Saturday, March 15, 2008

Week In Review - oo8/11


Chloe in the Afternoon - I want to make movies like this. So incredibly simple. A married guy is faithful aside from taking an active visual interest in the women all around him on the streets of Paris. Chloe, an old acquaintance, shows up and wants to have a relationship with him. Their courtship is protracted and candid. He asserts that he won't leave his wife but that he's crazy about Chloe. Chloe admits her attraction but doesn't buy the bourgeois nature of affairs. And that's it. I won't spoil the not so dramatic ending of this beautiful Eric Rohmer film that was photographed by the great Nestor Almendros.

Spare Parts - A Slovenian film about smuggling refugees into Italy and the EU. Very unsentimental and practical. There's rape and death, none of which happens on screen, yet it's all presented as in life, neither black nor white. The so-called bad guys are likable. It's kind of a spokes in the wheel thing. The film is well worth seeking out. It looked great and the acting was very good. I want to make movies like this one as well.

The Bank Job - I was hoping to be entertained by a cheeky, stylish caper set in the early 70s. The latter was the only thing that came across, albeit poorly. The hair and makeup was mostly wrong. London was spotless as were all the vintage cars and clothing. The acting was okay to poor. The story failed to quicken my pulse for even a moment. Why "based on a true events" excites people on the big screen, I have no idea. Again and again the plot is hampered. True stories seem right for television, which I watch hardly at all these days.

A Short film about Killing - Watched it one more time before I had to return it to the library. The acting was amazing. It's the thing that strikes me about Polish cinema in particular, but also British cinema as well, the character parts are so solid. The workers and the bureaucrats. Maybe it's a function of living under Communism. Though more likely it's due to traditions of craft and dedication to it. Richard Lester says that many British journeymen would come in and do their business in one take.
I stole at least two shots from the film for the short I did last week.

Twin Peaks episodes 23 & 24 - Speaking of the little screen ... The friend I went to Klickitat with has been working through the box set when he goes up there every week. I've always loved David Lynch but was never a huge fan of the show for some reason. I always thought it was trying too hard to be quirky. I thought the first episode was very slow and dull. The second was a little more interesting, Lynch was in that one. he looked so much younger that I didn't recognize him. Part of me wants to watch the entire series. And part of me wants to keep working on my absorption of the great films, with emphasis on my continued close study of Woody, Kieslowski, Tati, Antonioni, Fassbinder, Hou and Rohmer.

Lawrence of Arabia - I took a nap during my children's pick for movie night - The Aristocats. After that I gave them the choice of going to bed or watching David Lean's epic masterpiece. Henry looked at the box and said, "It's looks exciting." Which tickled my heart. Maisie was out before the overture finished while June wailed for more cats.
Even though there's not any big action going on the film really moves forward at an astonishing rate. The first hundred minutes was over before we knew it. Yet the editing is nearly invisible.
I've watched this film before, but I wasn't available to it for some reason. So I didn't even count seeing it and wanted to try it again. I love everything about it, even the distracting resemblance between Peter O'Toole and Macaulay Culkin.


I read the rest of Soderbergh's bio on Lester this week. When I wasn't working this week, I was watching films or futzing with hard drives and importing all the stuff we shot for class and this week's woodshed.

I went through the fiction section at the library yesterday but came up empty-handed.
I'm staring at Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex on my bookshelf at the moment, but I don't think I'm ready to commit.
Better luck.

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