10/01/10 The Social Network (David Fincher; 2010; Goodrich Randall 15)
This was my first of three viewings. I suppose it’s easier to briefly mention what I didn’t like about the movie, certainly that would take up less space than writing about the opposite. I’m not sure if it’s the writing or the performance of Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, but each time I walked away from the movie feeling more affirmed in my belief that Mark Zuckerberg’s (Jesse Eisenberg) dealing with Eduardo was an act of survival rather than betrayal. Or perhaps if I found Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker a little more sinister, I could have believed Saverin’s dislike as anything but irrational and jealous. Other than that this movie really works for me.
10/05/10 The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1975; DVD)
I hadn’t watched this in almost 10 years, and then it may have been my first Tarkovsky. This was much easier to watch than I remembered. I attribute this increased ease to 10 or more years of watching movies to provide a strong critical framework in which to place the movie that’s Proustian in it’s attempt to model narrative form after memory, including unreliability and nonlinear fragmentation.
The Mirror had come up in several of the write-ups for
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, so this revisiting was s type of preparation.
10/07/10 Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul; 2004; DVD)
This was my second viewing; the first was just over a month prior. This movie does not so much reward as it does demand multiple viewings, unless you are a much more sophisticated viewer than I, which is very possible. But as I mentioned last month when writing about
Mysterious Object at Noon, the works of Weerasethakul are so different from what I generally watch that encountering his movies is like being inroduced to a new genre. The second half with its animal ghosts and totems and glowing tree is particularly amazing.
10/08/10 The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010; Goodrich Randall 15)
This viewing involved alcohol and I may have dozed off during the second of the three Rashida Jones scenes. I should add here that I really didn’t mind her in the movie. I understand that she is just the chorus line to drive home a point in case it was too subtle in context. But it really could have been worse.
10/09/10 Red Hill (Patrick Hughes; 2010; AMC River East 21; CIFF)
I walked into this movie blind. I was downtown with a friend and wanted to check out the Chicago International Film Festival and this was the screening that allowed us to walk down to Rossi’s and back. If Australian movies that borrow from the American Western can be divided between
Ned Kelly on the I-really-wish-I-hadn’t-wasted-my-time side and
The Proposition on the that-was-fawesome side, the former being a zero and the latter being a 10;
Red Hill would be about a 4 or a 5. While the movie can boast of some beautiful landscape shots, nothing else worked for me in the revenge film dabbling in playing with genre conventions.
10/10/10 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul; 2010; AMC River East 21; CIFF)
I don’t think I fell asleep watching this at the Chicago International Film Festival, but I exerted a lot of energy trying not to and Weersethakul’s movies require alll of one’s attention. While I can’t claim to have “gotten” this or even to have watched it under ideal circumstances, it really stuck with me in the following days. I really do love movies about memory, especially unreliable memory that is more authoritative than fact. Also monkey ghosts and interspecies sex with catfish are two ingredients for any masterpiece.
10/10/10 Ten (Abbas Kiarostami; 2002; DVD)
I had much less patience with this movie than I remember. What I do like about it is the geography of Tehran, which is all seen as background through a car window. There is no wide shot like in
Taste of Cherry; everything is seen secondarily through the cramped view of a window, but since the vehicle is constantly in motion, it’s comparable in scope or at least coverage.
10/12/10 Stalker [Part One] (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1979; DVD)
This is truly Tarkovsky’s masterpiece (disclaimer: I have not watched
Andrei Rublev, but I can’t imagine it’s this great).
Stalker asks us to consider the impossibility of knowing with any certainty our true and innermost motivations and intentions.
10/14/10 Stalker [Part Two] (Andrei Tarkovsky; 1979; DVD)
10/15/10 Present Company (Frank V. Ross; 2008; DVD)
I don’t know if it’s because Frank V. Ross is local or if it’s just because he is attuned my demographic, but I really respond to his movies. As with
Quietly on By, the lead played by Ross, is difficult to like, but as writer, director, and editor (in addition to lead actor), he really does know how to push his character’s to the limits of likability without ever crossing the line (I hope this isn’t verbatim what I wrote last month for
Quietly on By).
10/17/10 Hohokam (Frank V. Ross; 2007; DVD)
Ditto everything I wrote above. This one takes place in Arizona, and I think it shows (that is, I prefer the familiarity of the Western Suburbs in DuPage).
10/17/10 Jackass 3D (Jeff Tremaine; 2010; 3D at Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18)
See my previous post where I have written more on this topic.
10/19/10 The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo; 2003; DVD)
Not in spite of and not because of the ending, this is really a great movie. Vincent Gallo has a great eye for framing. I’m really looking forward to his new film to start making the rounds.
10/21/10 Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (Bernardo Bertolucci, Claire Denis, Mike Figgis, Jean-Luc Goddard, Jirí Menzel, Michael Radford, Volker Schlöndorff, István Szabó; 2002; DVD)
This omnibus of 8 short films, all dealing with the passing of 10 minutes, by different directors was a bit cumbersome to get through. I had it on my queue because of the Denis segment, which was my favorite, no surprise, which consisted of an interview with Jean-Luc Nancy, with whom she collaborated on
The Intruder. speaking on, of all thing, intrusion and foreignness.
10/23/10 David and Bathsheba (Henry King; 1951; DVD)
It has the sword and the sandals but it’s not very epic. Actually it is very restrained using tight framing on the studio set pieces and wider but not too wide shots on an Arizona location (at least IMDb lists Arizona as the filming location)
10/24/10 All about Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz; 1950; DVD)
Embarrassed to admit this was my first time watching this.
10/26/10 Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik; 2010; Blu-ray)
I wrote about this here when I first saw it.
10/30/10 The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010; Regal Cantera 30)
10/30/10 Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli; 1958; DVD)
10/31/10 Gamer (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor; 2009; Netflix)
10/31/10 The Bravados (Henry King; 1958; Netflix)
10/31/10 Trick ‘r Treat (Michael Dougherty; 2007; DVD)