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Thread: Nyff 2010

  1. #16
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    Notes on Wed., Sept 15 P&I screenings and the schedule of Thurs.

    Brief comments on today's, Wed., Sept. 15 P&I screenings.

    As mentioned above, they were more samplings of the NYFF sidebar material.
    The first two are from the series MASTERWORKS: Elegant Elegies: The Films of Masahiro Shinoda

    Pale Flower (Kawaita hana 1964, 96 min)
    This is gorgeous, beautifully composed black and white with stylish avantgardist percusiony music by Toru Takemitsu (much more notable than Purcell). Opening gambling sequences are ace. The intercutting of gangster business involving old men and a racetrack somewhat dampen the energy of the gambling and the lone samurai (his tiny pad may show influence of Jean-Pierre Melville's film). I found the pacing and editing somewhat slack at certain points. Muraki (Ryô Ikebe)'s assassination isn't simply done to impress the gambling girl. A Nouvelle Vague evidence and other ones, perhaps including Douglas Sirk, are much in evidence and this is a very Sixties piece, while also quite Japanese. A nice piece of work even if it lacks something. Shinoda seems and by reports was and is a director of the second rank, though he had moments and this is one of them, though by what some say not the best of his early films.

    Silence (Chinmoku 1971, 129m)
    "A 17th-century Portuguese missionary’s betrayal of his beliefs under torture conveys the extraordinary, insidious toll of religious persecution on mind and spirit." Yes, and this is a new topic,at least for us. However it is a shift to square rather than widescreen format and to color and my friend commented that is just looked like "bad Pasolini." Certain features put me off immediately concerning language. Two actors supposed to be Portuguese monk-missionaries are played by an American and an English actor, and -- in complete violation of fact -- they speak English (along with Japanese) to each other and sometimes to the locals. They are also not very good actors. This time, Toremitsu's score doesn't add anything distinctive to the long-winded proceedings. A tedious and drawn-out film. Nothing like the quality of the first one shown here.

    The third film is a documentary about the cinematographer, Jack Cardiff. NYFF summary:

    Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (Craig McCall, 2010, UK; 86m)
    This is a very polished documentary with many interesting talking heads including the ubiquitous Scorsese, who, as usual, has keen observations to make about the look of specific films and the early history of color in movies. Interesting to note hoe much technicolor for Cardiff was seen as like painting, which explains the look's faults as well as its virtues. Cardiff shot THE RED SHOES, Hitchcock's ROPE, THE AFRICAN QUEEN, for a start. What makes this documentary good -- what made it even possible -- is that Cardiff, whose career went back to 1914, not only lived to be 95 but in quite recent years was in excellent shape and spoke very well. A must-watch for those interested in the history of Technicilor or any film buff who cares about mainstream filmmaking, especially English, from the Thirties through the Seventies, and beyond. Cardiff got to work with some of the most beaufiful women in movies during those decades and also did nice big portrait photos of them. And though his directing career was mostly quite undistinguished he directed twelve or fifteen films -- then when the English film industry went downhill, gladly returned to cinematography.

    There will be more sidebar material tomorrow: the three-hour documentary satire on the Romanian dictator and a reconstructed set of footage about the Nurenberg trials:

    Thu Sep 16


    9 am THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU Andrei Ujic, 2010, Romania; 180m
    Noon - press conf VIA SKYPE
    1pm - NURENBERG [The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration] (80m) (Nyff Special Event, "Masterworks" series )
    2:30pm - press conf
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-17-2010 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #17
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    Nuremberg [The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration] is an attempt to recreate a film made shortly after the war crimes tribunals by the US Army. Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky have used a version made for release in Germany and combined the original sound track from the trials with the voiceover text, spoken in this version by Liev Schreiber, but with the film unaltered. A German cut was used because the American ones were degenerated. This film includes grim footage of concentration camps, and opening and closing speeches by lawyers for the defense and prosecution, Judge Jackson of the US Supreme court who presided, and other participants, including the accused. In a post-screening Q&A Ms. Schulberg speculated that the film may have been suppressed in the US for two main reasons, to avoid undermining the Marshall Plan by inflaming Americans against the Germans, and because we can only handle one enemy at a time and the new one was the Soviets. Promoters of this reissue hope that it will increase American awareness of the need for US participating in the International Criminal Court.

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    Andrei Uticǎ: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUŞESCU (2010)

    This documentary, of the experimental, neutral type is composed entirely of state footage and some home movies featuring the Romanian dictator (who reigned from 1965 to 1989, when he and his wife were executed after a revolt), and the footage is presented with and without sound and without commentary and it lasts for three yours. I dare you to watch it. Premiered at Cannes and a NYFF 2010 Special Event.

  4. #19
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    Olivier Assayas: CARLOS (2010)

    TV miniseries about the revolutionary pro-Palestinian terrorist now known as "Carlos the Jackal" whose exploits in the Sevenies made him world famous. Notable for its authentic flavor, rich locations, many languages, deep supporting cast, and the powerful lead performance of Venezuelan actor Édgar Ramírez, whom Todd McCarthy has compared to "the arrogant charisma of Brando in his prime." To be released in several formats and lengths in the US by IFC.

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    Lee Chang-dong: Poetry (2010)

    Themes of moral responsibility, beauty in everyday life, aging in a brilliantly integrated film awarded as Best Screenplay at the Cannes Festival this year.

    Click on the title above for the review in the Festival Coverage section.

  6. #21
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    Michelangelo Frammartino: Le Quattro Volte (2010)

    Pythagoras, transmigration of souls, and Calabrian goats are keys to this blend of fiction and documentary much admired at Cannes.

  7. #22
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    Hong Sang-Soo: OKI'S MOVIE (2010)

    Hong Sang-soo means philandering drinkers, egocentric filmmakers, pretty women, winter weather, and endless self-reflectiveness. This can lead him to good character studies, ironic laughs, keenly observed almost-real-time flirtations -- and to a light intellectualism and energetic use of dialogue that owe a clear debt to the French New Wave. This time. . .

    Click on title above for festival review.

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    Patrick Keiller : ROBINSON IN RUINS (2010)

    Vanessa Redgrave voices the narration of this intriguing, intelligent film that hovers between historical analysis and geographical essay while traveling in an ellipse around the south of England with a series of static shots of locations that illustrate ecology, history, and politics in a world marked by the collapse of late stage capitalism, privatization of public lands (from the 16th century onwards), the emptying of the countryside, and planetary ecological disaster.

    Click on the title above for the festival review.

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    Apichatpong Weerasethakul: UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (2010)


    Won the Golden Palm (to[ prize) at the Cannes Festival this year, a film about going over to the other side, with elements that are at once beautiful and funny.

    Click on the title above for the festival review.

  10. #25
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    Abbas Kiarostami: CERTIFIED COPY (2010)

    Is a copy as good as the real thing in art? Why are these two people playing at being an old married couple? A film by the great Iranian director made in Tuscany with an English opera singer and a French actress, Juliette Binoche, who received the Best Actress award at Cannes this year for her performance.

    Click on the title above for the Filmleaf Festival Coverage review.

  11. #26
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    Michael Epstein: LennonNYC (2010)

    The new documentary of the ups and downs of John Lennon's nine years in the Big Apple is part of the American Masters PBS series which will debut on the small screen in Novembrer. Thre is a lot of archival footage, and interviews, including Yoko.

  12. #27
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    Fantastic thread Chris. I don't wanna interrupt this marvelous series of posts/reviews. Wish I could be in NY.

    "The Social Network" is a film that I'm really itchin' to see. David Fincher is always compelling.
    I know it captures the moment. And that's a GREAT thing.

    Is Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" playing at the fest? I know it opened at Cannes.
    Look for Werner Herzog's latest too: he DID have a film premiering in Toronto. A doc on caves I heard.
    Thanks for the press releases. Nice to read such supplements.

    Uncle Boonmee is a film I've been itchin' to see too. Ever since it won the Palme.
    The Jack Cardiff doc ("Cameraman") sounds like essential viewing. and the Scorsese/Jones piece is awesome. Thanks again.

    Are you "festivalled-out" yet?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  13. #28
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    Is Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" playing at the fest?
    It is not. There are as usual only 28 Main Slate selections. No prizes: being selected is itself a prize. You need to go back one page on this thread and you'll get the Main slate list here.

    "The Social Network" is a film that I'm really itchin' to see.
    So is everybody, including me. It has also been receiving a lot of publicity, especially in New York (lead articles in The New Yorker, New York Magazine, the NY Times). However it is opening theatrically shortly after its Nyff premiere, so the festival isn't offering anything hard to find in it, or in Clint's HEREAFTER or Julie Taymor's THE TEMPEST, though all may have a lot to offer, we'll see.

    Are you "festivalled-out" yet?
    I hope not: I'm not half way through the Main Slate yet. However this is the testing middle week--twelve films. Beside the Jack Ca5rdiff and Elia Kazan films, another show biz must-see is LennonNYC, which screened today.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-19-2017 at 08:46 PM.

  14. #29
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    Alexei Fedorchenko: SILENT SOULS (2010)

    Smoking, burning, and buntings on a doomed road trip. A 75mm Russian film in handsome 35mm Scope, the director's third feature, focuses on rituals of the dying Merja culture of a Finno-Ugric tribe in West Central Russia. Two friends go to cremate the dead wife of one. Shown three weeks earlier at Venice.

    Click on the title for the festival review.

  15. #30
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    Sergei Loznitsa: MY JOY (2010)

    Click on the title above for the festival review.

    The Belarus-born documentary filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa has produced a frustrating first feature in My Joy, a film that joins together a series of mostly violent and increasingly repugnant anecdotes he was told during a decade of wandering the Russian provinces. When you have seen this film, you will cross visiting Russia forever off your "to-do" list. Loznitsa doesn't abandon narrative. He simply violates its rules.

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