Films Viewed (March 2013)

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Tabu was a stunner, as expected. Portuguese Colonialism explored as the history of the depiction of Colonialism is film and literature is also explored. A two part film that connects in wonderful and unexpected ways. I need to see more of this filmmaker’s work. (The Charles)

Lore has a tactical advantage in that it is a story rarely told, that of the children of the Third Reich following the end of World War II. A young woman attempts to get her siblings to safety in a hostile, collapsing environment. Lots of decay and death lots of psycho-sexual situations. How this stiff drink of a film lasted as long as it did at the Charles is beyond me. (The Charles)

To see Dead Man was to return in my mind to the time of its release (1995) and to contemplate my life at that time compared to my life today. I will always love this film, but it took me to a very dark place this time, which was surprising  A man on the edge of the fading Western frontier approaches death by misadventure slowly. I film imbued with biting deadpan humor and surprising spirituality. My favorite Jarmusch? Thanks to the Gunky’s Basement crew for putting this screening together. (The Charles) 

The Birds was half-remembered from childhood broadcast television appearances, reduced in my head to certain key scenes. Those key sequences save the film from being entirely flat. Did they just cut that first reel out when they would show it on television? I found myself re-editing and re-casting the film in my mind to keep things interesting until the Birds starting wigging out. Weird subtext about women’s hostile nature towards one another noted but not entirely comprehended. I am sure scholarly papers have been written on that topic. (The Charles)

Barbara was good, taught and fraught with tension. A woman in Communist Germany is in trouble, tries to escape. She works at a hospital. People are unhappy. Masterful performance by Nina Hoss.(The Charles)

I went to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? more out of a dutiful sense that this was the last Saturday revival at the Charles before things got bumpy for a bit (at least on Saturdays). My partner commented that I wasn’t “gay enough” to really get into this one, that was a fair observation. Two sisters, portrayed by Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, live together in misery after careers in Hollywood and Vaudeville. I could see the clear influence on John Waters, but was otherwise just sort of along for the campy ride. (The Charles)

Ah, to go to the mall theaters on a spring evening to see Spring Breakers! A group of young women go to spring break, discover their true selves, party hard, meet Gucci Mane. A object of such discussion among my friends I now feel unsure of what to say outside of to recommend that you see if for yourself. (AMC White March 16) 

All That She Wants is not another baby, but to get out of rural Quebec in this slow-burner from director Denis Cote. A  shot-in-black-and-white slow sad journey filled with crime and tangled relations and desperate poverty. I had a good time, and have added a new director of note to my list. (MUBI)

Stoker was a stylized bit of oddness, probably paying homage to films I have never seen like Suspiria. A young woman begins to blossom into the family way thanks to a mysterious uncle. Lots of twists and turns and  twisted nasty psycho-sexual business as is often the case with the films of Chan-wook Park. (The Charles)

Drunken Wu-tang was just plain insane, a videotape find brought to the public by the good people at the Red Room‘s new Tape Worms series. I have been having a good time with films like these since I discovered them in high school at the local video store. (Red Room)

Beeswax was an indie that just didn’t cohere, Andrew Bujalski doing his best with the drama of two twins, one of whom can’t seem to get it together in general, the other is which is caught in a drama with her small business partner. The drama just could not be wrung from the material, despite top notch performances from the three leads. It is always a pleasure to see Alex Karpowsky in pretty much anything. (MUBI)

Total: 11 films (9 in theaters or Red Rooms)

(Please note: Whenever possible, all titles are linked to their pages on the Netflix website)

 

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