Thursday, February 24 2005
While the director suggests he wants make an objective film, Nine Good Teeth is undeniably skewed to display Nana in the best possible light.
Having failed to hold onto small-town American values during the late '60s mod explosion, the nuclear family man here flees to the bottom of the sea.
Precisely composed frames of urban and ancient architecture give way to Karen's face, deftly shadowed and shot from low angles, as Karen struggles to decipher the symbols that set her course.
The film's point is to suggest that emotional withdrawal is symptomatic of contemporary Japanese culture.
At an hour and a half, the film is transporting to look at but only intermittently fun to watch.
Thursday, February 17 2005
The DVD offers yet another avenue to the Yes Men's visibility, and, as they hope out loud, inspiration for others to make trouble in their own ways.
Sister Helen was, by the movie's account, an unpleasant person: hard, focused, and motivated by the kind of purposeful regret that verges on self-loathing.
Sonnenfeld keeps all of this under two hours by cutting the movie at a dazzling clip. The film moves like Travolta, quickly and with style.
The problem embodied by Donnie is at once mundane and painfully special, the dilemma of fate vs. free will, laced though with unanswered questions of identity and responsibility.
Dottie Gets Spanked contextualizes and foretells the artfully designed surfaces and off-kilter universes of Haynes' later successes.
Monday, February 7 2005
Voyage in Time, a one-hour television film, snatches a fragment of Tarkovsky's working life.
In Michael Haneke's version of the end of the world, things are different.
The film offers up a timeless double standard: a man who has many sexual partners is considered masculine, but a woman with multiple partners is a slut.
The affection Neil Gaiman shows for Marcus indicates that he doesn't hate critics, just what we represent: an ethos of inept misinterpretation aimed at elevating the academic over the visceral.
We feel a dogged incompletion, as if Ray Johnson's career was a massive joke awaiting one final punch line.
David Marconi's screenplay is redeemed by its interest in messing with our minds rather than trotting out the requisite local color and visual shortcuts.
The film's primary appeal is the bizarre turn by Noel Coward as Wilson (one of several 'eccentrics' the film trots out to otherize London even as it pathologizes at least one of the yanks).
Wednesday, February 2 2005
Dickie Pilager embodies U.S. political-corporate mythology, the 'shining city on a hill' reduced to basic elements.
'The fact is,' says director Peter Chelsom, 'I was very, very wary about remaking such a perfect original.'"
Decked out in his vintage gear, Rico Suave has been reduced to selling oranges with his young son on the side of a California highway.