14 June 2011

NOTES ON DVD VIEWING 1#


Here are some brief notes to films viewed on DVD and Blu Ray:

ANTONIO DAS MORTES / ANTONIO OF THE DEAD
(Glauber Rocha, 1969, Brazil/France/West Germany) – A landmark of third cinema with a soundtrack that really gets beneath your skin; revolutionary political statements don’t come any bolder than this.

YEH SAALI ZINDAGI / THIS DAMNED LIFE (Sudhir Mishra, 2010, India) – An uneven crime film littered with moments of brilliance; the portmanteau approach is getting a little tired now don’t you think?

THE POSTMASTER (Satyajit Ray, 1961, India) – A perfect summation of Ray Tagore’s vision of the world and a perfect introduction to Bengali cinema.

JOYRIDE (John Dahl, 2001, US) – Not bad in places for a B movie but instantly forgettable; what ever happened to John Dahl?

CREEP (Christopher Smith, 2004, UK) – A surprisingly original and quite scary British horror film; full of anxieties.

EXIT THROUGH THE GIFTSHOP (Banksy, 2010, US/UK) – A film directed by Banksy, starring Banksy and about Bansky; errr, I think I should take that back. It should read - A film by ?

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (Woody Allen, 1986, US) – The little pontificating jazz man at his best – Caine and Allen are wonderful to watch as men who don’t understand their place in society.


THE BOUNTY (Roger Donaldson, 1984, US) – An under rated epic in many respects with terrific performances by Hopkins and Gibson; great script by Robert Bolt.

THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS (Lars Von Trier, Jorgen Leth, 2003, Denmark/Switzerland/Belgium/France) – Von Trier’s and his box of magic tricks makes for a charming deconstruction exercise. It’s got Scorsese convinced.

LIBERO / ALONG THE RIDGE (Kim Rossi Stuart, 2008 Italy) – Casting and performance are everything in this enclosed father-son study – the influences of De Sica and Rossellini loom large.

THE TRIANGLE (Christopher Smith, 2009, UK/Australia) – Smith confirms his talents as one of the more intriguing and original of horror directors; would make for a great double bill with Nolan’s Inception.

WICHITA (Jacques Tourneur, 1955, US) – Everything about Tourneur’s western is deliberately underplayed – for a film that lasts under eighty minutes it shows remarkable cinematic economy.

THE HANGING TREE (Delmer Daves, 1959, US) – I’ve never seen Gary Cooper so angry and so unlovable before; he literally seethes with rage as a doctor hiding from his ugly past. Both Karl Malden and George C Scott offer fine support.

HENRY’S CRIME (Malcolm Venville, 2010, US) – Old fashioned as they come, beautifully played out amongst a great cast and a happy ending that doesn’t make you wince or nauseous.

IDIOCRACY (Mike Judge, 2006, US) – The definitive cinematic statement on Bush stupidity – Mike Judge is an impeccable and ballsy satirist. A cult film in the making.

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