List List Bang Bang

June 30, 2011

2011 (April to June) Screening Log

Filed under: 2011,Screening Log — misterjiggy @ 4:02 pm

JUNE 2011

Last Update July 2, 2011

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  • The Romantic Englishwoman (1975 – Joseph Losey) pro(-) (DVD)
  • My Father’s Glory (1990 – Yves Robert) pro (DVD)
  • Rome Adventure (1962 – Delmer Daves) mixed (cable)
  • Adua and Her Friends (1960 – Antonio Pietrangeli) pro(+) (DVD)
  • The Tree of Life (2011 – Terrence Malick) PRO(-) (Theater)
  • The Hairdresser’s Husband (1990 – Patrice Leconte) pro (DVD)

A sneaky little movie with a surface aura of romantic fantasy, a film bathed in a sort of nostalgic amber glow you would almost think it’s a sanitized feel good endeavor; but in the end it’s really closer to Oshima’s nihilistic insular world of two from In the Realm of the Senses than it is to, say, Lasse Hallstrom’s Chocolat.  The entire focus of the story is on an odd impulsive marriage between an eccentric man (Jean Rochefort, a little old for the role) and a beautiful hairstylist named Mathilde (Italian actress Anna Galiena), a union seemingly confined solely to a storefront (the hair salon) with barely a glimpse of a kitchen, bedroom or other rooms of ordinary matrimonial living.  In Leconte’s universe The Hairdresser’s Husband suggests both the voyeurism turned to perverse obsession from Monsieur Hire (Leconte’s excellent remake of Julien Duvivier’s Panique) and the slightly twisted and ultimately destructive unconditional love offered by the Captain (Daniel Auteuil) to Madame La (Juliette Binoche) in The Widow of Saint-Pierre.  The salon where hair is cut offers both a ritualized experience and intimacy not unlike Sandrine Bonnaire’s confessional therapy sessions with Fabrice Luchini (playing a tax auditor mistaken for a psychiatrist) in Leconte’s Intimate Strangers.  Mathilde’s passion subdued by melancholy suggests the suicidal impulse and life on the edge in Leconte’s knife throwing act The Girl on the Bridge.  Across all these films it seems to me that Leconte has blurred the lines between romanticism and fetishism – where eroticism can lead to annihilation

  • Despair (1978 – Rainer Werner Fassbinder) pro(-) (DVD)
  • State of Grace (1990 – Phil Joanou) pro(-) (DVD)
  • The Housemaid (2010 – Sang-soo Im) mixed(-) (DVD)
  • Platform (2000 – Jia Zhang Ke) mixed(+) (DVD-R)
  • Super 8 (2011 – J.J. Abrams) pro (Theater)
  • Cinevardaphoto (2004 – Agnes Varda) pro (DVD)
  • Chopper (2000 – Andrew Dominik) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Insignificance (1985 – Nicolas Roeg) mixed(+) (DVD)
  • The Gleaners and I (2000 – Agnes Varda) pro(+) (DVD)
  • Audition (2000 – Takashi Miike) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Carlos (2010 – Olivier Assayas) pro (+) (Blu-Ray)
  • Seance (2000 – Kiyoshi Kurosawa) pro (DVD)
  • The Way to the Stars (1945 – Anthony Asquith) pro (cable)
  • Jack Goes Boating (2010 – Philip Seymour Hoffmann) con(+) (cable)
  • Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009 – Damien Chazelle) mixed (DVD)
  • The Widow of Saint-Pierre (2000 – Patrice Leconte) pro (DVD)
  • The Wolf Man (1941 – George Waggner) pro(-) (cable)
  • Shoot the Moon (1982 – Alan Parker) pro (cable)
  • With a Friend Like Harry (2000 – Dominik Moll) pro (DVD)
  • Ivansxtc (2000 – Bernard Rose) pro (DVD)
  • Hurry Sundown (1967 – Otto Preminger) con (DVD)
  • Above Suspicion (1943 – Richard Thorpe) mixed(+) (cable)
  • Blue Valentine (2010 – Derek Cianfrance) pro (Blu-Ray)
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962 – Vincente Minnelli) mixed (cable)



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MAY 2011

Last Updated May 31, 2011

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  • Together (2000 – Lukas Moodysson) pro(+) (DVD)
  • Devils on the Doorstep (2000 – Wen Jiang) PRO(-) (DVD)
  • The Way Back (2010 – Peter Weir) pro (DVD)
  • The Great Waltz (1938 – Julien Duvivier) pro (cable)

While watching this often technically impressive pseudo Johann Strauss biography with all the MGM costume and set trimmings, my mind raced through references to other films and filmmakers of the era.  I recalled watching many years ago William Wyler’s Mrs. Miniver and thinking how a number of shots, in my estimation, seemed Wellesian.  I initially attributed such look to Citizen Kane DP Gregg Toland who had worked with Wyler many times; but was slightly surprised to learn it was Joseph Ruttenberg behind the camera not Toland.  Well here watching The Great Waltz, released 3 years before Kane, I was again tweaked to thoughts of a Wellesian look and noted that it was Ruttenberg lensing the film for the great (underappreciated) French director Julian Duvivier, a filmmaker Orson Welles greatly admired. Then I thought of Duvivier’s Lydia (shot by Lee Garmes) and both its slight borrowings (?) from the Kane narrative structure (and, reportedly, Duvivier’s own Un carnet de bal), as well as and the Busby Berekely meets Max Ophuls like ballroom scene. Then, during the charming Tale of the Vienna Woods sequence, my mind turned to Mamoulian, Clair and Lubistch films of the early thirties and the films that borrowed from them like Von Sternberg’s The King Steps Out and Schertzinger’s One Night of Love. (both featuring (Miss) Grace Moore)  In turn I thought of Hollywood’s attempts to exploit opera stars like Moore, The Great Waltz coloratura soprano star Miliza Korjus and Mario Lanza (having recently seen Anthony Mann’s Lanza stinker Serenade which was a sanitized adaptation of James M. Cain novel.  It was Cain, by way of Mildred Pierce, that enlightened me as to what a coloratura was). Then, as the result of all this movie culture convergence, my film geek head exploded

  • The Way of the Gun (2000 – Chirstopher McQuarrie) mixed(+) (DVD)
  • Faithless (2000 – Liv Ullmann) pro (DVD)
  • Vertical Ray of the Sun (2000 – Anh Hung Tran) pro (DVD)
  • I Died a Thousand Times (1955 – Stuart Heisler) mixed (cable)

A quick survey of commentators weighing in on this genre effort and one finds plenty of curt dismissals – based largely on the fact that remaking Raoul Walsh’s classic Humphrey Bogart coming out party High Sierra is somehow “unnecessary”.  Well it certainly didn’t stop Walsh and Warner Bros. from successfully reworking High Sierra with Western trimmings with the admirable Colorado Territory; so why wouldn’t the studio go back to the well for another try, this time in Warner Color and Cinemascope.  While there’s really no interesting story or character revisions from the W.R. Burnett/John Huston original you certainly have to give the film credit for its dynamic look – which just pops with color in a way that’s suggestive of better and more memorable colorful ‘scope efforts from 1955 like East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, Violent Saturday, Bad Day at Black Rock, Picnic, The Man from Laramie, The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing and House of Bamboo.  Director of photography Ted McCord on a number of occasions employing the ultra expressive canted angles (Dutch tilts*) he used in East of Eden (perhaps McCord’s stylistic idea and not Elia Kazan’s?).  Jack Palance and Shelley Winters are no Bogie and Ida Lupino but at least they dialed down their over the top emoting from The Big Knife, a film released mere weeks earlier.  [*There’s quite a number of Dutch tilts in the recently released Thor – not sure if Kenneth Branagh was channeling Welles or sixties television Batman – maybe both given the Shakespeare meets comic book concept.]

  • Mysterious Object at Noon (2000 – Apichatpong Weerasethakul) mixed (DVD)
  • Thor (2011 – Kenneth Branagh) mixed(-) (Theater)
  • Dora-heita (2000 – Kon Ichikawa) pro (DVD)
  • Fair Game (2010 – Doug Liman) pro(-) (Blu-Ray)
  • Green Mansions (1959 – Mel Ferrer) con (cable)
  • Four Lions (2010 – Christopher Morris) pro (Blu-Ray)
  • Father’s Little Dividend (1951 – Vincente Minnelli) mixed (cable)
  • Flesh (1932 – John Ford) pro(-) (cable)
  • Such Good Friends (1971 – Otto Preminger) mixed (DVD)
  • You’re a Big Boy Now (1966 – Francis Ford Coppola) mixed(-) (DVD-R)
  • How Do You Know (2010- James L. Brooks) mixed (Blu-Ray)
  • Serenade (1956 – Anthony Mann) mixed(-) (cable)
  • Araya (1959 – Margot Benacerraf) pro(-) (DVD)

While watching this picturesque Cannes winning documentary (sharing the big prize with the now canonical Hiroshima Mon Amour) about the hardscrabble life of isolated Venezuelan salt miners/fishermen my mind raced to thoughts of both other films with realist objectives and the very nature of documentary filmmaking.  I thought of the raw and ragged portrayal of the fishing village in the neo-realist classic La Terra Trema, and the staged/faux/pseudo documentary elements of Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North and Louisiana Story, Kent Mackenzie’s Bunker Hill set The Exiles and the more recent Mexican film Alamar.  Films where a certain primitive simplicity is sometimes made beautiful, and other times revealed as unforgiving.  Araya offers a highly lyrical presentation of a people enslaved to their very survival, people with barely discernable individual personalities fated to a paradoxically beautiful yet Sisyphean hell.  If, as the proverb goes, one is to make hay while the sun shines – what does one do if the sun shines every day from now to eternity?  Embrace a life of toil?  Considering Steven Soderbergh’s DVD cover pull quote which references the film’s “hypnotic combination of beauty and hardship”, one is left to confront where the line between celebration and indictment lay.  What would, for instance, Luis Bũnuel think? Surely his darkly brilliant prank of a film Land Without Bread is instructive.  In true hands off fashion director Benacerraf offers her audience little if any such instruction.

  • Marwencol (2010 – Jeff Malmberg) pro (DVD)
  • The Next Three Days (2010 – Paul Haggis) mixed(+) (DVD)
  • Spencer’s Mountain (1963 – Delmer Daves) mixed(-) (cable)
  • All Night Long (1962 – Basil Dearden) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Love and Other Drugs (2010 – Edward Zwick) con (Blu-Ray)
  • They Made Me a Fugitive (1947 – Alberto Cavalcanti) pro (cable)
  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: 2  1/2 (2005 – William Greaves) mixed(-) (DVD)
  • Susan Slade (1961 – Delmer Daves) mixed (cable)
  • Vincere (2009 – Marco Bellocchio) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Smilin’ Through (1932 – Sidney Franklin) pro(+) (cable)
  • Zigeunerweisen (1980 – Seijun Suzuki) mixed (DVD)
  • History is Made at Night (1937 – Frank Borzage) pro(+) (on-line)


APRIL 2011

Last Updated May 2, 2011 

  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968 – William Greaves) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Dogtooth (2009 – Giorgos Lanthimos) pro(+) (DVD)
  • The Freshman (1925 – Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor) pro(+) (cable)
  • Thunder on the Hill (1951 – Douglas Sirk) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Girl Shy (1924 – Fred Newmeyer & Sam Taylor) pro(+) (cable)
  • Alamar (2009 – Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio) pro (DVD)
  • Spider (2002 – David Cronenberg) pro (DVD)
  • Salt (2010 – Phillip Noyce) mixed (cable)
  • No Blood Relation (1932 – Mikio Naruse) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Escape from Fort Bravo (1953 – John Sturges) pro (DVD)
  • The Secret of the Urn (1966 – Hideo Gosha) pro (DVD)
  • Hanna (2011 – Joe Wright) pro (Theater)
  • Rope of Sand (1949 – William Dieterle) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Around a Small Mountain (2009 – Jacques Rivette) mixed (DVD)
  • Parrish (1961 – Delmer Daves) mixed (cable)
  • White Material (2009 – Claire Denis) pro(+) (Blu-Ray)
  • Hereafter (2010 – Clint Eastwood) mixed (DVD)
  • Payment on Demand (1951 – Curtis Bernhardt) pro(-) (DVD-R)
  • Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945 – Roy Rowland) pro (cable)
  • Run Silent Run Deep (1958 – Robert Wise) pro(-) (cable)
  • The Pirate (1948 – Vincente Minnelli) mixed(+) (cable)
  • Somewhere (2010 – Sofia Coppola) mixed (Blu-Ray)
  • Open Hearts (2002 – Susanne Bier) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Everyone Else (2010 – Maren Ade) pro(+) (DVD)
  • The Piano Teacher (2001 – Michael Haneke) pro (DVD)
  • Demonlover (2002 – Olivier Assayas) mixed (DVD)
  • The Other Guys (2010 – Adam McKay) mixed(+) (cable)
  • Viva Maria! (1965 – Louis Malle) pro(-) (cable)
  • The Mikado (1939 – Victor Schertzinger) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Trapeze (1956 – Carol Reed) pro(-) (cable)
  • The Spanish Main (1945 – Frank Borzage) mixed (cable)
  • I Am Love (2009 – Luca Guadagnino) pro(-) (DVD)
  • Monte Walsh (1970 – William A. Fraker) mixed(+) (cable)
  • Unstoppable (2010 – Tony Scott) mixed(+) (DVD)
  • Easy A (2010 – Will Gluck) mixed(+) (DVD)


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