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BP Movie Journal 7/6/17

7 Jul

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

Movies
NAZI CONCENTRATION AND PRISON CAMPS
OKJA
MIDNIGHT RETURNS
BRIGSBY BEAR
LET THERE BE LIGHT
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
NINE LIVES
A GHOST STORY
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
BABY DRIVER
HOT FUZZ
THE BOOM
JAWS

TV
GLOW
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE
SILICON VALLEY

A Ghost Story: Good Grief, by David Bax

6 Jul

With its central figure, a ghost straight out of a Charlie Brown cartoon (bedsheet, eyeholes, rounded-off head), and the 1.37:1 aspect ratio of its frame, David Lowery’s majestic and meditative new film, A Ghost Story, sometimes comes across as a bit of a throwback. I’m sure, though, that Lowery would prefer the term “timeless.” In the totality of his vision, he gives us an hour and a half or so not to grapple with the eternal but to embrace it. Stretching off in every direction as far as the mind’s eye can comprehend, we see that the human experience always has been and always will be filled with constant death and sadness but also, and in equal measure should we so choose, with beauty and transcendence.

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EPISODE 537 with Jake Thomas

4 Jul

In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by Marvel Comics editor Jake Thomas to talk about, well, Marvel Comics.

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography: Scratch the Surface, by David Bax

30 Jun

Elsa Dorfman has photographed a number of famous people in her time, from the Beat poets (most notably and most often her good friend Allen Ginsberg) to Bob Dylan to later musicians like Steven Tyler and Jonathan Richman. Yet, as good as those pictures are, they will not be her legacy. She will, especially if Errol Morris’ new documentary The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography anything to say about it, be remembered for the decades she spent taking beautiful, straightforward individual and family portraits in a rare and notable format. Morris, in pointing a camera at her the same way she did and the same way he has done many times before, explores as much about himself as he does his subject.

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Pop Aye: Good Memories, by David Bax

30 Jun

Nostalgia would be an inadequate word to sum up the motivations, both thematic and character-based, of Kirsten Tan’s Pop Aye. The protagonist here is not merely romanticizing his past. He’s painstakingly attempting to return to a time and place that literally no longer exists. The driving philosophy can best be summed up by the title of Thomas Wolfe’s novel You Can’t Go Home Again. But with an elephant.

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The Little Hours: Pious as Fuck, by David Bax

29 Jun

It will be hard to avoid reviews of Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours that accuse it of being a “feature length sketch.” It’s not an entirely unfair charge, given the basic comedic presence of a film that takes place in the 14th century but has all its characters speaking in modern, vulgar language. Certainly, it’s funny to see nuns gossiping about each other like shallow sorority sisters and then yelling at the convent’s field hand, “Don’t fucking talk to us!” But if that were the only joke, it would wear thin quickly. Luckily, Baena has more in mind.

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LA Film Fest 2017: On the Beach at Night Alone, by David Bax

28 Jun

Like a surprising number of compelling movie protagonists, Kim Min-hee’s Young-hee, the woman at the center of Hong Sang-soo’s On the Beach at Night Alone, is an almost completely passive, reactive character. Distinguished by her severe, long black coat (or coats; it does appear to be longer in the early section), Young-hee spends the movie in cities where she doesn’t live, relying on the hospitality and whims of friends and acquaintances.

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LA Film Fest 2017: Don’t Come Back from the Moon, by David Bax

28 Jun

Bruce Thierry Cheung’s Don’t Come Back from the Moon stands out less as a coming-of-age story or a portrait of economic malaise than it does as a simple, extended work of tonal discipline. In viewing the movie, you float from scene to scene on softy, grainy imagery, much of it captured during the magic hour. Cheung’s aesthetic command is laudable but often static, making his narrative feel inconsequential.

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13 Minutes: …For Good Men to Do Nothing, by David Bax

28 Jun

Oliver Hirschbiegel’s 13 Minutes, based on a Hitler-adjacent true story and therefore representing a return for the director to the milieu that brought him so much acclaim for 2004’s Downfall, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival just over two years ago. Given its age and, of course, the fact that it was made in Germany, it’s impossible that Hirschbiegel could have intended it to be so startlingly relevant to an American audience in early 2017. But from minor details like a notable event taking place on November 8th to major, thematic concerns about how the people of Germany made the rise of Hitler possible, 13 Minutes has become accidentally but powerfully vital.

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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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