Archive | movies RSS feed for this section

The L.A. Rep-port: 4/28 to 5/5, by Scott Nye

27 Apr

UCLA concludes their spectacular series pairing silent and early sound Japanese and American films. On Friday they have Yasujiro Shimazu’s First Steps Ashore (1932, 35mm) alongside Josef von Sternberg’s life-changing The Docks of New York (1928, 35mm). Then on Sunday, they shine a spotlight on cinematographer/director Henry Kotani with fragments of two films he shot – Told in the Hills (1919, 35mm) and Johnny Get Your Gun (1919, 35mm), as well as the short feature Light of Sympathy (1926, 35mm). The films are preceded by a lecture by film historian Daisuke Miyao, who curated the series.

(more…)

BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #67: Taxi Driver, by Sarah Brinks

27 Apr

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.

As I said in my review of Raging Bull, I have a lot of respect for Martin Scorsese, but he does not make films that appeal to me. I was halfway through Taxi Driver when I realized I had seen it before and forgotten almost everything about it. It is just a film I didn’t respond to.

(more…)

Ebertfest 2017: Day Four, by Aaron Pinkston

27 Apr

I always have mixed emotions about Saturday at Ebertfest. It is the busiest day, with an extra matinee screening—and who would complain about more movies? But considering I’m already exhausted from the week, tired of eating garbage food for every meal and missing home, the end seems sweet. Thankfully, the festival will end with a bang for me, with two profile documentaries, a 90s fantasy well worth revisiting, and my first viewing of a Hal Ashby classic comedy.

(more…)

Ebertfest 2017: Day Three, by Aaron Pinkston

26 Apr

Whereas Day Two of the 2017 Roger Ebert’s Film Festival highlighted its aims to showcase the overlooked and underappreciated, Day Three showed off its diverse interests.

(more…)

Czech That Film Tour 2017: The Teacher, by Dayne Linford

26 Apr

Social systems have a tendency to self-replicate, and therefore self-reinforce, all the way down the ladder, forming a fractal pattern, a series of the same values and, often, the same abuses. Growing up in a capitalist system, children learn to be good little mini-businesspeople, trading candy at lunchtime and favors after school. Learning to exist according to class, the janitor’s kid soon knows to pay deference to his friend, the banker’s son. In fiction, it’s often these small-scale replications that are the most fruitful, the most intimate and powerful. Jan Hrebejk’s The Teacher is certainly one of these, the story of a small classroom in 1983 Czechoslovakia, dominated by a dictatorial teacher, who begins each school year by taking down the occupations of her student’s parents, a helpful guidebook for an extortion scheme revolving around petty favors rendered in exchange for good grades.

(more…)

Criterion Prediction #86: The Passenger, by Alexander Miller

26 Apr

Title: The Passenger

Year: 1975

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre, Ian Hendry, Steven Berkoff

(more…)

BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #68: Brazil, by Sarah Brinks

25 Apr

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 have a real soft spot in my heart for daydreamers, and Sam Lowry is certainly a daydreamer. I wasn’t sure how I would respond to Brazil, but I really enjoyed the strange world building and the story of man chasing down a dream in a world that only seems surface deep. Jonathan Pryce’s portrayal of Sam made him a bright spot to grasp onto in the bleak, grey world that writer/director Terry Gilliam sets the film in. The world is cold, industrial, and full of hard angles. In the middle of all that is a man who just wants to be a hero and find love. He dreams of flying free and fighting oppression. In contrast, his real day job is as just another suit working for the government. As much I enjoyed Pryce’s performance, I do have to say anytime he was in a fight scene it really stood out that he is not an actor who seems naturally suited to action.

(more…)

New to Home Video 4/25/17

25 Apr

Review

Review

Review

Czech That Film Tour 2017: Little From the Fish Shop, by Dayne Linford

24 Apr

It’s hard to think of a story as oft-told as that concerning the diminutive mermaid who wanted to be human. Even before Hans Christian Anderson found a way to assert that the mermaid would make it into heaven, the story was a well-known children’s tale, and there’s got to be scores of tellings under the auspices of Disney’s renditions alone. Despite all of that, there’s nothing I’ve seen that’s anywhere near as interesting, troubling, and moving a rendition as Jan Balej’s stop-motion animated take, Little from the Fish Shop.

(more…)

Monday Movie: Quick Change, by David Bax

24 Apr

Two years before Quentin Tarantino unleashed Reservoir Dogs, there was a different American directorial debut that found more drama in the aftermath of a heist than in the robbery itself. Only instead of a postmodern pastiche of the history of crime movies, this one was a bizarre, acid-tongued and increasingly surreal comedy. Quick Change was co-directed by star Bill Murray (his only directorial credit to date) and Howard Franklin, who also adapted the screenplay from Jay Cronley’s novel.

(more…)