Monday, February 01, 2010

Seen in January

image via The Auteurs

1st - A Serious Man
Oddly memorable film from the Coens. Not sure what it all means but it's worth trying to figure it out.

The Scalphunters
Harmless Saturday afternoon 60's Western directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Burt Lancaster, Ossie Davis, Telly Savalas and Shelly Winters. Ridiculous fight scene at the end complete with "tweety bird" sound effects. The film never knows if it's a Western or a comedy. Terrible score lifted straight from Bonanza or Gun Smoke.

2nd - Dogville
Strip away the artifice of filmmaking to reveal the art(ifice) of filmmaking and what do you get? Lars Von Trier that's what. A nihilistic fable that keeps you thinking.

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
A whole helluva lot more fun than Dogville. There's nothing quite as satisfying as seeing an underdog comeback. Nearly as amazing are the remarkable number of odd connections; Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Al Gore and George W. Bush are all participants or get an honourable mention.

3rd - Solaris

09 - Moon
Duncan Jones' Moon is an excellent tale of someone discovering he's not who he thought he was, or an investigation of self, or of man and isolation or of our dependence on technology or the meaninglessness of modern work, or the soulessness of the corporation or all of the above. Would play well with 2001, Solaris, Blade Runner. Well acted by Sam Rockwell and Sam Rockwell. "Wake me when it's quittin' time" isn't just a pithy t-shirt.

10 - My Kid Could Paint That
No real proof that this kid actually painted intriguingly good abstracts on her own. Yet you wonder if the Heisenberg principle isn't at work here. That being you can never observe a phenomenon without affecting the results.

15- Breaking Bad S02 ep1-2

16 - An Education
Why did the smartest, prettiest girl in school want to go with an older guy? 'Cause he drove a smart car & had money in his pocket that's why. This coming of age film is different. The person coming of age is a prematurely mature 16 year-old British school girl. The curious thing about this film is how it adroitly skips over the completely absurdly inappropriate relationship we are witnessing.

17 - Amelie
If you are able to resist the charms if Audrey Tatou then you're a stronger person than I and the CIA may wish to create a charm-resistant vaccine from your blood.

Scott Walker: 30th Century Man
This is what happens when a Beatnik kid grows up to become an avant garde musician who made records in the 60s that influenced people like David Bowie, Brian Eno and Damon Albarn to mention just a few. His music isn't for me but it's interesting to see at least one progressive musician from the 60s continue to evolve. Overall, A pretty boring documentary on an interesting subject full of iTunes style "visualizations" to make up for the lack of footage.

22 - breaking bad s02 e05-06

23 - il Divo
The most confusing but engaging film I've seen about politics, corruption and crime. Sort of like the book end to Gomorrah, which showed the low-end bottom-up end of la cosa Nostra, il Divo shows the high-end top down part.

24 - Objectified
Nice to see a film talking about product design. Now I want to go and design a chair. Or buy one.

29 - In The Loop
Bullies, psychopaths, idiots, morons, weaseling interns, and conniving politicos; these are just a few of the characters you'll see in this expertly written and performed British comedy. The only unfunny thing about this film is the fear you have that maybe, just maybe this is how the US and Britain made the case to invade Iraq. Especially after a scientist's suicide, the outing of a CIA agent, proof of falsified claims of Saddam trying to obtain yellow cake uranium or lack of proof of WMD and allegations of more lies in the march to war.

30 - Pontypool
People become zombies from hearing infected English words. It's like Rush Limbaugh makes people flesh eating zombies. Sort of.

31 - 500 Days of Summer
The music, the animation, the idiosyncratic friends, sage wisdom from a child, -the "aw shucks, ain't love grand" theme makes this film too twee & manufactured for my taste. I guess we've reached a point where "indie film" has become an actual formula, created to reach a certain demographic (like Garden State or Napoleon Dynamite). Also, where in the world does a karaoke bar play The Pixies and The Clash? In Twee-land apparently.

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