Monthly Archives: June 2015

Wings (1966), directed by Larisa Shepitko ★★★★

Ukrainian director Larisa Shepitko’s debut film. Included in Criterion Collection’s / Eclipse Series 11: Larisa Shepitko which includes this film and her last: The Ascent (1976).

The opening scene is an out of focus view of shoppers on either side of a busy street. I immediately got the feeling like I was in a Michael Haneke film, and that I better pay attention or I’ll miss something (as in Cache’s final crowd on the steps scene, and the early scene in his The Piano Teacher, when the camera is turned toward the audience, as year hear the orchestra taking the stage behind you). Then you focus to the far center right of the frame as you see a quick meeting, then the tailor magically walking toward you as the camera dollys backward slowly and you’re in his shop.

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True Detective (2014), first season ★★★★+

I don’t have HBO, but I can imagine if I saw the first episode I would have marked my calendar and made sure I was sitting in front of the tv to catch each episode. I saw it through net flix dvd in 3 discs, first two with 3 episodes each, and the last with 2 for a total of 8. Stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

So I watched multiple episodes at each sitting. The last time I did this was when I was gifted The Soprannos box set. Other examples of ground breaking tv?

The Decalogue, directed by Krzysztof Kieslowsk: Inspired by the Ten Commandments, 10 short films shown onPolish tv directed by one of my all time favorite directors.

Fanny and Alexander (1982), directed by Ingmar Bergman, four part (312 minutes) Swedish tv movie.

The Voices (2014), directed by Marjane Satrapi ★★★★

Got this from the library along with 3 other dvds and for some reason I wanted to get this out of the way, so I watched it first. Did not have high expectations, so when I saw Anna Kendrick I really started to get into it!

She has a quote when they are out on their first date: The divorce was final in September or something. I mean, it went like really quickly because I basically agreed to everything. You know, he got the house and the car and I got the cat.

And so we are introduced to a link that brings them together, a cat. Mr. Whiskers and her rescue.

Also stars Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom).

I would classify The Voices as a sleeper. …..

Inside Out (2015), directed by Pete Docter ★★★★½

I sat there during the 20 minutes of first look (regal cinema) commercials, and I guess since I was in the 2D showing, I needn’t have worried about it getting crowded. I did have to let two couples past me near the aisle, and the guy behind me did get a kick to my back in toward the end, but all in all not a noteworthy crowd – which is good.

Then the diarrhea of the trailers. This is what they do now – targeted trailers. Since you’re in a pix ar film (ha, fooled the auto cap bot!) they figure you’re going to see every tom dick and harry animated film! After more than 20 minutes I had enough! And the first pi xar short was kind of lame. I had hopes with the opening two birds flying, then they added the corn. Yes, I like contemporary Hawaiian music like the next guy, but it wasn’t that good. I started to think of my pledge after watching big hero 6 – no more Disney! That two star film had that impact on me.

But when Inside Out started. Ok. This is what was spoiled by me watching the trailer. Inside the head. And the out become readily apparent. Then I unintentionally blurted out an oh! I usually control my outbursts in a theater. And it wasn’t a particularly noisy crowd, but you could hear a group in the front right (I sat in my usual mid left seat). This coincided with the dad’s head comment (on father’s day)

[spoiler]reporting high levels of sass[/  spoiler].

And then the dog and cat toward the end. They nailed that cat. Reminded me of George Carlin: What’s that? Not me. ____ that, I’m a cat. Something break? Ask the dog.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014), directed by David Zellner ★★★★★

One of the shorts in the 2009 film Tokyo!, has to do with a young recluse, or hikikomori – a type of social withdrawl. You get a sense of this with Kumiko, except she does this in her mind, and she still has no fear of the outside world and ventures out with abandon. The cinematography here is totally unexpected. A few scenes stand out – [spoiler] one of the opening shots of the ocean and a wave cloud passes in front of the sun from the right, and the last long take shot during the credits when she’s walking away and disappears into a speck, then nothing but white… [/ spoiler]

Documentary on a Japanese Girl:

https://vimeo.com/66512803

This Is a True Story[/url] (2003)

IMDB: In December 2001 the world’s media focused on the small town of Fargo, North Dakota, where the body of Takako Konishi was found in the woods by a hunter. The media reported that she had left Japan with the misunderstanding that the Coen brother’s “Fargo” really was a true story and that there was a stash of money hidden somewhere in the snow on a road by a tree. This documentary traces the background to the story and finds that the media, quick to jump on a “funny” story of foolishness, had gotten the story totally wrong.

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/18/kumiko-treasure-hunter-bunzo-exclusive

^ Behind the scenes with Bunzo

About Bunzo the bunny

God Help the Girl (2014), directed by Stuart Murdoch ★★★★★

I have to admit – I loved Gregory’s Girl (1981), which is not a musical – and both are set in Scotland. From the opening scene, you know that GHtG is a musical! After seeing GHtG on a top 10 list, I added it to my Netflix queue and it hovered near the top, getting preempted again and again. Then I forgot about it and it queue up without my knowing it, watched it, and was hooked.

Mystery Train (1989), directed by Jim Jarmusch ★★★★

So I saw that one of the characters is Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. That name rang a bell, and at first I thought he was from one of Les Blank’s documentaries, then this morning the light bulb goes off – Eva’s quote in Stranger Than Paradise: That’s Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and he’s a wild man so bug off … after Willie cuts off I’ve Got a Spell on You and says I really hate that kind of music. One of the Criterion supplements is a Q & A with Jim Jarmusch (who dosen’t like commentaries, and prefers Q & A) has one guy asking if that’s Roberto Benigni in the casket that Nicoletta Braschi (his wife) is flying with.