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Thread: PARIS MOVIE REPORT October 2013

  1. #16
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    Briefly noted. Showing at the new art film-rich MK2 Beaubourg cinema.

    LA BATAILLE DE SOLFERINO (Justine Triet, French, Allociné press 3.8). Sounds like a smart, topical romantic comedy about a telejournalist. Might see this tomorrow.
    LES APACHES (French, Thierry de Perettii, Allociné press 3.4): About Corsican youths who stage their own sort of bling ring experience. I watched part of this but then switched to
    ROOM 514 (Sharon Bar-Ziv, Israeli, in Herew with French subtitles, Allociné press 3.4). About a young woman about to leave the Israeli army where she is a security investigator, who faces strong moral issues. I saw and will review this one.
    LES INVISIBLES (Sébastien Lipchutz, French documentary, Allocine press: 4.1). About gay Europeans in the between-two-wars period who chose to live out of the closet.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-26-2013 at 12:43 AM.

  2. #17
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    PARIS MOVIE REPORT (OCTOBER 2013)

    Sharon Bar-Ziv: ROOM 514 (2012)


    GUY KAPULNIK AND ASIA NAIFELD IN ROOM 514

    Sex and lies and military careers in Israel

    The title itself signals an intent to be claustrophobic. Viewing this film reminded me that the best scene in Joseph Cedar's somewhat celebrated academic tragicomedy Footnote (NYFF 2012) abut a ruthless competition among Israeli Talmudic scholars, is also of men shut tightly up in a tiny closed room. Do Israelis feel peculiarly themselves now in claustrophobic situations, huits clos, secret private courtrooms where they are tried and found wanting but hide the secret from each other? All action, shot quickly after extensive rehearsals on a limited budget, occurs in this small room or inside a bus. This film is as economical as it is confined. Only a few brief black and white interludes of the main character alone fiddling about alone seem dispensable. It gives you plenty to think about that reflects on Israel's moral isolation.

    The focus is on a young woman who is about to get out of the army and plans on entering law school. She has worked and now still works as an IDF military police investigator. She has also been having a sexual affair, we soon learn, also in Room 514, with a male colleague, who is himself about to marry and, of course, is hiding this affair from his fiance. There are two other reasonably attractive young men and an attractive older man who interact one-on-one with the young woman, all seen up close in a jittery handheld camera. One of the men is a gung-ho young unit commander accused of brutal treatment of a Palestinian Arab pater familias in front of his children in the occupied territories. The other is the chief witness of this alleged misconduct. The older man is the general in charge of the unit who is outraged at this investigation, which has potentially dire consequences for the accused, and perhaps the army.

    This action is very like a play, except that the vivid camerawork creates effects you can't get on stage. As any Arab viewer will note, Arabs are barely more than an abstraction in this film. We don't ever see any. But there's the point of the striking airless imagery: this is about what goes on inside these young Israeli's heads, where Arabs are The Other, which may have various implications, all of them detached from reality. Room 514 consequently becomes a little bit abstract at times, more theoretical than real. But this is a weakness you may think of later that's pushed away while the movie unreels by how intense the tightly filmed up-front action is. The way this is shot there are long takes and the actors perform splendidly under close and prolonged scrutiny: this is, however minimal, tour-de-force stuff.

    Every encounter between the young woman and the men is partly sexual. Thus it makes sense that the opening sequence is a real-time no-nonsense fuck, in Room 514, quick enough, and only partially undressed. The girl is Anna (Asia Naifeld, who looks a bit like Kate Winslet), the guy, Erez (Ohad Hall), who's her immediate superior. After this long-feeling sequence, as they get dressed, it's clear this has gone on a while. He's not sure about his impending marriage, but she strongly, with a devil-may-care air, urges him to go ahead with it ("If it doesn't work, just change it"). They also discuss the case that she wants to pursue of a Palestinian complaint against an officer they accuse of needless brutality. He urges her not to, saying it's political and might backfire (it does). There are glimpses after sex that show Erez and Anna have a special rapport. They are easy with one another. Erez tells Anna she's the only person who can make him laugh. The Erez-Anna relationship in the face of Erez's coming marriage is a metaphor for another aspect of Israeli life, the way it's outwardly free-thinking and hedonistic and inwardly rigid and conventional. Thus Alissa Simon in her Variety review can reasonably describe this film as "repping a microcosm of Israeli society," though that's obviously a bit of a simplification.

    For her case, which she sees as destined to be the legacy of her military service, Anna has to get an inside Israeli military witness, and persuades Sgt. Nimrod (Guy Kapulnik), whom we now see in more tight camerawork, in Room 514. Bar-Ziv capitalizes on the three young men's erect military sameness by shooting toward Anna as scenes begin so we don't totally know which of them she's talking to. Nimrod has big, slightly pretty features. He's intense and sensitive. Later he will follow her on the bus she takes home each day to tell her his decision to testify against his commanding officer has robbed him of all friends in the barracks. Everyone calls him a traitor and a snitch now. Next Anna meets up with her defendant, arrogant true believer patriot Davidi (Udi Persi). Anna takes his weapon and disarms it before their first encounter. And later she sees him with Nimrod, but Davidi asks her if she can't turn off the video camera, to at least remove Nimrod from the room.

    Everything out of Davidi's arrogant, self-confident and furiously angry mouth expresses the paranoia and self-justification of Israel's position in the world. In his view anything he has done is justified so long as Israelis can go home and find their families still alive. That is his job, and he's been doing it. He is proud of his unit's record. How dare Anna support Palestinians? By his own lights Davidi is a decent man and it's clear than in some sense he is. But the film's point is that even in this tiny room other moral universes cannot be kept from entering.

    Making virtue of the necessity Bar-Ziv has created, he has Anna move physically close to both Nimrod and Davidi, whose plights she seems to sympathize with equally even though she considers herself powerless to change anything. In her final scene with him she talks Davidi into signing a confession that the accusations are true promising this will gain him more lenient treatment by the court. He nonetheless crumbles, his cocky facade broken. He feels his life is over. The consequences of this step are indeed dire and Anna is in trouble and the final confrontation is between her and the general who commands the whole brigade, who is furious about this case and instead of sending a representative, comes in person and confronts Anna as intimately as the three young men have done and with at least nearly as much sexual tension in the close air of Room 514.

    Room 514/Heder 514, 91 mins., is Sharon Bar-Ziv's first feature, and debuted at Rotterdam Jan. 2012, showing at a number of other international festivals. It won Best New Narrative Director - Special Jury Mention at Tribeca 2012. Limited French release began 9 Oct. 2013. Screened for this review at MK2 Beaubeaurg, Paris, 25 Oct. 2013.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-18-2014 at 01:52 AM.

  3. #18
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    PARIS MOVIE REPORT (OCTOBER 2013)

    Alejandro Jodorowsky: THE DANCE OF REALITY (2013)


    JEREMIAS HERSKOVITS AND ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY IN THE DANCE OF REALITY

    It all means something this time

    Though it has its share of dwarfs and amputees and other signature images that can be disturbing to viewers, Jodorowsky's first big feature in years, based on his childhood in Chile, ends up feeling healing and positive. In spite of all the punishments and disasters the director's young alter ego and his father must undergo, there is a light-hearted, it's-all-for-the-best tone that bespeaks a mature mellowness. There is also much that the director has to say about life, sometimes a little too overtly stated. Think a (admittedly very offbeat) Hallmark card with a touch of Zen and design by Fellini and De Sica (with a nod to ) and you won't be too far off the mark. But you also won't forget this is Jodorowsky, and nobody else, making a convincing bid to be added back firmly onto the roster of the world's great living directors. And indeed Jodorowsky himself appears, like a benign, elegant deus ex machina, standing by to comfort and guide his younger self (played by the wonderful Jeremias Herskovits) as well as his excellent son Brontis, who plays his own father, Jaime Jodorowsky. This is the director's first really personal work since Santa Sangre in 1989, and it has an authenticity and purity lacking in his earlier surreal midnight cult favorites, El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973), which seemed more qualified to impress and shock than to enlighten.

    La danza de la realidad is a triumph, but it's not everybody's cup of tea (and that includes me), and it is not likely to reveal its riches in a single viewing. Narrative-wise it seems too much, initially, like one unexpected, off-the-wall thing after another. And it's self-described genre of "imaginary autobiography" with a plethora of surreal, symbolic scenes, means they require a great deal of interpretation to be more than just a pleasingly colorful show.

    Jodorowsky returns to his hometown of Tocopilla in the Chilean desert for the setting of this film, which focuses on himself in the shadow of his father, a fierce communist (Stalin an idol) who rages at the world, including his son, and at the equally raging antisemitism he and his family continually face during these early years. Some of the color includes full-fledged Nazis with red swastikas, the Chilean flag, a red communist uniform young Alejandro is suited up in, free-flowing blood -- and a busty mother, Sara (Pamela Flores), her sexy, but also comforting cleavage never out of sight, who sings all her lines operatically in a quavering soprano. The boy Alejandro Jodorowsky is made to man up by his bullying, former circus performer father in a variety of ways, in the face of Sara's desire to pamper and baby him, whose smothering effect is grotesquely increased by her mad conviction that little Alejandro is the literal reincarnation of her own father. The boy has his long Little Lord Fauntleroy golden locks shorn at father's orders. At the barber's, a few of those locks are cut off, and then to enhance a Brechtian sense of the film's theatricality, the wig is pulled away, but young Alejandro yells and weeps just the same as if he were being scalped. His father also tickles the boy all over with a feather and forces him to repress his giggles. Then when a tooth is damaged, he makes him have the dental repairs without any anesthetic.

    The preteen Alejandro's private explorations of Tocopilia lead him to a partly realistic, partly El Topo-crazy world of costumed dwarfs, maimed mine workers, and a muscular, tattooed Theosophist who teaches him about meditation, as weall as a strange drunk who warns him not to throw stones into the sea.

    More pain comes when Jaime, the father, who pathetically fails at a quixotic personal attempt to assassinate the hated Chilean fascist general Ibanez, is tortured by the state police, hung upside down, electrocuted on a metal bed, then, still naked, has electric wires attached to his testicles. We can only imagine the Freudian psychotherapy thus achieved with Jaime played by the director's own son. And we also can only imagine the very real memories of childhood psychological pain Jodorowsky is working through with his surreal mythologizing. Here, though, every sequence of pain and dire consequence somehow ends with a positive outcome.

    The sense of the film is that the "dance of reality" of art, or of a magic realisti-surrealist Latin American filmmaker of Jodorowsky's free-ranging imagination, is largely a dancing away from reality, rather than into it. And yet the overall feeling of positivity comes across as an embracing of life. Anyway, the brush Jodorowsky paints with as always is not the brush of Jane Austen or (God forbid) Norman Rockwell, but the brush of Fellini, Tod Browning, or Emir Kusturica -- the addition of Browning I owe to Peter Bradshaw's Cannes review in the Guardian.

    The darker, heavier second half of this long film switches the focus to Jaime, the father, and may constitute Alejandro's attempt to forgive -- a process he night have achieved cinematically earlier had he not had so much trouble getting his bizarre, original fantasies produced for over two decades: but the wait, as they say, was worth it. The director keeps a series of spectacles and fabulous scenes coming, always with the focus on the present one, somewhat to the detriment of a unified whole. Scott Foundas in his Variety review suggests that sometimes the filmmaker's limited means and budget can't quite keep up with his imagination, but he also suggests that the "unapologetically low-fi" CGI may enhance rather than undermine the magic -- and Jodorowsky proves here his own claim of being a magician, somehow. Though Brontis is the family member who gives most visibly and generously, another son, Adan, wrote the score, and the 84-year-old (but still Haneke-handsome) director's wife Pascale Montandon-Jodorowsky provides the colorful, bright eye-candy costumes. The bright look of the film contribues to its sense of positivity despite the elements of cruelty and trauma.

    La danza de la realidad, 130 mins., debuted at Cannes in the Directors' Fortnight series and has shown at at a number of other international festivals. It opened theatrically in France 4 September 2013, with good reviews (Allociné press rating 3.9). Screened for this review at Cinéma La Clef in Paris 26 October 2013. Thanks to my "Chtarbmusique" jazz vibraphonist friend Alain Pinsolle for inviting me to this screening.

    Limited US release begins Fri. 23 May 2014 in NYC (Landmark Sunshine) and LA (Nuart Theater).
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-04-2014 at 01:14 AM.

  4. #19
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    PARIS MOVIE REPORT (OCTOBER 2013)

    Albert Dupontel: 9 MONTH STETCH (2013)


    ALBERT DUPONTEL AND SANDRINE KIBERLAIN IN 9 MONTH STRETCH

    Legal funny business

    9 Month Stretch, actor Albert Dupontel's fifth directorial outing, in which he costars with skilled comedienne Sandrine Kiberlain, is a droll, disposable, far-fetched little French legal comedy with plenty of good visual business. Ariane Felder (Kiberlain) is a severe, driven, highly accomplished Paris Judge d'instruction (a title peculiar to the civil, rather than common law, trial system). She's a proudly single 30-something married only to her work and slated for precocious promotion to a more exalted slot in the Paris courts pecking order. As a result of being pulled unwilling into her colleagues' raucous New Year's celebration and getting quite drunk, she finds herself six months later, to her utter surprise, pregnant with a little boy. Eventually it turns out the father is not, as she first thought, her flirty, supercilious colleague Godfrey (Philippe Uchan), but a common criminal known as Bob Nolan (Dupontel). How the dickens did that happen? Obviously nobody was paying very good attention, neither the colleague, nor Ariane, nor Bob Nolan, who doesn't seem to remember it either.

    To begin with -- example of Dupontel's taste in visual business, augmented by a hyperactive swirling camera swinging restlessly from sight gag to sight gag -- Ariane blasts Godrey in the head with a golf club, drawing off a hunk of flesh and blood, which she takes to a court lab for a DNA test. More violent business comes as the forensics surgeon gleefully chops up and saws a corpse as they talk. It is sort of funny, because it's so Monty-Pythonishly over the top, and we're surprised to see such gleeful gore in a sort of sophisticated French comedy. Other slapstick includes a statuette that knocks out Godfrey later when he's banging on the desk angrily in his office, and Ariane jumping off a chair to cause a (far too late) miscarriage, caught just in time by Bob. And repeated images of an elderly bourgeois who was not just burglarized but has his limbs lopped off and his eyes popped out and eaten by the burglar. Bob imagines alternate versions of this crime, which he's accused (falsely) of, when discussing with an eventually friendly Ariane how he might be forgiven of this horror, if he can't prove he didn't do it. And this is funny too, again because it can't possibly be taken seriously so you must laugh so as not to cry or toss your cookies, and it's Monty Python-inspired. By the way Bob escapes from jail in a trice to go and see Ariane and prusue his defense: piece of cake. After all, he's a safe-cracker, and this is farce.

    A lengthy piece of more verbal but still utterly slapstick business is Bob's assigned defense lawyer, Maître Trolos (Nicolas Marié), a preposterously spectacular stammerer whose disability would have kept him in real life from even vaguely considering this profession as an option. No wonder Bob locks Ariane in with him in her apartment to force her to take on his case. When another preposterous detail, a police surveillance man (Belgian vet Bouli Lanners of Rust and Bone) who has detailed videotapes of every move of Ariane and of Bob on New Year's night, makes Ariane realize Bob is the father, she is led into a dramatic defense indeed that trumps Maître Trolos' bumbles.

    Beyond the sight gags this film lightly mocks the hypocrisies and confusions of the French legal system, not always very plausibly. But the lack of realism does not undercut the technical prowess and up-to-date-ness of the visual gags. There are cameos by Terry Gilliam (a sign of the Monty Python mentoring here) as an imprisoned Hannibal Lector type who endorses the limb-lopping eye-gobbling burglar, and Jean Dujardin of The Artist as a translator. The basic elements here might work for an American remake, though the legal details would have to be altered considerably and tone would be a tricky matter.

    Rube Goldberg might almost have been another distant mentor, in the unlikely case that Dupontel and his crew ever heard of him.

    9 Month Stretch doesn't begin to care about plausibility -- it only cares about laughs. And it gets them -- especially from a Paris audience on an early Sunday afternoon that was already chuckling at the trailers.

    9 Month Stretch/9 mois ferme, a trim 82 mins., debuted at Angoulême and opened in Belgium and France 16 October 2013. Screened for this review at UGC Odéon 27 Oct. If Allociné's press ratings are to be trusted, this got somewhat better reviews in the French press (4.0) than Jodorowsky's new film (3.9), though the latter would seem destined to be longer remembered, by far. Note (7 Mar. 2014): 9 Month Stretch got César nominations for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Kiberlain won for Best Actress.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-07-2014 at 09:33 PM.

  5. #20
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    PARIS MOVIE REPORT (OCTOBER 2013)

    Pier Paolo Pasolini: MEDEA (1969)



    Pasolini's stripped-down, hieratic 'Medea' doesn't really work

    Paris, like San Francisco, has been having autumn 2013 revival showings of Pasolini's films. The early ones are original expressions of the neorealist legacy, with his own fanciful touches, as in his extraordinary The Gospel According to St. Matthew. (To his lasting credit, he was always experimenting; and let's not forget he was also a significant novelist and great poet.) Later, the bawdy story trilogy is, generally, wonderful and inspired. Others are strange and uneven, or don't quite work, such as Oedipus and Medea, and the punishing sado-masochistic meander that is Salo. Medea, starring Maria Callas, is Pasonli's eighth film, just before his story trilogy based successively on The Decameron, Canterbury Tales, and 1001 Nights. Medea makes use of the same exotic mixture, but in a stilted, static, awkward sort of way that never quite works. Pasolini's Medea is a disaster, though of course not an unmitigated one. The settings blend European and Middle Eastern, the clothes are fantastic inventions, with North African tribal music and at a key late point the twangy strumming sounds of Japanese Noh drama. Local actors are mixed in with imported Italians,. (All this worked best with the 1001 Nights, a story collection that is itself a lapidary exotic mix.) The movement in Media is slow, with relatively little dialogue. Pasolini has stripped down Euripides to an empty, brightly colored husk.

    Jason and the argonauts come to Medea. She's a "barbarian," so Pasolini depicts her people as spending a lot of time out in the open performing rituals and sacrifices to bring a good harvest (Stavinsky's Rite of Spring might be thought of.) The costumes and dances are said to be "based on those of Eastern European Mummers [sic] such as the Romanian Calusari ceremonies and their counterparts in the Balkans" (Wikipedia), but they look quite a lot like fanciful Sixties or Seventies stage costumes to me. They kind of foreshadow "The Lion King." But not any version you'd bring your kids to, since a central ritual includes killing a handsome young man and cutting out his organs and passing out the flesh and blood to everyone present, and, of course, a woman who (in this version somewhat inexplicably) murders her two young sons.

    The film's earliest scenes involve a centaur (a good-humored and often smiling Laurent Terzieff) flashing bright movie-star teeth) addressing the young Jason. Or so I am told. I could not make much sense of it. The centaur turns into a man but Jason pays no attention; perhaps neither do we, since it seems just poor continuity. When Jason grows up he's played, typical for Pasolini, by an actor who is pure eye candy, Giuseppe Gentile. He doesn't perform his lines very well, but then in this film most scenes do not require effective line delivery.

    When Medea comes on the scene, she doesn't ever say much -- perhaps because Pasolini was using Callas, a singer, who could not be trusted to deliver spoken lines well, but largely because of the very arbitrary, abstracted version of the play that's being presented, which has most of the lines cut out. I remember an old recording of Judith Anderson's celebrated performance of an English version of Euripides in which everything was made of words, delivered with great power. It was riveting, and meaningful. Without the speeches of Medea to define her position, with everything reduced to ritual and spectacle, the play begins to seem like people posing in costumes, and often a bit awkwardly at that, however nice looking they are and handsomely costumed. And titillatingly. One must note the ultra short shorts the younger men are fitted with, which show as much leg and thigh as in a Japanese male festival.

    If some of the handsome men and boys, however nice their legs, are lifeless eye candy -- and one wonders why Pasolini always has his young cute non actors smile in every shot, regardless of the action), Callas is iconic at best rather than real. She is perhaps not comfortable in front of the cameras; it was an unfamiliar gig for her. And she is by no means always photographed well. At times her closeups in the bright sunight are overexposed and she looks surprisingly ordinary, which in life and in performance in her heyday was certainly not the case. After he Meneghini makeover she was a very striking and elegant woman. It's sad that this film, despite being largely spectacle, doesn't quite capture that. But then Medea is a role that calls not for soulfulness and elegant lyricism but grit and ferocious anger. This is novelty celebrity casting. Nonetheless, Callas has a strong theatrical presence, and wears her heavy hieratic costumes with ease.

    In the play Medea's horrific revenge murder of her two young boys happens off-stage. Pasolini chooses instead to film it. Only it is a slow and dragged out sequence, agonizing, and lacking a sense of fulfillment, in which we see Medea bathe the two boys one by one and prepare them for bed. And then we see a knife and we see a bit of blood; that's all. Here Pasolini seems to lack a sense of action pacing. But without Medea's words before, during, or after the event, it's a strange sequence anyway. This film shows that Pasolini as a filmmaker was always at best a brilliant amateur. His boldness and originality, his breaking of rules, sometimes works terrifically well, and sometimes falls flat, as it does here. Of course this is meant as a radical reinterpretation of ancient material in primitive ritualistic terms. But this is Greek tragedy. More is lost than gained. This isn't the case with the story trilogy. Pasolini uses only a handful from each of the three collections, but in them he brings them magically to life.

    Medea/Médée, 110 mins., in Italian with French subtitles, was screened for this review at MK2 Hautefeuille in Paris 25 October 2013. The Turner Classic comment is sensible.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-29-2013 at 11:33 AM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Knipp View Post

    Alejandro Jodorowsky: THE DANCE OF REALITY (2013)
    Think a (admittedly very offbeat) Hallmark card with a touch of Zen and design by Fellini and De Sica (with a nod to ) and you won't be too far off the mark. But you also won't forget this is Jodorowsky, and nobody else, making a convincing bid to be added back firmly onto the roster of the world's great living directors. It has an authenticity and purity lacking in his earlier surreal midnight cult favorites, El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973), which seemed more qualified to impress and shock than to enlighten. Anyway, the brush Jodorowsky paints with as always is not the brush of Jane Austen or (God forbid) Norman Rockwell, but the brush of Fellini, Tod Browning, or Emir Kusturica -- the addition of Browning I owe to Peter Bradshaw's Cannes review.

    La danza de la realidad, 130 mins., debuted at Cannes in the Directors' Fortnight series
    Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn introduced Jodorowski to the Cannes audience as the greatest living director and his cult following is large (close to a million followers on tweeter, by the way) and legendary. But there's also a large number of people in the global film culture (programmers, critics, etc) who think far less of him and his movies. Jonathan Rosenbaum, for example, calls him a "charlatan" making "enjoyable nonsense". Here's a quote for you: "The Mel Brooks of Mexican pop surrealism, Jodorowsky always follows the premise that if you hit the audience with 30 outrageous ideas in a row, 2 or 3 are bound to work. But unlike Brooks — and closer to such poseurs as Fernando Arrabal — he has no sense of humor, much less an interesting sensibility."
    I think, especially after finally catching up with this woefully neglected Danza de la Realidad, that he is misunderstood and under-appreciated. His engagement with circus culture and the grotesque comes from personal experience (careers as clown, mime, comic book artist, involvement in the movimiento panico , etc) not borrowed from Fellini or Browning. It's also very easy to forget his forays within the Mexican film industry that gave us great filmmakers such as del Toro and Arturo Ripstein (I know you're familiar with him from your reviews). They share a concern for the marginalized, the queer and the grotesque that is genuine; it comes from experience, not second hand like Woody Allen's borrowings from Bergman and Fellini.
    I'm going to watch the sequel to this film soon. Have you seen it?
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 06-25-2019 at 09:43 PM.

  7. #22
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    Actually no, I seem not to have seen the sequel, Poesia sin fin. Though I could see it and not remember, because they overlap. Jodorowsky is ninety now, still active and still amazingly handsome. You have to admire him just for that, and the energy of his imagination. Unlike you, Jonathan Rosenbaum isn't a point of reference for me but when he says A.J. has no sense of humor, my reaction is that may instead by Rosenbaum who lacks one. One might need to take Jodorowsky with a grain of salt, or with a smile. However I'm surprised if I didn't mention this, but I saw this film in Paris with a French friend (one who adores A.J. but doesn't go to movies but rarely) and after as we walked along he was so moved he was speechless and said he absolutely couldn't talk about the film. I'm sure he was very serious.

    "The Mel Brooks of Mexican pop surrealism" is a cheap shot, and unworthy of either A.J. or J.R. I doubt there is such a thing as "pop surrealism" really, and I have never paid any attention to Mel Brooks and don't know what he's talking about, but Jodorowsky is so totally hispanic, comparing him to anyone so American-sounding as that is preposterous. Jodorowsky may have many inspirations, but his also sui generis.

    Misunderstood and marginalized A.J. may be, but there are good reasons. He didn't do anything for a long time, and most people here probably haven't seen his work. Or they take Jonathan Rosenbaum or some other writer as their authority and dismiss him.

    That's a somewhat cheap shot at Woody Allen, on your part, I fear. I know it's the style to treat him as a pariah at the moment, but I love his films and while his love of Bergman and Antonioni may seem somewhat second hand, a lot of his content is very intimate and well observed and of the American tradition and particularly of a New York Jewish comic tradition he knows really well. So he doesn't feel second hand to me at all.

    I don't think I was saying myself that A.J. borrowed from anybody. I was mentioning other filmmakers his work relates to.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-26-2019 at 02:40 AM.

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