Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Celluloid #97

In Theaters

the Town (2010) Affleck - Fun heist movie turned love story. Doug and three friends all grew up in Charlestown and take up robbing banks and armored vehicles - the town's favorite pastime. When Doug has to check up on the bank manager from their latest job, he ends up striking up a romance with her. He tries to keep it a secret and a "one last job" scenario develops. For a while I was worried that the film was heading for some Shawshank Redemption territory, but it refrains from that sort of sentiment. 3.5/5

In Home

Burden of Dreams (1982) Blank - Pretty incredible documentary about the making of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. The main struggle is the key scene where a boat is lifted up a mountain to cross into a river. Amazing that they pulled it off at all, and showcases Herzog's tendency to make film-making as difficult as possible. There are struggles with the natives and with nature as a whole; leading to Herzog's famous line about "nature is full of obscenity..." As a herzog acolyte, I loved it. 5/5

Greenberg (2009) Baumbach - Roger Greenberg is pretty unlikeable, but also really easy to relate to. He has spent some time in a mental institute (for depression?) and now at 40, he's wondering how to live his life. He gets involved with his brother's personal assistant (Greta Gerwig - I'm so into her normal-looking girl body) who is 26. She spends her time singing, drinking, fucking, etc. and Roger probably had a similar lifestyle at her age. What is supposed to happen to those "emerging adults" in their 30s? 3.5/5

Man with the Movie Camera (1929) Vertov - Early experimental film comprised of images and lacking actors, a set, or an actual story. Instead we are presented with some interpretation of life in Russia and the film at barely over an hour achieves a really great rhythm. Favorite sections include the factory scenes and the sports section. Easy to see this film's influence on later filmmakers. 4/5

Nosferatu (1929) Murnau - Classic vampire story, but with an emphasis on a plague connection. Villagers think that young people are dying from the dreaded disease, not from getting their blood sucked. While (or maybe because) this film is so old, Nosferatu is legitimately creepy, especially in the scene where he's carrying a coffin around. I would have liked this a lot more if not for one thing - the music! So bad, so out of place. 4/5

Seven (1995) Fincher - Crime thriller about two detectives trying to solve a case involving a serial killer using the "seven deadly sins" as his template for seeking out victims. The crime scenes are gruesome, but Fincher has a way of still preserving an artistic visual style. Brad Pitt plays a sympathetic idiot, and the ending is clever if a little obvious. Totally whet my appetite for Fincher's newest out this weekend. 4.5/5

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