Thursday, April 28, 2011

Celluloid #115

In Theaters

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011) Herzog - The 3-D aspect of this film is hardly a gimmick, but rather a way for the viewer to actually see what it is like inside the Chauvet Caves. They really are quite stunning - walls glittery with all of the minerals, stalagmites and -tites, bear skeletons, and the wonderfully interesting 30,000 year old cave paintings. In addition to the beauty of the cave, you also get the pleasure of typical Herzog queries about the soul, existence, and dreams that permeate humanity. 4.5/5

Poetry (2011) Changdong - A cute old lady has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She tries to cope by joining a poetry class, but finds herself being frustrated by lack of poetic inspiration. More importantly, she is the caregiver for her apathetic teenage grandson. It comes to light early on that he and five other friends were involved with repeatedly raping a classmate, leading to her suicide. The fathers of the boys are polite, yet completely inappropriate by trying to handle the situation by paying the girl's mother off. Mija (the old lady) doesn't have the money anyway, but feels highly conflicted. She is a woman whose own life has become quite sad, and beauty may be the only thing to keep her going. 3.5/5

In Home

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) Takahata - Sad story about two siblings whose mother was killed in a bombing. On their own, they seek shelter with an aunt, but she quickly becomes resentful of having to feed two extra mouths during a time of extreme rationing. Eventually the brother and young sister leave the aunt to live in a shelter alone. Having to fend for themselves, the girl soon becomes malnourished. 3.5/5

Logan's Run (1976) Anderson - In a colony in the future, people are not allowed to live past the age of 30, but are promised "renewal" in an elaborate ceremony at the end of their lives. Sometimes individuals run, and it is the job of "Sandmen" to kill them if they try to escape. Logan is a sandman given the task of destroying "Sanctuary," a place for those trying to escape to seek asylum. However, in undertaking this assignment, Logan's superiors remove his last four remaining years, causing Logan to actually look for a way out. He and Jessica, a young woman working for "Sanctuary," actually make it out of the colony into the outside world where they meet their first old man - played by a pleasantly bumbling Peter Ustinov. The film's premise is interesting enough, it just hasn't aged very well. 3/5

My Brother's Wedding (1983) Burnett - I loved Burnett's first film, Killer of Sheep, for its lyrical portrayal of the hardships of the black working class. This film focuses on the same group of people (pitted against the black bourgeois) with the climax being whether the main character, Pierce, will make it to his best friend's funeral or his brother's wedding. Basically, just not as compelling as previous fare. 3/5

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