I watched this and Days within 24 hours. Is this what existentialism is? Will someone explain what it is?
Guy in a Mets hat walks outside, has a shit, sets to wrecking some nice trees with axe and chainsaw and shovel. He borrows a truck, sells the wood for under 30 pesos then spends 10 on gas and cigs. Was Makala a remake of this? Instead of dancing in a prayer tent at the end, he cooks and eats an armadillo. Still, there was more dance music than I expected from a one-person manual-labor movie set in the woods.
Gofundme to get Misael some gloves:
Watching the Alonso movies out of order, but it’s easy to see the progression, and I like the direction he’s going – anticipating the eventual followup to Jauja. I don’t have the original Cinema Scope cover story handy, so it’s worth reading V. Rizov’s letterboxd writeup for context on this movie’s groundbreaking status for doc/fiction hybrids and fest-style slow cinema.
After Cars 3 and Onward, we nearly skipped another Pixar movie, but Luca was rescued by our needing to find something light to watch with family after Eurovision. Sea monsters can appear/act convincingly human when dry, and while their adults warn of brutal fishermen above the waves the kids dream of earthly wonders (book-learnin’, Vespas). The Call Me By Your Name joke similarities fell away pretty quickly, and it eventually becomes an uplifting story of universal acceptance without any of the hard parts in between, when local kids are exposed as sea monsters in the middle of a town with a generations-old fear of sea monsters, and everyone shrugs and celebrates a minute later. Sponsored by Vespa. Casarosa was last seen on the short before Brave with another story of sailors doing magical things.
Not quite Barb & Star caliber, and not quite Rachel McAdams’ best comic performance (but probably Dan Stevens’) but it’ll do nicely. The only great review is by Mark Asch on letterboxd, who got more out of this film than any of us did.
Lee is taking it easy, getting treatments for a bad back, which includes having Anong give him a happy-ending massage in a hotel room. Anong seems touched by the gift of a music box, the two grab a meal together. Even less happens in 2+ hours than in Tsai’s Walker shorts.
I’d been counting shots but lost track when I had to pause for a meal – surely fewer than 100 total. Shot #9 was food prep, not a great camera setup but I learned a new method of shredding green papayas. Shot #20 the camera moves through an alley!
Cinema Scope’s pick for movie of the year. Blake Williams’s writeup ties it to Tsai’s earliest films with Lee, which I still haven’t watched, so I’m lacking some context, but I still don’t think I’m in the headspace where a movie this meditative is gonna be a high favorite.
“Do women have freedom?” Two young sisters trash a large house and grouse at each other until the masters return, and everyone yells at each other, and there’s a lot of slapping. The girls announce that they’ve wrecked things because they’re unpaid and mistreated, sabotaging a year’s vintage of wine which was to be included in a deal to sell the house. The servants stick around, and the family puts up with a lot – too much, and the sisters finally murder the wife and daughter and are sentenced to death in postscript.
Francine Bergé, the older of the sisters, played the villain in the great Judex the same year, later the villain in Rivette’s The Nun. Nico’s directorial debut premiered at Cannes 1963 (in competition with Harakiri, I Fidanzati, Baby Jane, big winner The Leopard). Watched as part of a Criterion spotlight – they say he was a controversial figure who worked with Casssavetes and Jean Genet. Took a break halfway through the movie when Katy came down, and we watched Farran’s introduction to Judy Holliday, and perhaps I should’ve watched a Judy instead of a Nico.
Demy’s followup to Rochefort is disappointing. He’s in California shooting a charisma-free Gary Lockwood (his followup to 2001). It’s a clean looking movie with big meaty closeups, but feels clunky, has no snap, the actors practically reading off scripts.
The Model Shop is a chaste peepshow where photographers hire a camera and a sexy girl for private sessions (Gary once calls it a “tart factory,” which would’ve been a better film title). Broke, doomed Gary stumbles into the place and obsesses over Lola (THE Lola), stalks her relentlessly until she agrees to sleep with him. At the end he’s drafted, loses his cute girlfriend, his cute car, and all the cash he borrowed (in the movie’s weirdest scene) from the band Spirit.
Gary disappointing his gf Alexandra Hay (Skidoo):
Demy stitches together an Interconnected Universe here, sending Lola back to France at the end, reporting that her Sailor Frankie has died in Vietnam. Lola speaks of an ex who left her for a French gambler named Jackie (Bay of Angels) and we’ve already seen her boy Roland marrying Catherine Deneuve in Umbrellas. Unknown whether Gary’s tooling around town in the limited time before he has to report for duty has Cleo from 5 to 7 in mind, or if it’s more a reference to Sailor Gene Kelly on shore leave.
Is it already five years since I watched the series? Afterwards I didn’t want to launch into the movie remakes until there was some evidence that the series would ever be completed, and now that part four has premiered, I’m diving in. It’s been long enough that I’m getting reacquainted with the characters and had forgotten some of the early plotting and the monster battle particulars, but not so long that the whole thing doesn’t feel somewhat redundant despite my poor memory. I guess I’d pictured more of a reimagining, a different style, instead of a minor tweaking of character art and background textures.
Same ol’ story: emo kid saves the world, again and again, becoming increasingly emo. The show is pretty good at mortifying Shinji – the only people who are ever nice to him for saving the world are a couple classmates, and that’s only after they beat him up.
Irene barely survives a violent home invasion, her family killed, her dad Johnny Hallyday (Man on the Train) visits in a Macau hospital and swears revenge. But Johnny’s not an elite killer getting dragged back into the business, he’s just a French restauranteur with a fading memory. He runs across a team of hitmen played by the Johnnie To superstars Suet Lam, Anthony Wong and Lam “Bo in Sparrow” Ka-Tung and they can fit his revenge scheme into their schedule. Of course since their boss is Simon Yam and he barely appears in the first half of the movie, I guessed the (very satisfying) second half would pit our doomed men against their own organization. Since there’s a French lead actor, this was able to play in competition at Cannes, but got robbed by Haneke and Audiard.
Lam Suet of every Johnnie To movie finally gets a major role as a bully fuckup cop – or so it seems, until the more capable Simon Yam takes over the movie, in search of the gun Lam lost while getting beaten by street kids. Not that Yam is so upstanding – his guys brutalize the youths, being careful to cover their tracks, and beat a red-haired asthmatic to death in an alley then manage to revive him. Suet steals evidence, makes a deal with the warring gangs, finds his gun (which it turns out he dropped in the scuffle and nobody picked up), the gang guys slaughter each other and the cops cover everything up. This more than compensates for Heroic Trio‘s portrayal of noble policemen with super abilities. Most importantly, this is on the early side of To’s spectacular run of great-looking movies – realism be damned, the actors glow as perfectly on the night streets as they do in neon-lit restaurants. Looks like Yam starred in a flurry of belated sequels.