Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Celluloid #44

I also watched SpaceGodzilla this weekend, but since my friends and I pretty much talked through the entire second half, it doesn't warrant a real review...

In Home

Cafe Lumiere (2003) Hou - A young woman discovers that she is pregnant while she is conducting research about a Taiwanese composer. Her boyfriend runs a bookstore and records train noises. That's about it. Honestly, I think I need to take a break from the slow-paced films of Thailand and Taiwan. This film was pretty, but still barely containing a narrative...something I don't always have problems with, but for now fails to capture my interest completely. 3/5

Capturing the Friedmans (2003) Jarecki - A documentary about a father and his youngest son who are accused of child molestation in the late 1980s. Arnold, the father, has a history of collecting pedophilia magazines and a bit of a sexually sorted past. However, this story is interesting because we are never really sure whether Arnold committed the crimes (and it seems mostly unlikely that Jesse, the son, had much if anything to do with the charges). On one hand a community enters a state of hysteria and coercion (some parents of alleged victims felt that they were bullied into joining the "witch hunt" by other parents), lack of physical evidence, and cops and judges on a mission. On the other side is an undoubtedly dysfunctional family, but perhaps one that doesn't deserve the punishment bestowed upon it. Full of lots of video taken by the Friedmans personally. 3.5/5

Goodbye Dragon Inn (2003) Tsai - So I consider myself an extremely patient person when it comes to "boring" films. Long shots. Deliberately paced scenes. Quiet atmospheric visuals. I'm cool with all of that....but I could hardly sit through the 80 minutes of this film. The first dialogue occurs somewhere around the 45th minute, and we are hardly given any additional lines for the duration of the film. This is a film about an old movie theater that is about to close. Sometimes we are just watching scenes from the old movie playing on screen. Other times we follow around the crippled caretaker woman as she cleans. Mostly, the scenes are so incredibly dark as they are focused on the sparse audience of the theater. It seems safe to assume that the director is trying to evoke emotions about the death of the theater-going era, but really I couldn't be bothered to care. 1.5/5

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