Some nice animation, especially if you like dogs, but the ending packs a punch. Oscar nominated this year.

Genesis 3:11
This year will see not only a film adaptation of On the Road, but also one about Big Sur my favorite Kerouac title:

Also, Bowie isn't the only one with a new album out, after 14 years, Dead Can Dance's new offering can be streamed from their website. Haven't listened to it, yet:
Does it ever feel like Johnny Depp is now doing the Big Budget versions of films he already made in the 90s?

I told Brother about visiting the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit and he switched almost immediately to one of my favorite designers John Paul Gautier. "He's been doing some really weird stuff lately," he said.

"He always does weird stuff," I said, but realized I hadn't checked in on the latest collections.

Clips behind the cut... )
So despite the fact that I am not generally an anime fan, several years ago [ profile] dr_tectonic and [ profile] kung_fu_monkey introduced me to Last Exile and I liked it. I suppose you could say its steam, though they are actually fueled by a lighter than air element called "Claudio" and have these little "vanships" that are like flying eggbeaters/vintage aircraft. It has adventure and a spunky female protagonist... what's not to like?

Read more... )
At The Independent

The question remains when Mrs. Gaskell will get her due... not only for creating the Brontë legend, but brilliantly bridging the divide between Austen's sense and the Brontë's sensibility. A somewhat hyperbolic and nicely written article, complete with blurbs on Brontës from contemporary authors. Also, this new film adaptation of Wuthering looks brilliant and brutal.

A thought, inspired by the Twilight references, is the possibility of Wuthering Heights functioning as a working text on love as a curse. To an extent all the Brontë's work could be read this way.
This year's winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short, an adaptation of Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing:

I am an enormous fan of The Archers, the team of mid-20C filmmakers who have made some of my all time favorite films. Among them, The Red Shoes about a ballet dancer torn between love and her art slowly losing her mind, and I Know Where I'm Going about a woman traveling to the outer islands of Scotland to get married, only to become stymied by the weather. LIfe, it seems, has other plans for her. I've seen several of there other films, including Black Narcissus about British nuns in India who slowly go mad as they come to the realization that there are forces --- including the possibility of cultural or supernatural ones --- far greater than the faith of their cold island, and The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp an unusual piece of war propaganda following the career of a military officer from the Boer War through WWII. He befriends a German officer early in the film, only to have to fight against him in WWI and to have to protect him during WWII. This is so far my least favorite of their films, but it's still an interesting meditation on lives and loves far grander than the latest conflict. Among other things it has an unusual love triangle. The woman both men love is far less interesting than their deep bond of brotherhood, which stays with them beyond nearly 50 years of their countries in conflict.

Last night I saw their film A Matter of Life & Death (released as Stairway to Heaven in the US, since the studios refused to release anything with the word 'death' in it immediately after the war.) This is a psychodrama, in addition to a piece of post-war propaganda about Anglo-American relations, and memorial for the dead. It was made just after the war, but the action takes place in the last days of the war, with characters uncertain of the future and not knowing the outcome of their sacrifices.

Read more... )
In which Salon's film critic Andrew O'hehir interviews Lars von Trier and compares his latest film Melancholia, to Tove Jansson's Comet in Moominland:

Speaking of which, when are Americans ever going to get a crack at the 3D Moomin movie?

Also, interesting apocrypha on Tarkovsky's Solaris:

I was just told by some Russian that the first time Tarkovsky saw "Solaris," he said, "It's far too beautiful." Then he cut all the beautiful scenes out, and there was the film. That's an honorable man.
Lots of film news due to Cannes. For several weeks I've been interested that this season features two dual-earth films: Lars Von Trier's Melancholia and Another Earth. Von Trier really stuck his foot in it with his post-film interviews.

Terrence Mallick's new film is also coming out: Tree of Life. I am a huge fan of this auteur, who I discovered with New World. He has a kind *vision* a way of seeing that shifts perspective. I will never forget the way the New World works on one's brain so that by the time Pocahontas arrives in England that world has become utterly alien. The BP is always saying that a poem is like a machine to change your mind: and I think that works for many types of art.

Ebert's post on Tree of Life today captured a little of the evanescence I occasionally feel in my service:

Many films diminish us. They cheapen us, masturbate our senses, hammer us with shabby thrills, diminish the value of life. Some few films evoke the wonderment of life's experience, and those I consider a form of prayer. Not prayer "to" anyone or anything, but prayer "about" everyone and everything. I believe prayer that makes requests is pointless. What will be, will be. But I value the kind of prayer when you stand at the edge of the sea, or beneath a tree, or smell a flower, or love someone, or do a good thing. Those prayers validate existence and snatch it away from meaningless routine.

Even without a god, we can still feel the awe and wonder of creation.
I went to see Cave of Forgotten Dreams last night with Brother, in lieu of Early Music rehearsal, which I'm still missing, if not acutely, than with a dull ache and a sense of vague discomfort. I want to tell you this is the best movie I've seen this year and if you see one 3D movie this year, make it this one.... But as gorgeous and must-see as I found this, I expect some of you would get a headache or become bored or uncomfortable. It's okay. Herzog is not for everyone... however, if you're not going to see this film, I would encourage you to find whatever floats your boat and go do it. Creation demands nothing less.

Read more... )
From the Ebert Club Newsletter:

"The Heretics' Gate" draws inspiration from Dante's Inferno, the first part of his epic poem The Divine Comedy. A twenty foot high, arched screen and a thirty foot long reflecting pool, are cleverly combined to deliver a mesmerizing and strangely ethereal vision of hell at the central focus point of the church's imposing gothic architecture.

What can I say... I'm waiting for the BP to weigh in. This must be quite amazing in situ... the following link has video of the piece and contains an interview with the artist...

But I have to say that I'm also quite enamored of the amateur links around the web with people walking by and talking... the 'bad' recordings that capture a something completely different about the piece.

Still, imagine wandering into a chapel at the cathedral and seeing THAT!
Cary Fukunaga's adaptation finally came to town. I went to see it Friday, not expecting it to throw me sideways. This word for the film is 'haunted.' Not just 'haunting' --- though it is that, too --- but haunted by people, places, and experiences that refuse to lay quiet in the past. It seems appropriate that the film be haunted, after all, this is hardly the first adaptation of Charlotte Brontes much beloved book. Fukunaga knows that it is probably not the first encounter the audience will have with the tale. We are haunted by the story, and even though it pains us, like Jane we keep coming back for more.

Read more... )
posted in part for [ profile] mahannie57

Todd Haynes directs Kate Winslet in an HBO miniseries remake of Mildred Pierce.

(I used one of my clicks for this one, folks, I guess it was worth a read:)

Mildred Pierce is one of those legendary over-the-top women's films starring Joan Crawford, as a sainted mother who makes a family fortune baking pies, while her daughter does everything she can to sabotage the woman who has made her extravagant lifestyle possible.

Read more... )
Yesterday I went to Norihiro Kato's lecture From Godzilla to Hello Kitty with [ profile] gelid_cognition and [ profile] dr_tectonic. The lecture was good, the basic thesis of which addressed two questions: 1. why does godzilla always head for Japan? 2. Why are we sad when the monster dies? Prof. Kato (yes, I couldn't tell if they had arranged the names Western or Japanese style) talks about Godzilla in terms of Japanese War Dead. He said that the loss of face incurred after WWII made grieving impossible, "Soldiers had died not only in vain, but in error." Godzilla, he says, is the Japanese war dead, which returns to the Japan when the war dead cannot, both haunting Japan, and wreaking destruction on it. Nevertheless, we grieve when the monster is destroyed, because, in essence, it is a part of us.

Read more... )
The best laugh I've had all weekend:

Cowboys & Aliens: Someone's been mutilating the cattle, again!

Also, Warrior's Way: "Damn... ninjas."

Which reminds me, I should probably cave and see Sukiyaki Western Django, but I've been avoiding the whole KungFu Western sub-genre---especially anything attached to Quentin Tarantino---and I'm not sure I want to go it alone. However, this preview owes an enormous amount to Sergio Leone, so maybe I should take the plunge. After all, it took samurai movies to get me to finally grok the Western.

The above look like truly dreadful amusements, but it's the Coen Bros doing True Grit that I really can't wait to see. I've been waiting on this one all year. It looks like they're going classic, but the Coen Bros can't resist fiddling with their homages, so I'll have to wait until I get through it to make a judgment call.

This is a FOUR deadline week with everything due by Tuesday. I am well and truly burnt out.

Dog-sitting next week.

And then, I'm getting a PIANO! So excited.
So... I saw Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn a few weeks ago. It is the story of the German-born American pilot Dieter Dengler who was shot down in Laos during the opening volleys of the Vietnam war. He was one of the only POWs to escape from a prison camp and survive. This is significant as one of the challenges facing Dengler is the fact that it is unlikely that the gov't will trade for him as Laos is officially not part of the conflict and the presence of Americans in Laos is a violation of the terms of the conflict.

Rescue Dawn & Little Dieter Needs to Fly )
I have been incredibly excited about this since I saw Herzog in April. He's made a 3-D film of the 30,0000 year-old cave paintings in France, discovered in 1994 and sealed to the public since:

Here's Andrew O'hehir at Salon

But I like Ebert's coverage at his blog:

The videos of Herzog at the bottom of the blog were filmed at Mackey in Boulder.

Also, here are Errol Morris & Werner Herzog in conversation. Thanks, again, to Ebert:

Some days it is TOTALLY worth it to get out of bed.

I just recently saw Rescue Dawn, but I'm holding my thoughts until I've seen Herzog's original documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. I can't wait to see Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3-D.



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