Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Celluloid #18

In Home

Black Orpheus (1959) Camus - A retelling of the myth of Orpheus set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. Very lively with lots of dancing and parades and bright colors. The character representing "Death" has a pretty cool geometrical one-piece. The film is a pretty liberal interpretation of the Greek myth, but well done. 4/5

F for Fake (1976) Welles - Orson Welles last film was a documentary about fakery, charlatans, and the art world. He focuses mainly on a man named Elmyr who became famous for producing fake Picassos and Matisses. However, attention is paid to Howard Hughes, Clifford Irving, and Welles himself. More of a visual essay than a documentary, a trend that Welles had hoped to continue if he had lived longer, and surprisingly a genre which hasn't really been revisited since. 4/5

Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962) Lumet - A dysfunctional family drama full of drunks, heroin users, and regrets. Unfortunately, clocking in at three hours, the dialogue just couldn't keep my attention, especially for a theme seen many times before. 3/5

Over the Edge (1979) Kaplan - Matt Dillon's debut is a film about what happens in suburban towns when the teenagers have nothing to do. Reminded me a lot of the Central Coast as told mainly through the tales of a few friends that grew up there. The teens and cops have plenty of run-ins. The parents seem to be clueless, and the only outlets for recreation are often under scrutiny. Eventually violence becomes the inevitable outcome. 4/5

Snow Angels (2007) Green - Perhaps David Gordon Green's last "serious" film (see "In News"), Snow Angels takes place in 1970s small town Pennsylvania. A teenage boy reconnects with a former babysitter as co-workers in a restaurant. Arthur's parents are in the midst of a separation, and Arthur himself just seems to try to live a normal teenage existence. Annie (the former babysitter) has a slew of her own problems, mainly centering around a suicidal estranged husband and their daughter. 4.5/5

In News

*David Gordon Green appears to be continuing down the path of comedy that he has forged by directing the debacle that was Pineapple Express. According to New York Magazine, Fox has picked up a comedy TV show by Green called Good Vibes, about surfer guys in SoCal. Disappointment.

*Italian horror aficionados will be pleased to hear that Dario Argento is finishing up a new film titled Giallo starring Adrien Brody and slated to come out sometime next year

*Last summer I read a book called Revolutionary Road, which I thought was okay, but a bit cliched, but seemed to be aiming for scandalousness. Anyway, Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet will be reunited to play the unlikable husband and wife character. (Thanks to Saxon for the reminder.)

*And finally, I was listening to the Mondo Movie podcast (two British dudes that talk about mainly horror and cult films) and was intrigued by the rave reviews they were giving to a new Swedish film making the festival circuit called Let the Right One In. On one level, the film involves a young girl who happens to be a vampire, and her neighbor who become friends. Supposedly more of a film about loneliness and alienation than anything else, and described at times as "touching."

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