last week’s films…

Felix & Meira (2015), Maxime Giroux ★★★★★

I’ve been noticing quite a few great directors from Canada; Stéphane Lafleur’s Tu dors Nicole (2014), Xavier Dolan’s Mommy (2014), Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario (2015), and now I’m looking forward to Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room (2015), [  …wildly surreal comedic mystery tale, the crew of a submarine trapped in the ocean depths can’t imagine that things could get any worse. Then they discover that a dangerous band of forest thieves has joined them on board. ]. Like Tu dors Nicole and Mommy, Felix & Meira is filmed in Canada.

Nostalghia (1983), Andrei Tarkovsky, movie of the week ★★★★★

Another film that divides story arcs between black & white and color sequences, like Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death. One b&w scene is especially noteworthy, [ There’s a reference to the opening scene, with the same people; the white horse, german shepard, woman, old woman, girl, and child. The long take starts with a close up of the woman, and ever so slowly pans right and we next see the girl also in close up, then the older woman in a medium shot, then you see the woman again with the child! Then the dog, horse, girl, and old woman. The camera movement is parallel to the players, so there is no arc of movement. ].

Fargo season 1 episodes 1-10, season 2 episode 1-7 ★★★★★

Quality tv. The phrase seems nonsensical, until you realize Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander was a 4 part Swedish tv series, which is essential viewing in this 312 minute film cut. Krzysztof Kieslowsk’s The Decalogue, 10 short films shown on Polish tv. Fargo is upholding the tradition already laid by The Sopranos and True Detective (season 1). Once I saw the first two season 1 episodes on netflix dvd, I was hooked. Binge watched 3-10 on Hulu Plus in a day – 6 hours? (52 minute episodes), and season 2 1-7 in one sitting, and I’m caught up. Numerous tie ins to the Coen Brothers film; audio, visual, and character, with other homages to Coen Brothers films [ (Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski), and to David Zellner’s Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014) ]. I started episode 1 and thought, ok, no Marge Gunderson [ (until I was proven wrong) ]. Then after season 1, I wondered about Sioux Falls. [ Then season 2 started ].

Repast (1951), Mikio Naruse ★★★★★

It was hard not not compare this work to Ozu, and how he would have handled the story without narration, but that takes nothing away from this snapshot of a marriage from the wife’s pov.

Nashville (1975), Robert Altman ★★★★★

Nashville starts out like a scattered deck of cards laying on the ground that someone threw up in the air, with the camera panning to and following a set number of them as they work their way back into the now shuffled and collected deck.


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