Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Celluloid #78

In Theaters

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009) Herzog - The plot is perhaps the least interesting part of the film- A man has some sort of spiritual awakening that causes him to "ascend to madness" and kill his own mother. Total Herzog moments of shots held too long until the audience laughs from nervousness, the Ostrich farm, and the pet flamingos. David Lynch as a producer may have contributed the stylish midget (Herzog has plenty of association with them as actors as well, but the suit makes the bit character feel more Lynchian) and more importantly, Grace Zabriskie. An enjoyable watch even if I would only consider it middle-Herzog. 3.5/5

Shutter Island (2009) Scorsese - A nice-looking film that at its best evokes the Shining. The plot centers around a dumb twist that one could predict early on in the film. Upon the reveal, frustration and tedium set it. For such an obvious twist, it sure has to be explained a lot. Of the two movies about madness I saw last weekend, I would wholeheartedly lean towards the other contender. 2.5/5

In Home

Men With Guns (1997) Sayles - A film that seems to take place in Guatemala, but never actually specifies a location. A doctor goes out to various rural villages to search for a group of former students that he taught as part of a humanitarian project. Of the eight or so, only one has survived, but instead of practicing medicine, he now hustles drugs. One by one, the doctor realizes that all the others have been brutally murdered by soldiers. Sayles also incorporates economic woes in portraying each village as the producer of only one crop. In the end, everyone is searching for a potentially mythical place called Cerce de Cielo. 4/5

Of Time and the City (2008) Davies - Stock footage + documentary-style contemporary film + poetry = a tone poem to Liverpool. The best is that Davies is a crank and doesn't like the Beatles. 3.5/5

Pierrot le Fou (1965) Godard - Stylish, cool 1960s France- A man gets fed up with his bourgeois lifestyle and leaves his wife for the babysitter. The two embark on a Bonnie and Clyde-style roadtrip. Anna Karina is as beautiful as ever. 3.5/5

Sunrise (1927) Murnau - A man and his mistress scheme together to create a plot to kill the man's wife. However, when it comes time to do the deed, he can't go through with it. The husband and wife end up spending a lovely day in the city and re-falling madly in love. When tragedy strikes, their rekindled love makes the blow that much more bitter. 4/5 

1 comment:

J said...

Ha! I thought you were going to comment on "Big Love" when I saw that picture...I feel like a dork. (but hey, 2/3 of the people in the picture....)