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Old 04-24-2019, 08:21 AM
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TrueFaith77 TrueFaith77 is offline
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Notes on Movies 2019 - Part 1

The Image Book (Jean-Luc Godard) - The greatest living filmmaker continues to extend the boundaries of cinema for inquiry into and challenge to ideological hegemony in this found-footage essayistic narrative -- essential to see for all who love cinema; essential to re-see to provide a gratifying summary, though the uncanny re-contextualizing of clips from Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar and Max Ophuls' Le plaisir remain in memory as sublime exemplars of cinema's essence where the elements of formal and moral beauty achieve liberating spectacle. Grade: A

The Legend of the Demon Cat (Chen Kaige) - Not since Sternberg! As (too many) layers of illusion and narrative peel back to reveal more wonders, to dig deeper into the hearts of its fictionalized but true-historical characters, it becomes just ravishing in its beauty and feeling--the rare film experience where sensuality evokes fidelity. Grade: A-

Sorry Angel (Christophe Honorť) - After introducing its fascinating/grating art-hound and sex-rebel characters, it ultimately achieves uncanny AIDS-era recall and catharsis starting from the moment there is a shot of Francois Truffaut's ebony gravestone to the final, devastating line of dialogue ("Learn to sully beauty"). Grade: A-

Dragged Across Concrete (S. Craig Zahler) - Thanks to an extended plot digression, Jennifer Carpenter haunts the 3-hour film; it's a new Myth of Labor, putting the exigencies of livelihood in relief to family, social inequity, and, ultimately and brutally, metaphysical evil--for her, anything (but keep a little for yourself and yours). Grade: A-

Sauvage/Wild (Camille Vidal-Naquet) - In the tradition of Renoir (especially Boudu), this film debut proves that sexual individuality, winged realism, and instinctual semiotics runs in the French blood, challenging bourgie norms with its protagonist's unflinching rough-trade travails (the French invented the "bourgeoisie" and they can dismantle it if they want to)-- even without the overt Barthes-inspired cruising Mythologies of Nolot or Morel or the mighty Techine. Grade: A-

The Kid Who Would Be King (Joe Cornish) - Those who love Harry Potter (I do not) should swoon over the fulfillment of their movie-fantasy dreams, grounded in national lore, full of ingenious and hilarious and rousing ideas/ideals--real filmmaking the likes of which Spielberg (or at least Zemeckis and Dante) used to produce because adventure is linked to a young person's social integration, plus a Lancelot who embodies the redeemed bully. Grade: B

Serenity (Steven Knight) - I remain mysteriously moved by Knight's film noir-video game genre mash-up, especially by the maturity of the moral struggle acted out by the always-good Matthew McConaughey and, in a return to form, Anne Hathaway as a blonde femme fatale, not to mention that the supporting cast provides support, indeed, as avatars of ethics. Grade: B-
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Last edited by TrueFaith77; 04-25-2019 at 01:08 PM..
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