Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345
Results 61 to 74 of 74

Thread: Nyff 2011

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,666
    It am curious about the critical reception Melancholia will get when released in the US. The only von Trier film American critics have liked since the undeniable Breaking the Waves in 1997 is The Boss of it All (metacritic 71). I defended him when both Dogville (meta. 59) and Manderlay (46) were grossly underrated in our country. However, Antichrist was a big disappointment for me and felt it deserved the harsh criticism it received from a number of well-known critics (meta. 49). Trier will always be a "director to follow" for me. He's always...interesting, I'd say. But, after what I consider his second interesting failure in a row, I figure his best period may have passed. Antichrist and Melancholia, which I just watched, are indicative of a filmmaker who has run out of things to say, one shackled by a worldview that is too narrow, schematic and constricting. One major problem for me is that Trier has lost any interest in characterization, seems to have lost interest in human beings in all their nuance and complexity. There are always interesting moments in these films and images of awesome power but not nearly enough to sustain this viewer for the duration of the films. Predicted Metacritic score for Melancholia? 50.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    Maybe the answer to your dismissal is that Von Trier has not run out of ideas, but shifted to different ones. And, of course, as is well known, he has had a severe two-year depression. But it''s been a very productive depression and these two beautiful and thought-provoking films came out of it. Some of us feel he is at the top of his game as a filmmaker. As a provocateur, he has toned down this time. I'd like to discuss this further but I have to write reviews of The Artist and The Descendants while I remember them and before I leave New York for Paris again.

    Most ratings are pretty arbitrary, and also culture-bound. It's more important just to know what's being done than to rate it.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    Michel Hazanavicius: The Artist (2011)

    A black and white silent film about a silent film star whose life goes into decline when talkies take over. A new female star whom he got started rescues him. The male star, Jean Dujardin, won the Best Actor award at Cannes. A homage to silent films and to film in general, richly embellished and touching as well as funny, but a rather specialized item, despite its intended mainstream appeal. US release coming.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    Alexander Payne: The Descendants (2011)

    With George Clooney as the star and Hawaii as the setting, it might seem this, Payne's first since Sideways seven years ago, is an unnecessary item to include in the highly selective main slate of the NYFF, except that it turns out to be one of the best American films of the year. The story of a man from a patrician Hawaii family overburdened with decisions and new responsibilities, The Descendants succeeds on many levels.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,666
    "Kaurismäki adheres strictly to his signature style here,... But there's something awry: the gloom is missing."

    "For the dyed-in-the-wool Kaurismäki fan there are many little pleasures here but the big pleasure of bathing in a negativism so austere it makes you shiver -- that is totally lacking. "

    "Everything he includes in a film becomes Kaurismäki. And there are those that will like the director even more with an ubeat, updated theme. However, it's really not the same without the pessimism. Without it, the drollness loses its edge. "
    Quotes from Chris Knipp's review of Le Havre.


    Chris, this time I object. I don't have a problem with your not thinking this film was worth including in the fest and your not thinking THIS film is all that good. I disagree but that is perfectly fine. The problem is that, in your review, you totally mischaracterize Aki Kaurismaki's vision as expressed in his long filmography. Negativism and pessimism are NOT characteristic of Aki's films. The Leningrad Cowboys series is full of good cheer. Of course, most of his films are about proletarian loners and oddballs living in lamentable conditions and then bad things happen to them. What happens next is that they find someone to love who loves them back. And music (usually rock 'n roll) or movies serve as sources of joy and inspiration. Towards the end of the typical Aki movie the characters find... happiness. Granted, often the loving couple has to leave Finland to live happily (to a place that is often Estonia, as in Shadows in Paradise, but it can be as far as Mexico, as in Ariel ). The disillusioned, unemployed couple in Drifting Clouds end up realizing their dream of owning their own restaurant with the help of a group of friends and people from the neighborhood. In The Man Without a Past, the homeless, destitute protagonist ends up falling in love with the lonely Salvation Army lady who helps him get on his feet. Proletarian solidarity and warm humanism are characteristic of Kaurismaki, not negativity and pessimism. Kaurismaki's films are about how people overcome, forgo or transcend negativity and pessimism.

    *Your characterization of Kaurismaki fits only one Kaurismaki film, Lights in the Dusk (2006). The only other film I can think of that one may interpret as pessimistic would be The Match Factory Girl, although I'd argue that the protagonist ends up realizing her wish: to exact the cold revenge she deserves.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    My review expressed my taste and was not meant to be a precise characterization of Kaurismäki 's whole oeuvre. If I implied that and was inaccurate about it, I'm sorry. I see you yourself do find two of his films fit my description, so I'm not wholly off base.

    I ought not to have mentioned "selectivity" but I didn't mean to say this film was not worth including, only that I did not see the necessity of including it. I said some very favorable things about it, said it was a pleasure to watch Kaurismäki at work. Other reviews (doubtless by those more familiar with the oeuvre) suggest the positive thrust is greater than usual here.

    A greater criticism is the lack of anything new, despite the French overlay. From MUBI an aggregation of comments includes this:
    Fernando F Croce at the House Next Door. "The dangers of auteurs refusing to venture beyond their established styles and worldviews are on full display "
    There are compensations. But I felt unsatisfied. There is a patness in the pursuit of the signature style. But this film got raves here. No danger of my view prevailing. Write your own review.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,666
    What's new here besides "the French overlay" is the inclusion of Asian and African characters.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    Yes, and that is part of the new political element. But there's still the "patness in the pursuit of the signature style" and the pushing toward a positive outcome too early and too completely to fit with the deadpan and the gloom. If in fact Kaurasmäki is as upbeat throughout his oeuvre as you say, I may like him less that I thought.

    Filmmaker Magazine:
    But this time, the sadsack aura of the Kaurismäki oeuvre gives way to a cheerier vision
    A webiste, Filmophilia:
    The problem is mainly that Kaurismaki isn’t really doing anything new here, he’s basically been doing the same movie for nearly 30 years.
    And that's despite the new elements. I suspect that just isn't going to be seen ultimately as one of Kaurismäki's best.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    Though not one of my personal favorites, Bela Tarr's THE TURIN HORSE was one of the most admired NYFF 2011 offerings. And now as promised the FSLC is presenting a retrospective of Tarr's distinctive and influential work, followed by a theatrical release of THE TURIN HORSE.


    THE LAST MODERNIST: THE COMPLETE WORKS OF BÉLA TARR
    February 3-8 Hungarian maestro Béla Tarr's final film and NYFF hit, The Turin Horse, will open theatrically on Feb 10th immediately following a complete retrospective of the filmmaker's work which includes his career-defining partnership with Satantango novelist Laszlo Krasznahorkai. Read More
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-20-2012 at 02:32 AM.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    THIS IS NOT A FILM

    Jafar Panahi's THIS IS NOT A FILM opens for a two-week run at Film Forum in New York on February 29, 2012, the US premiere (it has already shown in France). I should have included it in my2011 Best Lists somewhere but now it can go in this year's.

    “The plainness of Mr. Panahi’s self-presentation – nothing to see here, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad! – is the source of the film’s sly, subversive power and also of its formal ingenuity. Nobody who holds onto the faith that art can be a weapon against tyranny should miss it – here or anywhere else it turns up.”
    – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

    “A Kafkaesque comedy of anxiety and a tale of empty spaces gradually filled. A micro-scaled masterpiece.”
    – Fernando Croce, Slant
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 02-03-2012 at 12:24 AM.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    NOTE:

    CORPO CELESTE will be shown at the San Francisco Film Society's Cinema on Post Street in San Francisco from June 29 to July 5, 2012.

    Detalis here.

    1746 Post Street (Webster/Buchanan)

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,666
    Our theatrical run of Corpo Celeste begins July 6th. Can't wait!

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,276
    I recommend it highly and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Above all I am happy when there is a new talent making good and ambitious films in Italian, which are in too short supply these days. Unfortunately though it's gotten "generally favorable reviews" (Metacritic 66), less ambitious local products have a bit fared better than they seem to deserve, comparatively (Your Sister's Sister 71; Safety Not Guaranteed 72; Prometheus 65). For there to be only one point between Corpo Celeste and Prometheus would seem to show the power of expensive publicity campaigns and famous names.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-27-2012 at 12:13 AM.

Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •