Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2011

SIFF 2011: The Future

One problem I have with trying to write something about every film that I see at SIFF each year is that there are movies that not only am I not impressed by, but literally have no thought on them at all. The Future would be one of those. So instead of sitting around trying to figure out what Miranda July was intending, I thought I'd just ask Nate whether he had any thoughts on the Future . I think listening to his complaining about Miranda July's movie was much more enjoyable then actually watching it. Now for a few paraphrased quotes, that probably aren't even accurate since I am sitting in a bar writing this as I wait for my next SIFF screening. Because that is the sort of party girl that I am! "You know, it could be kinda fun to be buried up to your neck and the only way I'd watch the Future again". "I think Miranda July wrote a movie about all of the worst and most annoying qualities of both 90s slacker culture and hipster culture." And wh

SIFF 2011: Beginners

Beginners will be a festival favorite. As can be seen in the trailer (linked below), there is a lot to be charmed by here. There's Ewan MacGregor, who cannot seem to turn off the charm, portraying Oliver after the death of his gay dad and he is falling for the lovely French actress, Anna (Melanie Laurent) and Oliver has inherited his dad's adorable Jack Russell terrier, Arthur, who talks to Oliver. I mean who doesn't like a movie with a mopey Ewan MacGregor flirting with Melanie Laurent. And I was totally on board once I saw the trailer as it is a great trailer, but unfortunately, the movie doesn't add much beyond length to the trailer. But it is still pretty entertaining. What really does work in Beginners in the depiction of Oliver's relationship with his father Hal(Christopher Plummer). Shortly after his mother's death, Hal comes out as gay and spends the remainder of his days living life to the fullest. He has a much younger boyfriend (Goran Visnjic), go

SIFF 2011: Perfect Sense

David Mackenzie makes intriguing and rather challenging films. I might be quite taken with his work. I was a bit mystified by Young Adam , but completely adored every second of Hallum Foe and am again quite taken with Perfect Sense which is a rather timely apocalyptic allegory on humanity. Susan (Eva Green) is an epidemiologist puzzling about a peculiar outbreak involving a sudden loss of the sense of smell. The loss of this sense follows a period of immense grief over past wrongs and regrets. Susan appears less absorbed with this strange epidemic, then her failed relationships and terrible luck with men. Michael (Ewan McGregor) is a chef at the restaurant across from Susan's flat, who's livelihood is being threatened by the impact loss of scent has on the enjoyment of dining. After a bummed cigarette, their lives become entangled by mutual desire and synchronous onset of the illness. With both Micheal and Susan in the throes of profound grief and need, their relationship

SIFF 2011: 3

Occasionally it is obvious in the first minutes of a movie that this will be one of my favorites. This doesn't happen frequently, but when it does, it reaffirms why I love cinema. Tom Tykwer's 3 begins with a contemporary dance piece that essentially the plot of the film. I'm afraid that hook was set from the beginning, I'm a sucker for good, contemporary interpretive dance, and Tykwer reeled me in. 3 is a very contemporary story of relationships, specifically a very mature relationship between Hanna (Sophie Rois) and Simon (Sebastian Schipper). This is the story of a relationship that has endured for 20 years and has arrives at a particularly difficult period involving the death of a parent and a testicular cancer diagnosis. These kinds of big, life changing events are bound to bring conflict into any relationship, but barely phase Hanny and Simon. If anything, their connection only seems to strengthen as they cope with loss. Well, sort of. During all of these even

SIFF 2011: The Pillow Book

The summer of 1997 was spent doing a research internship in Chicago. Not being much of a social butterfly, I never did find anyone to spend my free time with during those 10 weeks, so when I left the lab, I explored the museums, art galleries and the cinema. The most memorable of these movie outings was a trip to the Music Box to see Peter Greenaway's the Pillow Book . Ever since that summer night, it is the Pillow Book that I reference as my favorite film. Just a few weeks ago, I revisited the Pillow Book on DVD just to see hif it stood the test of time. I hadn't seen it in several years, but my reaction for the first time was not favorable. I had grown an uneasy relationship with the Pillow Book and Peter Greenaway, but I should have trusted in its ability to withstand repeat viewings as over the years, this is a film that I've probably seen dozens of times. I used to see everything I could by the English painter turned experimental auteur, but recently, I've fou

Dennis Nyback's Super Secret Pre-Code Musical Lallapalooza Big Magilla Thrilla Festival, Friday

Currently, at T he Grand Illusion Cinema , Dennis Nyback is presenting a different program each night as Dennis Nyback's Super Secret Pre-Code Musical Lallapalooza Big Magilla Thrilla Festival and I was able to attend the first night. The films were not announced in advance, but on Friday, they were all from 1930 and presented as they would have been at that time, beginning with a newsreel, trailer, animated short, a short film and finally the feature. I will just admit now that I am not knowledgeable of film history. Essentially, my film school has occurred in the cinemas at movies that are current, with the exception of an occasional archival screening, but thanks, in part, to The Celluloid Closet, I am a bit familiar with the Hollywood's history of self-censorship via the Hays Code and today, with the MPAA rating system. And it has been interesting to read about what had to be taken out of scripts, if a movie were to be produced post 1934. I was aware that homosexuality wa