. His early films especially the two docs Italianamerican and American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince were films that this young film enthusiast studied very closely. After over 25 years of rewatching this film I would agree with those youngsters that it is certainly his most powerful film, not just because of the novel explorations of the possibilities of photography, camera speeds and editing, but also the comedy/tragedy/fragility/angst of the film is so palpable and makes the viewer in a way uncomfortable even though it is just such a pleasure to watch. Just a perfect film.

Martin Scorsese - Taxi Driver - 1976
Another perfect film by Scorsese.

David Fincher - Gone Girl - 2014
Has some pretty good moments. Carrie Coon's performance is really strong, the subtitles of it escaped me the first couple of times but were very clear this viewing. She is one of the great actors working now. I love the Trent Reznor soundtrack as well.

9.24.2019 - 9.26.2019
Lisa Cholodenko, Michael Dinner - Unbelievable 2019
Really powerful show of this true life serial bastard. Beautifully done, and in a way unique as it is a sort of female buddy cop show in some ways.

Michael Ritchie - Downhill Racer - 1969
Didn't have a clear memory of this film, was not totally taken by it but the skiing parts nice on the eyes.

Ted Demme - Blow 2001

Ava DuVernay - When They See Us - 2019
Hell of a show. Want to watch a second time as it is very subtle. Tragic.   Seeing the real life guys at the Emmy Awards made me want to watch.

9.29.2019 - 10.5.2019
Jane Campion, Garth Davis - Top of the Lake - 2013
Preparing for season two with a rewatch. Some great directing, photography and actorshippe. Landscape photography up there with Lord of the Rings and even Thomas Joshua Cooper.

The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story - 2016

Budd Boetticher - Buchanan Rides Alone - 1958

Jim Jarmusch - Gimme Danger - 2016

Joe Berlinger - Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile - 2019
Ted Bundy biopic film, not so good.

Joe Berlinger - Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes - 2019
Much better than the biopic. Impressive avant'garde editing of 70s footage emphasizing the horror of Bundy's deeds and the general unease of the decade.

Pella Kagerman, Hugo Lilja - Aniara - 2018
Based on the 1956 science fiction poem written by the Swede Harry Martinson. Quite abstract, a little lame at times, but with some pleasant visuals.


Glorious Jail said...

Re Stalker, I've done the same thing chasing the first otherworldly experience of watching it.I saw an old print twice in the theater and then later saw the new print again on the big screen.I actually think the new print is too bright and clean which actually detracts from the aesthetic experience.

the art of memory said...

yes indeed. watching these films initially on 16mm, the way they looked was pretty amazing!