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Thread: Oscar's Cinema Journal 2005

  1. #16
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    Friday Jan. 7th

    Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time
    This documentary was shown in NYC two years ago and has been gradually shown at museums and specialized theatres in major cities to universal acclaim. Goldsworthy is a Scottish artist who uses nature's landscapes as a canvas. He paints and sculpts with what he finds in each locale _leaves, twigs, rocks, icicles, flowers,etc. His art requires a deep communion with and intimate understanding of nature and its processes. German director Thomas Riedelsheimer does a superb job of capturing Goldsworthy's creations for maximum effect. It's hard to find words to convey the sheer beauty of these images and the ephemeral quality of the artist's natural manipulations. Now available on dvd along with 7 shorts.

  2. #17
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    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with TimeThis documentary was shown in NYC two years ago and has been gradually shown at museums and specialized theatres in major cities to universal acclaim. ...
    I have watched this movie and given a review some time ago (in another forum). I have to agree that his art/sculpture are interesting.
    ;)

  3. #18
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    I know what you're up to... creating the largest post on Filmwurld. If you keep this up (so far, so good), it will be. And another thing, very sneaky the way A.I. got in there. Excellent work, Oscar. Your first week of 2005 wasted away watching movies and writing a journal online. What kind of impression are you creating for your daughter?
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  4. #19
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    I found the Goldsworthy doc to be a little bit much. I agree that the images are really nice, but Im not sure I think Goldsworthy is as good as the filmmaker would have you think. An interesting artist, but maybe not a great one...just an opinion. It feels a little precious to me.

    P

  5. #20
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    Cinemabon, thanks. This happened to be a fairly typical week for me. I do watch a lot of films. Other than sports and biking with the kids, I do little else with my leisure time. What has been unusual is that I haven't been to the theatre since 12/31/04 (Bad Education). I wish my Chelsea were a bit more interested in films and writing and less interested in boys and singing :)

    pmw, I don't know enough to tell an interesting artist (outside of film) from a great one. I go to the occasional exhibit (last one happened to be mum's) or museum, and I know what I like. But I don't have the background to get into a deeper discussion about art. I am attracted to the "purity" of Goldsworthy's art and his creative process. Maybe his creations lack the necessary social dimension to be great art? (I'm trying pmw).

    Saturday January 8th

    The brazilian film All Nudity Shall be Punished was shown at Cannes and awarded at Berlin in 1973 but not released in the US. I Love You with Sonia Braga is the only one of director Arnaldo Jabor's films to be released here. Tonight I watched All Nudity... on import dvd. The film is based on a play by Nelson Rodrigues, "the heterosexual Brazilian equivalent of Tennessee Williams" (Amy Irving). It's a mix of sexual derring-do, melodrama and critique of bourgeois hypocrisy that amuses and intrigues, but ultimately fails to cohere into a satisfying whole.

  6. #21
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    Sunday Jan 9th

    Beyond the Sea (Sunset Place Theatres)
    Kevin Spacey has been trying to play Bobby Darin since he was 35. Ten years later, he gets to direct (competently), write the script (a bit muddled) and play Bobby Darin from his late teens until his death at age 37. Beyond the Sea imagines Darin in his mid-30s wanting to play himself in his own biopic. The self-reflexive, post-modern approach to the biopic serves to (partly) deflate the criticism that Spacey is now too old to play the part. Spacey obviously identifies with Darin, bears a resemblance to him, and can sing the old standards well (the nightclub scenes make it worth your time). On the other hand, there's no way Spacey can convey the youthful exuberance that made "Splish Splash" Darin's first Top 10 hit. And the recreation of Darin's appearance at American Bandstand (a TV show, youngsters), with barely-teen girls swooning is kinda creepy.

  7. #22
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    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    pmw, I don't know enough to tell an interesting artist (outside of film) from a great one. I go to the occasional exhibit (last one happened to be mum's) or museum, and I know what I like. But I don't have the background to get into a deeper discussion about art. I am attracted to the "purity" of Goldsworthy's art and his creative process. Maybe his creations lack the necessary social dimension to be great art? (I'm trying pmw).
    Yeah, im not sure what i know either. But I think youre on to something that bothers me a little ("Maybe his creations lack the necessary social dimension to be great art?"). His work is fairly self-involved and a bit precious....dont know what else to say really. It's beautiful nonetheless. I really enjoyed the movie.

  8. #23
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    Monday Jan 10th

    A Woman of Paris(1923) on TCM.
    Charlie Chaplin's debut feature for United Artists and his first drama bombed with audiences who wanted nothing but the Little Tramp. Chaplin protege Edna Purviance excels as Marie, a small town French girl who gets locked out by her stepfather after she goes out with her artist boyfriend Jean. He proposes they elope to Paris, drops her off at the train station and promises to return soon. Jean has a family emergency, calls her but Marie's convinced he has changed his mind about their future together. Marie leaves to Paris, becomes mistress to a rich playboy (Adolph Menjou) and gets accustomed to a decadent, lavish lifestyle. Years later, the still single Jean runs into Marie in Paris.
    This extremely moving, beautifully photographed film recalls the best of Ernest Lubitsch. Highly recommended.

  9. #24
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    This is the forementioned Sunday night silent movie I take it. Thanks for that. I know nothing about the genre. Was Chaplin doing comedy before this particular release? Or was that a later development?

  10. #25
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    Chaplin was born and raised in Britain where he performed vaudeville until age 21, when he moved to New York. He signed a contract with Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios and makes 35 one-reelers in 1914. He moves to Essanay Studios in 1915, where he made 15 films including The Tramp, in which the famous character is introduced, and a brilliant parody of Bizet's Carmen called Burlesque on Carmen. In 1916 and 1917, he makes 12 two-reelers at Mutual Studios where Chaplin is said to have achieved artistic maturity. Titles include One A.M., Easy Street and The Immigrant. In 1919, he forms United Artists with Fairbanks, Griffith and Pickford, but surprisingly he makes his best film of the early 20s for First National (1921's The Kid).

  11. #26
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    Tuesday Jan 11th

    Distant (Uzak) on import dvd.
    Writer/producer/cinematographer/director's Nuri Bilge Ceylan's third feature won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes 2003. Its two non-professional protagonists shared Best Actor honors. Yusuf leaves his village after being laid off and comes to Istambul looking for work. He invites himself to stay a few days at his cousin Mahmut's apartment. Mahmut is a commercial photographer who's still in love with his ex-wife and who once hoped to "make films like Tarkovsky" (he is seen watching Stalker at home before switching to porn after Yusuf retires to his bedroom). Yusuf is unable to find employment or romance in the big city. Increasingly, his presence becomes an irritant to Mahmut. The mostly static camera observes the cousins in carefully framed long shots. Dialogue is used sparingly and music even more so. The themes of regret, disappointment and failure to establish connections are universal. My only complaint is that we don't get to know Yusuf as well as Mahmut, with whom the director obviously identifies. This somber film is not for everyone, but fans of Tsai Ming-liang (like myself) may have a new idol in the 45 year-old Ceylan.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 01-11-2005 at 10:56 PM.

  12. #27
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    Uzak

    I hope you didn't spend too much on it because New Yorker Video is finally releasing the dvd in the U.S. on March 22nd.

  13. #28
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    Cheap Chinese copy bought on Ebay for $12.32.
    Who better to ask? Any alternatives to spending close to $30 each for Lady of Musashino and Life of Oharu and $40 for Au Hasard Balthazar on UK dvd? Any chance of them being released here or in Asia?

  14. #29
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    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    Any alternatives to spending close to $30 each for Lady of Musashino and Life of Oharu and $40 for Au Hasard Balthazar on UK dvd? Any chance of them being released here or in Asia?
    I wish I had a better answer for you but unfortunately not too many other options are available right now. Criterion released Life of Oharu on LD so I am assuming that they still own its rights. Same is probably true for Musashino. I've heard that Criterion will release Balthazar later this year now that it's out in the U.K. but then similar things were said last year. Simply put: Criterion needs to drop everything else from their slate and start releasing all the films they can from Bresson and Mizoguchi.

    Surprisingly, the Chinese haven't performed those "port jobs" on the Artificial-Eye released discs of Mizoguchi films where they simply add Chinese script to the box and dvd changing nothing else. (How official are those DVDs? I'm not sure since they aren't available anywhere else online outside of Ebay. Do I care? Nope--I bought the "Chinese" AE released The Apu Trilogy for $15, great quality.)

    Of course almost everthing from Mizoguchi is available in France. Heck, even the Spanish have released much of his work. Life of Oharu is available for about 12 eur, not to mention couple of box-sets consisting of 5 films each.

    http://www.dvdgo.com/product.asp?cat...+Life+Of+Oharu
    Last edited by arsaib4; 01-12-2005 at 01:33 AM.

  15. #30
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    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    Festival Express
    In the summer of 1970, Janis Joplin, The Band, The Grateful Dead and other groups boarded a chartered train in Eastern Canada and traveled west giving concerts at major Canadian cities. Thirty four years later, a documentary of the event was finally released, and what a revelation it is. In Toronto, a group incited people outside the entrance to demand to be let in for free ("it's the people's music"); there were squirmishes that resulted in the near-death of a cop. The promoter agreed to stage a free concert at a park nearby, but press reports of the violence resulted in very poor sales for the upcoming concerts. The promoters decided to absorb the financial loss and let this show on wheels go on. The well equipped (and stocked) CN train provided a perfect environment for the musicians to interact. A mobile commune.
    Just saw this at your reccomendation. Its a great ride. Sort of the first time Ive seen "the kids" from the 70's being protrayed in the wrong (the promoter, the bands and a few commentators were bumbed about how demanding the crowds were).

    In a way it was nice to see because they were in fact badgering the cops who seemed pretty under control, and it was in fact a very expensive show to put on (they wanted free admission).

    Buddy Guy, Janis, The Band and The Dead partying on a train.
    Some genuine musical heros.
    my favorite line:

    "The worst part was when the train stopped and we'd have to get off"

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