tongue-tied lightning

2010 Viewing Log #8 (5/8-5/15)

The Saddest Music in the World The first Maddin film I’ve been less than blown away by.  It’s more or less a misfire.  All his usual preoccupations are present, but they don’t gel as well as they would in Brand Upon the Brain! or My Winnipeg.  The visual wizardry still makes it worth watching. **

Wild Grass (rewatch)  It’s hard to put this film into words, maybe I’ll get around to it someday.  ***

Close-Up Terribly unique.  Is there another film that juxatposes documentary footage of someone with footage of them playing themselves playing somebody else?  One of the more bizarre tales of cinephilia documented by one of it’s greatest heroes.  ***1/2

Gaslight I’ve been wanting to see this for awhile as Joseph Cotten and Ingrid Bergman are likely my favorite actor and actress of the era.  Sadly the film doesn’t quite live up to it’s cast.  It’s still an enjoyable trifle.  Cukor isn’t enough of a formalist to be able to ape Hitchcock to any effect.  **1/2

Waiting for Guffman (rewatch) I put this on late one night to kill some time and was shocked to realize it isn’t nearly as funny as I remembered it being.  It has it’s moments, most by way of Christopher Guests’s Corky St. Clair, but overall it’s rather flat, hopefully his other two mockumentaries won’t seem as rote when I return to them.  **

Ugetsu It is based on a book of ghost stories and it’s fitting as the screenplay has as much nuance as a fairy tale.  The filmmaking, however, is pure poetry.  I can’t recall the last time I’ve been as captivated by a director’s command of a film’s mise-en-scene.  Sansho should show up here rather soon.  ***1/2


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