BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #51: Persona, by Sarah Brinks

27 Jun

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I wasn’t sure what I was in for when I started watching Persona. The opening is a strange montage of early film clips and some fairly horrific images of a crucifixion and a sheep being slaughtered. It ends with a child waking up in a morgue looking at the image of a woman’s face. I have seen a handful of Ingmar Bergman’s films in the past and enjoyed them, so I was holding out hope. Then we got into the real story of the film and I was onboard.

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Okja: Giving You the Business, by David Bax

27 Jun

Director Bong Joon-Ho has made a reputation for himself as someone who can reimagine and blend together familiar cinematic elements in clever, heartfelt and surprisingly coherent ways. His latest, Okja, is a bit creakier than past efforts but, still, it’s no exception. Even when it feels less than fresh (after Free Fire, it’s not even the first movie this year to set an action scene to “Annie’s Song” by John Denver), it’s always fun. Except, that is, when it’s breaking your heart.

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Musical Notation: David Fincher’s Zodiac

27 Jun

In this episode, West plays music from David Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac; also, he reviews Matt Schrader’s new documentary Score: A Film Music Documentary from the Musical Notation Action Newsdesk!

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New to Home Video 6/27/17

27 Jun

Review

Movie Meltdown: Brian Howe

26 Jun

This week we are coming to you “live” from WonderFest where we are joined by this week’s special guest… actor Brian Howe. One of the hardest working and most impressive actors in the business, Brian’s been featured in Westworld, Catch Me If You Can, The Pursuit of Happyness, American Horror Story, Gran Torino, Annabelle, K-PAX, The Majestic, Déjà Vu, Evan Almighty, Lie to Me, Criminal Minds, Masters of Sex, House of Lies, The Newsroom, Nikita, Justified – and of course, he’s one of the cast of regulars in the Larry Blamire films (The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Dark and Stormy Night, Trail of the Screaming Forehead, The Lost Skeleton Returns Again).

And in between our bouts of clowning around and being a dork, we also bring up… Spielberg’s shooting style, that was paramount to me, one of them practically Xeroxed her rolodex, anything I could do – I did, Tony Scott, laying the groundwork, a cast of small town lunatics, Larry Moss, Summer stock theater in the Poconos, Fay Masterson, striking up the band, David Mamet, Trish Geiger, one big scene with Denzel, working in tandem, Kevin Spacey, Spy Hard, America’s most beloved action figure, the quiet scary moments, Jim Carrey, State and Main, the bloom is off the rose, it was tremendous fun… blood all over the place, Frank Darabont, The Conjuring Universe, hours were long… temperatures were torturous, it was like the biggest most lumbering independent film I’d ever been involved with, when a casting director goes the extra mile, Kerry O’Malley, fly wrangler, that’s how we got our revenge for his, rather indelicate criticism… of our work, a benevolent madman, K-Pax, snow in Pasadena, straight and kind of silly or full absurd, messing with Gabriele Muccino, a sustained level of dread, had to have a fake car to pick him up, one thing, with persistence, does actually lead to another, Will Smith, a state of trust, houses can have bad mojo, Clint Eastwood, my favorite… boy I’m making a Hollywood movie moment, Jeff Bridges, shooting for a dollar and a bucket of chicken, gettin’ the laughs and singin’ the songs, self-consuming hybrids and Tom Hanks goes mad.

“I don’t expect to be the big star… but I’ll be the big star’s neighbor.”

EPISODE 536: LA Film Fest 2017 Wrap-Up

25 Jun

In this episode,Tyler and David discuss the movies David saw at this year’s LA Film Fest, as well as Ron Howard’s new job.

The Beguiled: Sad and Lonely, by Tyler Smith

23 Jun

It is remarkably difficult to write about Sofia Coppola’s superb Southern Gothic film The Beguiled. How exactly does one lead off with a film like this? To talk about any particular element first is to suggest that this element is somehow more important than the others. But part of the brilliance of this film is how perfectly all of its elements fold together, feeding into each other, until the film is a seamless melding of narrative elegance, visual beauty, and thematic complexity. It is a deeply engaging film, and one that lingers in my mind like a morning fog.

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BP Movie Journal 6/22/17

23 Jun

Tyler and David discuss the movies and TV shows they’ve been watching, including:

Movies
MARIE CURIE
THE BEGUILED
PRELUDE TO WAR
WHY HORROR?

TV
TWIN PEAKS
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW
SILICON VALLEY

The Chicago Rep-port: 6/23 to 6/29, by Aaron Pinkston

22 Jun


Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY, but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

Jean-Pierre Melville: Criminal Codes reaches its penultimate week with three more from the French auteur of cool, including some of his more enigmatic. 

Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967, archival 35mm) might be the director’s masterpiece. At the very least, it has come to define his overall style with the simple look of Alain Delon at the center – the expressionless face, the trench coat and large brimmed hat, and his professional criminal code. It might not have created the lonesome hitman film genre but it has undoubtedly influenced a number of modern crime masterpieces from some of world cinema’s most prolific filmmakers. The ice-cold thriller screens on Friday and Saturday.

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LA Film Fest 2017: Patti Cake$, by David Bax

22 Jun

It may not be immediately clear to you, when watching Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$, that the movie is set in Northern New Jersey (it may take you as long as until the first Bruce Springsteen song shows up on the soundtrack to figure it out). But, thanks to Jasper’s firm command of tone and atmosphere, you’ll understand that you’ve set down in a place of scrappy strivers and bitter burnouts who are both inspired and intimidated by the shadow they live in. For what it’s worth, it takes place in Bayonne.

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