In this journal, Tyler and David discuss the various movies and TV shows they’ve been watching, including:
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
The problem with most biopics is an inability to balance the different aspects of the subject’s life. Too often, the director will emphasize the character’s strengths to such an extent that they seem flawless. This distances us from the character, as nobody can genuinely relate to somebody that appears perfect. On the other hand, it isn’t unheard of for a director to focus so much on the faults of the subject that we eventually forget why we’re watching the movie in the first place. Instead of being unable to empathize, we are unwilling. And so we are often left with films that either canonize or condemn their subject, without ever really getting across the true humanity of it, where the positives and negatives exist simultaneously. Thankfully, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs manages to achieve that balance to such a rare degree, I felt like I was really watching something special.
During the first decade of the new millennium, director Robert Zemeckis stopped making live-action movies and started to embrace and experiment with motion capture technology and virtual cameras. With The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol, he had complete control over every aspect of his movies. Regardless of whether or not it adhered to any spatial logic or real world physics, he could move the camera in every direction he saw fit and place his actors in any position or stance. Unfortunately, his stint with motion capture technology was short-lived because the movies mentioned above were box office failures, so he returned to live-action filmmaking with Flight in 2012. While Zemeckis brought over some of the tricks and techniques he learned while making his “motion capture trilogy” to Flight, he fully realized the marriage between virtual camerawork and live-action with his new film, The Walk.
In September of 2014, Mondo held its first convention: MondoCon Austin (Or just MondoCon, for short). Being the first ever, nobody; neither the attendees, vendors, artists, or Mondo; really knew what to expect. Mondo announced that there would be several panels, screenings, guest artists and artists booths. Now, the second MondoCon is occurring in just a few days. I think artists, art fans, and collectors have learned much about how to plan and prepare for the event. However, this convention is still growing and evolving and will likely be slightly different by next year. When MondoCon ‘14 occurred, I knew almost nothing about poster collecting. I had only been doing it for about a year. Some old-timers would say I still know nothing about poster collecting. They would probably be right. But that is not going to stop me from trying.
Okay, listen. Like any self-respecting contrarian, I’m always a bit wary of a film that has a gimmick at the forefront of its buzz. Sebastien Schipper’s Victoria is one such movie, being a two and a half hour thriller brought off entirely in a lone take. To be fair and to give credit where credit is due, this isn’t a Birdman deal where editing gives the impression of a single shot. This is a true one-take movie. In fact, more apt a comparison than Birdman would be Gravity in the sense that what’s on display is a tour de force story of a woman trying to survive a dire situation. And, also like Gravity, it’s a non-stop, jittery thrill.
Made just three years after his landmark film, Z, Costra-Gavras’ State of Siege has never enjoyed the reputation of that earlier masterpiece, which happens to be one of my favorites of all time. Maybe it was just too soon and, in many ways, too similar to stand out on its own. But the fact is, the director was on a streak at the time and State of Siege, now out on Blu-ray from Criterion, is nearly an equal to Z in every way.
Title: The Testament of Dr. Cordelier
Director: Jean Renoir
Cast Jean Louis Barrault, Teddy Bilis, Michele Vitold and Sylvane Margollé