Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Celluloid #91

In Home

Big Fan (2009) Siegel - Dark comedy about a pathetic man who obsesses about football, namely the New York Giants, and in particular, the quarterback. He spends his days working as a parking attendant, listening to games or sports radio and often calling into these programs. One night he has the chance to meet his idol and through a drunken misunderstanding, gets assaulted into critical condition. He won't press charges for fear of how it will affect the team. 3.5/5

Black White + Gray (2007) Crump - Documentary about Sam Wagstaff, most famously known as the artist Robert Mapplethorpe's lover. This documentary seeks to give Wagstaff his due after being overshadowed by Mapplethorpe's fame. Wagstaff was a curator and art collector, who most notably amassed a huge collection of photographs, often photos of a nonacademic or nonprofessional nature. He was also largely responsible for championing the minimalism movement and of course, jump-starting Mapplethorpe's notoriety. This documentary was of particular interest to me because I just recently finished reading Patti Smith's new book Just Kids about her and Robert Mapplethorpe, and Sam to some extent. 3.5/5 

Boys Don't Cry (1999) Peirce - Brandon lives in small town Nebraska in the early 1990s. He's trans-gendered, but has to keep it a secret or he will get killed. Everyone is bored and just drinks and fights a lot. Brandon falls in love with Lana who sorta has a past with John, and that makes John furious. Eventually the others find out. Lana doesn't care, but John and Tom take the worst kind of revenge. 4/5

Dear Zachary (2008) Kuenne - A total cryfest that starts out as a tribute to the filmmaker's murdered friend. Andrew was killed by his ex-girlfriend in a fit of rage. In a surprise to everyone else, she was pregnant with Andrew's son. The film then follows the fucked up Canadian justice system that managed to let her out on bail twice, and the custody battle between her and the grandparents. It's incredible how much you get swept up in this story about strangers. 4/5 

the Man From London (2007) Tarr - A man finds a suitcase of money that was flung into the sea. He has problems with his family, especially with his daughter and her shitty employer. This is a Tarr film, so viewers should be aware of a few things: 1.) There is no dialogue for the first 30 minutes. 2.) The film is in black and white and incredibly beautiful, but also very slow and often difficult to pay attention due to the quiet nature of the film. 3.) There's a great scene involving dancing in a bar (something that has happened in at least one other of his films). 3.5/5 

Seduced and Abandoned (1964) Germi - Peppino impregnates Agnese, his fiancĂ©'s 16 year-old sister. Their father decides the best course of action is for Peppino to marry Agnese instead of Matilde. However, Peppino doesn't want to marry Agnese because he believes that he deserves a virgin for a bride. A comedy of trying to maintain honor on all sides. 3.5/5 

A Single Man (2009) Ford - It's the 1960s and George Falconer has to deal with the death of his lover practically in secret. George is suicidal, but things keep stopping him. This film is more about the visuals and the mood rather than the storyline. The coloring is very vivid, especially in scenes of beautiful people or of the pink California skies. 4/5

Some Like It Hot (1959) Wilder - Prohibition is in full swing. Joe and Jerry accidentally witness some Chicago mob justice and decide to get out of town by posing as female  musicians. Also, Joe and Jerry are both pursuing Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) while trying to keep up their ruse. Granted, the girls are all portrayed as silly and stupid, but the film does seem a little transgressive for the time. 4/5

To Have and Have Not (1944) Hawks - Totally forgettable plot, but one watches this film to see the chemistry between Lauren Bacall and Bogart. She is incredibly hot (all though I could do without her singing) and features the famous line that starts "You know how to whistle don't you?" I just question for myself whether celebrity adoration is enough to make a film. 3/5

Vernon, Florida (1981) Morris - Errol Morris presents a picture of a backwoods town full of characters. Everyone is pretty strange, but not to the point that you want to laugh at them. There's the old men with their odd pets. Hunters obsessed with wild turkeys. Then town historian and his funny laugh. A preacher who gives the most boring sermons and a man who raises worms and doesn't trust books. All in all, lots of dudes that remind me of my grandpa. 4/5

1 comment:

Roman said...

Dear Zachary is fucking devastating.