Sunday, February 01, 2009

Movies watched, January 2009

Love and Death
, Woody Allen, 1975
In czarist Russia, a neurotic foot soldier and his wife plot to assassinate Napoleon, filtered through the zaniness of vintage Woody Allen. Woody, why don't you make movies like this anymore?


Who Is Bozo Texino?, Bill Daniel, 2005
This hour-long documentary is an exploration of the history of train graffiti, as well as a search for the identity of the person behind "Bozo Texino," a sketch of a character with an infinity
symbol-shaped hat that has been seen on railway cars for decades. Shot with a Super 8 camera over a 16-year period, it includes interviews with legendary boxcar artists Herby, Coaltrain, and so on. I found myself wishing it was a bit more in-depth, as well as more of an investigation into the mystery behind Bozo Texino, and found that the zine Bill Daniel's Mostly True, makes a nice supplement to the viewing experience. (It even has fake hobo ads!)

Dirty Work, Bob Saget, 1998
After reading Artie Lange's Too Fat to Fish, my boyfriend checked out a few of Artie's movies. That's all I'll say.

The Times of Harvey Milk, Rob Epstein, 1984
This documentary was made just a few years after the
assassination of Harvey Milk, California's first openly gay elected official, and I find that I prefer it to Gus Van Sant's Milk, which actually features much of the same archival footage. Free of the cheesy narrative devices I disliked about Milk, this film tells the story in a more straightforward manner, and it's just as, if not more, powerful as the recent biopic.


Beer League, Frank Sebastiano, 2006
Way better
than Dirty Work. A baseball classic in the same league as The Bad News Bears. (I'm serious.)


Berkeley in the 60s
, Mark Kitchell, 1990
A
documentary chronicling the student protests at UC Berkeley in the 1960s. Interesting, but a little bit too long--there were definitely parts when it dragged a bit.

Bananas
, Woody Allen, 1971
All you need to know can be found in this interview.

Woyzeck, Werner Herzog, 1979*

Punk Attitude, Don Letts, 2005
Another shitty punk documentary leading you to believe that punk music started in the 70s in England and New York and died there too.


Y Tu Mama Tambien, Alfonso Cuaron, 2001
This bittersweet road movie skillfully conveys the ways friendships change and people move on, how someone you were once so close to can become a stranger. I love the little asides, in which a small personal detail or anecdote is told about the characters. Much of the storytelling reminds me of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, and it's not just because the characters are Hispanic.


The Passenger
, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975
A journalist (played by Jack Nicholson) takes on the identity of a man he meets in a hotel in
Africa, about whom he knows practically nothing. Whether it's because he is bored or wishes to escape his personal problems, or something else, I find the abruptness of his decision intriguing. Of course, the consequences of this decision become more than he may have bargained for.

Lessons of Darkness, Werner Herzog, 1992*

Aguirre: The Wrath of God
, Werner Herzog, 1972*

Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog, 1982*

Stroszek
, Werner Herzog, 1977*

Who Gets to Call it Art?, Peter Rosen, 2006
A pretty straightforward documentary about Henry Geldzahler, the first curator of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which he served as from 1960 to 1977. Nothing special here, other than a nice history lesson about modern art in the 60s and 70s, as well as a fine tribute to the man who breathed new life into a dinosaur of a museum.

Gate of Flesh
, Seijun Suzuki, 1964
This colorful film from legendary Japanese B-Movie director Suzuki takes place in the years after World war II. A band of tough Tokyo prostitutes live by a strict code, which consists of no pimps, defending the abandoned building where they live, attacking other hookers who come into their territory, and punishing anyone in their group who gives away sex for free. Of course, one of them falls in love with a thief who has been hiding in their home (he's killed an American G.I. and needs to l
ay low for awhile), which presents some problems.

Burden of Dreams, Les Blank, 1982*

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
, 1974*

F for Fake, Orson Welles, 1974
One of Orson Welles' last films, this free-form documentary focuses on the subject of fakery, weaving together a story about an art forger, whose biographer wrote a fraudulent book about Howard Hughes (the subject of which was made into this feature film a few years ago), the reclusive Hughes himself, and Welles' own career, which was launched on the grounds of a falsified resume, not to mention his legendary radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, which had many listeners running to hills believing America truly was under extraterrestial attack. Throughout the film, Welles plays a few tricks on the viewers as well.

Revolutionary Road, Sam Mendes, 2008
I was a little disappointed with this movie. Based on the 1961 novel by Richard Yates (which I have been meaning to read for some time but have not done so yet), it tells the story of a young couple with lofty aspirations who move from New York City to the Connecticut suburbs to raise their children, because that's what you're supposed to do. Naturally, they're miserable, whether riding the commuter train amidst a sea of gray flannel and hats to their mindnumbing office job in Manhattan or wearing an apron and washing dishes and playing housewife in their well-manicured and smartly decorated house. They feel as though they're above suburban status quo normalcy, that they're destined for better things, but they slowly begin to realize that there is nothing special about them, and that's the real disappointment. No one will remember them, they will have no great legacy, after they die their memory will live on in the lives of their children but eventually there will come a time when their impact on the world is forgotten completely, (this point is emphasized when Frank asks his boss if he remembers his father, Earl Wheeler, who worked for the same company in the same department for years--the name does not ring a bell). All of this would have made for a powerful movie, the sentiments of which still ring true (many of the things I've just said mirror my own anxieties about mortality), but it misses the mark. The movie opens with the Wheelers already hating their lives and each other's guts, which immediately turns the viewer off to any emotionally empathy. Maybe that's how the book is structured too, but I think it would have been more effective if the viewer had seen more of a transformation, starting with happy and hopeful times. If we could have seen them age and disintegrate, their hopes squashed, the life squeezed out of them, we might feel the same pain for them. As such, I could have predicted the ending, and left not feeling numb so much as dissatisfied. I will be reading the book though.

*More on these to come.

41 comments:

女孩 said...

一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。.........................

健康保寶 said...

你的部落格很棒,我期待更新喔........................................

天天影片 said...

他能,假使他想他能;他不能,假使他想他不能。........................................

high said...

Haste makes waste...................................................

玉苓 said...

Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.............................................

林昀睿 said...

Every dog has his day. ....................................................

嘉容嘉容 said...

Readiness is all.......................................................

子珠 said...

笑口常開~~天天開心........................................

士松 said...

世間是非,要如水泥地般水過則乾。..................................................

TamMcfee668 said...

Well done!........................................

伯函 said...

Custom makes all things easy~~加油哦

韋于倫成 said...

很棒的分享~祝福你........................................

730A_ngelinaRabideau0 said...

色金激麻館 交友聊天室 藍色情人視訊網 卡通美女a片免費試看 ez自慰台灣 情色 av女優報報,免費試看 18成人avooo,情色 電影 視訊美女ggoo 美女寫真 avdvd一夜情色妹妹免費情慾影片觀賞 hilive免費線上a電影 免費成人片 情人小魔女自拍 網路自拍美女聊天室天堂 美眉 美女 聊天室 遊戲 av女優 av影片 無碼 A片 一夜成人聊天室 sex888 交友網免費視訊聊天 免費視訊聊天mmshow ut 華人影音視訊聊天室 sex女優王國,情色,av 網交甜心 聊天室wewet 免費影片下載 視訊美女jp成人 a片面費下載 台灣成人網 xx18 net影片交流區 免費 a 長片線上看,檳榔西施清涼秀 本土自拍天堂,無碼av女優 情色論壇性愛aa 片 hotsee總站 免費線上視訊fm358 免費a片影片下載 亞洲視訊成人影片論壇 網愛俱樂部 成人圖片區18成人avooo 18 限亞洲禁果影城 拓網免費視訊辣妹脫衣秀 sex免費看影片彩虹論壇 情色視訊交友85cc 視訊美女巨乳34c AV168 成人電影院 免費視訊聊天室捷克論壇 sex888免費影片分享區 UT視訊交友 免費成人影片 bbs論壇,限制級 avsex無碼a片 情色妹

文佩齊華 said...

your son/daughter is so cute............................................................

Jeffre鳳珠yM_Mc鳳珠glo said...

your son/daughter is so cute............................................................

芸茂 said...

Two heads are better than one. ............................................................

峻龍 said...

出遊不拘名勝,有景就是好的..............................................................

許紀廷 said...

要照顧身體歐~保重......................................................................

涂宛臻 said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」......................................................................

秋娥秋娥 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

恩如 said...

君子立恆志,小人恆立志。.................................................................

芸茂芸茂 said...

這BLOG真是讓人意猶未盡!!..................................................................

玉婷良DGFHFJ瑋黃吳 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!..................................................................

彥安彥安 said...

相逢即是有緣~~留個言問候一聲,祝您平安順利............................................................

楊儀卉 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。..................................................

林柏毅林柏毅 said...

耐心是一株很苦的植物,但果實卻很甜美。.......................................................

宥妃宥妃 said...

初次拜訪,踩踩您的格子,跟您拜個碼頭囉~~..................................................................

蔡靜芳蔡靜芳 said...

這不過是滑一跤,並不是死掉而爬不起來了。..................................................

琬安琬安 said...

人生有些波折,才能有些成長,所以不論順逆,凡是成長、成功的助緣,都應該心存感激。..................................................

曹彥均曹彥均 said...

謝謝大大的分享 我會學會反省與寬容 感恩 ∩△∩............................................................

珮鄧韋 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

文王廷 said...

與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

姿胤綸婷 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債..................................................................

凱許倫 said...

Never hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another...................................................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

堅持是為著某種目的或目標,而持續不斷朝向既定方向努力的一種意念。..................................................

家則治則治則治瑋 said...

Never hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another...................................................................

said...

令人心動的好文章~~............................................................

耿麗旺麗旺麗旺綺 said...

善言能贏得聽眾,善聽才能贏得朋友。......................................................................

洪勳劉耀德劉耀德華 said...

絕不要羞於承認自己不知道的事。..................................................

Fickle Cattle said...

I'm surprised you didn't like revolutionary road. Most of my friends loved it. Now, i have to watch it.

http://ficklecattle.blogspot.com/

黃英吳思潔吳思潔邦 said...

用心經營blog,人氣百分百~^^ 加油