tongue-tied lightning

2010 Viewing Log #4

Anvil! The Story of Anvil I watched this because I’d heard it plays like a real life Spinal Tap; which is really kind of true, especially for the first half of the film.  What surprised me is how moving it can be.  There are a few scenes in the latter half that had me on the verge of tears.  You really grow to love these guys, and I couldn’t be happier to hear they’ve gotten some recognition and success as a result of the film.  Despite the fact I couldn’t really care less for their music, one of the film’s strengths is how accessible it is for someone who doesn’t really like heavy metal.  ***

Thirst Considering how much I enjoyed Lady Vengeance and Old Boy I was really shocked by just how awful this was.  It’s not just bad, it’s horrendous.  I don’t really have too much more to say about it.  It does contain one of the more erotic sex scenes I’ve seen, but it’s hardly worth slogging two hours of garbage for.  *

The Informant! The first Soderbergh film I’ve genuinely enjoyed since Ocean’s 11.  Granted, there are 3 or 4 released in that period I haven’t seen (how fucking prolific is this guy?).   I loved the 70’s aesthetic, but Matt Damon’s voiceover really makes this film.  I might write something more extensive on it, but it’s interesting to note how blurry Soderbergh’s moral compass has become in the time since Erin Brokovich, which this almost feels like a reaction to.  Why was that film acclaimed while this one has been more or less ignored? ***

Frontier of Dawn Haunting.  Perhaps that word is too on the nose in regards to this film, but it’s an apt descriptor.  This is the first film I’ve seen by Phillipe Garrell and I’m interested in seeing more.  His sense of mise-en-scene feels very Nouvelle Vague, and he captures sadness and anguish very well.  I’m becoming a big fan of his son Louis, who delivers a wonderful performance here.  It bears more than a passing resemblance to James Grey’s Two Lovers, another of my favorite films of the year. ***

La Belle Personne I watched this perhaps after wanting some more Louis Garrell.  He is fine, but I found the film terribly disappointing.  It has none of the Godardian energy possessed by director Christophe Honore’s previous film, Love Songs.  I grew rather bored with it, and by the time the denouement came around, I couldn’t have cared less and it seemed forced and ineffective.  It feels really uninspired, which is a shame, since that was the one thing Love Songs was not lacking. *1/2

L’Eclisse Much like La Notte, this never really reaches the heights of L’Avventura but is still a very good film in it’s own right.  Antonioni’s mise-en-scene is as awe inspiring as ever and Vitti is Vitti.  My one problem with the film was Alain Delon, I really didn’t care for his performance, and the scenes at the stock exchange weren’t as engaging as I felt they should be, leaving me bored and eager to leave. Though, this is Antonioni, so who knows what his intent was.  ***

Black Orpheus This is probably my favorite film I’ve seen thus far this year.  It’s visually striking, the shots are wonderfully composed.  Taking the myth of Orpheus and transplanting it into a (relatively) modern era Rio de Janiero works incredibly well.  The atmosphere is electric and it feels genuine and fun rather than precious when characters with names like Eurydice and Hermes show up.  It’s funny that I often confuse the title of this film with Black Narcissus because it really feels influenced by the Archers.  It’s exhilirating and tragic at the same time much like The Red Shoes.  Has Camus directed anything else on this level?  ***1/2


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hmm, I never thought of Frontier of Dawn while watching Two Lovers but yeah there are many similarities.

Comment by tripzone

yeah, they’re both about jewish guys struggling in relationships with levelheaded girls because of seductive crazy blonde girls. they of course go in different directions at the end.

Comment by justin

Yea, Thirst is bad except sex scene and La Belle personne is meh.

Comment by mrsemmapeel

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