View Single Post
Old 06-19-2019, 02:27 AM
Jondalar's Avatar
Jondalar Jondalar is offline
Addicted Ledgie
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,614

Originally Posted by TrueFaith77 View Post
SHADOW (Zhang Yimou): In his best film since CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, Zhang Yimou’s new masterpiece SHADOW achieves a radical black-and-white aesthetic *in color*. Through this chromatic gambit, Zhang conveys the intensity of modern/classical Power lust and Moral annihilation, with crimson bleeding into the frame to visualize the human casualties. Establishing SHADOW as the deep-state noir of our daymares, Zhang’s innovative point-of-view shots and staging of intrigue and action would make Eisenstein, Lang, Sternberg, Hitchcock, Welles, Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ichikawa, De Palma, and, sigh, Spielberg drop their jaws. Grade: A

DOMINO (Brian De Palma): DOMINO is Brian De Palma’s “F—— You” to #RottenTomatoes, one of many social media trends in De Palma’s cross-hairs. Through a recurring motif, he restores the Fresh Tomato to its now-perverted essence. To paraphrase Godard: Tomato is “red.” Did anyone else clock the first tomato in De Palma’s DOMINO? It imbues the fruit, the ripe red, with connotations of desire and guilt that motivates—and connects—the film’s expressionist panoply of law enforcers, vigilante revengers, and global terrorism actors. The rogues gallery of #FakeNews hacks and cyber-climbers aggregated by Rotten Tomatoes commits a form of cultural terrorism by dismissing De Palma’s vitality and reducing criticism and cinema to produce. The middle finger is mightier than the thumb. Much to say. But nobody is paying me to say it. Example: Ever since Verhoeven’s BLACK BOOK (and then her daring portrayal in RACE), I have wanted De Palma to cast Carice van Houten. She imbues the role here with complex feeling, disturbing the spectator’s response to her capacity for action. She aims her righteous right-leg kicks for the testes (“Therapy,” she jokes) and her gun for single-minded vengeance. With Adjani-like imminence, she always registers the moral implications, even when crossing paths with the woman she betrayed. It’s a beautiful film—now available on iTunes. Grade: A

THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN (Farhad Safinia): THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN, though not perfect, builds to a heart-swelling middle section and finally surprising reckonings of character. It features Sean Penn’s first transcendent performance since I AM SAM, beautifully in sync with co-star Mel Gibson, testifying to the dignity of man and the word and the Word. If only APOCALYPTO screenwriter and first-time director Farhad Safinia commandeered cinematic language—or rumored studio meddling uncannily reflected in the film’s plot—as felicitously as he does the English language. This is the most significant application of the lexicon since AKEELAH AND THE BEE. Even so, the most impactful use of the film’s cross-cutting structure occurs in the montage that dramatizes two romantic relationships on different trajectories along the course of a common endeavor: the men (and women) behind the Oxford Dictionary. Yet, when Penn and Gibson’s characters finally meet, they are filmed such that their wordplay—their miraculous kinship—seems to illuminate them both from within. Penn caresses the mirror image of his beard on Gibson’s face before exposing the shame of his shackles. Just imagine the masterpiece—each image and edit conveying the richness of associations the characters discover in words—that co-screenwriter John Boorman or Steven Spielberg, Mike Leigh, Terence Davies, or even Mel Gibson could have made of this script and cast (Natalie Dormer, Jennifer Ehle, Eddie Marsan). Then release yourself of this fancy. For Safinia, this is a labor of “diligence” and “love.” “If love ... then what?” It’s not a riddle. The ultimate answer holds within in it the essence of redemption. From this, the Oxford Dictionary was born. —The film happily arrives to illustrate the concepts Peter Kreeft introduces while promoting his book of Tolkien, Lewis, Graham dialogues in the YouTube interview I’ve been posting on Facebook. The brain is not the same as mind. The mind can contain within it both the sky and itself. To give the gift of language is to give the beloved the sky. I think J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis would applaud like leaves in the wind. Grade: B+
I definitely want to see Domino and the Professor. Love Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. Movie got ignored simply because people didn’t like Mel. Thank u.
Reply With Quote