Feb 9, 2010

Movies.

IMG_0708
I meant to write something last month, after Sundance. But I didn't get around to it. I do have to say though, that it was fun times, and far more accessible than I had imagined. Movie tickets did require a bit of getting up early and waiting in line effort, but I think that's part of the experience. Considering going again next year, ping me if you're interested.

Restrepo
Was interested in this movie, because it was shot by the pretty darn awesome photojournalist Tim Hethrington and journalist Sebastian Junger. This is a real war movie, and none like I've ever seen. Through ten trips over the course of a year to the same camp, the viewers experience a sense of intimacy with real soldiers. It's an hour and a half of the raw experience of being a soldier - digging, camping, patrolling, fighting. Post-tour interviews are moments of calm in the film between literal cinema verite experiences in the Korengal valley of Afghanistan, shooting at distant invisible targets, and being shot at. It's just a sense of audio calmness when the guns stop shooting though; the viewer still bears witness to the emotional turmoil of the young veterans trying to internalize the experience and bring it back home.

The film doesn't portray anything that goes on back in the US. There's no high level discussion on how the war is waged, it's pretty much only what's going on on the ground. However, despite the lack of commentary, I got a frightening sense that the war to win over the hearts and minds of the people was being lost by a bunch of macho and culturally ignorant kids, fumbling their way through botched negotiations with village elders over collateral damage.

If the purpose of a documentary is to educate, this film is about as hands on and practical as it gets. I left feeling like I understood what it's like to be "over there". All the print articles you've read about the war in Afghanistan don't hold a candle to this. Apparently the rights have been sold to National Geographic. I'd expect to see it on TV sometime this year. Watch it.

Enter the Void
I'm probably not qualified to write a review for this movie, since I walked out about halfway through. Apparently a crowd favourite during the Midnight Madness run at TIFF, this movie did not work, at all, as a morning showing. I was tempted to stay until the end to ask the director why he hated his audience so. An epilepsy-inducing opening credit sequence physically assaults the viewer with heavy techno music and gaudy flashing colours making the worst internet banner ad seem like a GAP commercial. And the only times the film stops beating the viewer are when it subjects you to boredom of equally painful proportions.

While there's was some impressive camerawork done in the opening scene, a continuous real-time shot of the last 20 minutes of the main character's life, the horrible acting, worse writing and flatlining from boredom timing just killed it for me. The entire production was an experiment in creative camerawork, but there's not much film in there. On top of that, the gut-wrenching shakycam had me covering my eyes in an attempt to postpone my non-existant breakfast from making a return visit. While I hear there's some semblance of a character development a bit later, I think everything was pretty much laid out in the first 20 minutes. After that, it's a flood of shock tactics, drugs, sex and violence. Unfortunately, no rock and roll. I'm curious if there's a twist ending. Someone post the last 5 minutes on youtube please.

Departures
I'm not sure where I read or heard about this movie. It might be that it won an Oscar. I was spellbound by the way this film masterfully danced between comedy and drama. You think from the synopsis that it's a film about a laid of concert cellist who goes to work in a funeral home, but it turns out to be a movie about dreams, regrets, family, honour, respect, love, loss and redemption. You might knock a few points for some fairly contrived situations, to make all the pieces fit - but the film comes together so well that it's a worthy cause in itself. You'll enjoy this one.

Examined Life
I was impressed that this was a National Film Board of Canada production, though it seemed mostly shot in New York City. You pretty much watch a bunch of modern day philosophers talk their stuff, while walking around, or rowing a boat, or riding around town in a car. Fill it was some cutscenes of things that happen around town, driving down a road, or walking down a path. If you're lucky, the scenery might match the topic of discussion. That's about it.

The content really is the talk. Hearing articulate thoughts presented eloquently from the mouths of the philosophers themselves is a vastly different experience than reading it off of a thick stack of pages. Some of it sounds like self-justifying academic bullshit, but there's definitely a few gems in there, as long as you can get through the more obtuse ones droning on. I particularly liked the Martha Nussbaum and Slavoj Zizek segments for their pragmatic analyses of our current society.



(note that the last two films were not viewed at Sundance, they're both available on Netflix streaming)

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................

Anonymous said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

Anonymous said...

弱者等待時機,強者製造時機..............................

Anonymous said...

TAHNKS FOR YOUR SHARING~~~VERY NICE.................................................

Anonymous said...

I do like ur article~!!! ........................................

Anonymous said...

正妹走光脫衣秀脫衣走光色情自慰自拍成人全裸打炮打手槍打飛機巨乳巨奶女優大奶性交性愛淫蕩淫慾淫亂淫婦淫妹淫叫淫水淫女情慾情色做愛限制級波霸口交18禁貼圖

Anonymous said...

Thx ur share........................................

Anonymous said...

Cool blog網愛聊天室色情網站交友找啦咧免費影片成人笑話成人圖庫sexy女同志聊天室愛戀情人用品情趣爽翻天咆哮小老鼠入口85cc6k脫衣人妻sexy85c脫光光taiwansex淫女情色成人男女做愛美女做愛脫衣秀a片正妹淫蕩色情後宮040185c85c77p2p77p2p性幻想手淫18禁

Anonymous said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。...............................................................

Anonymous said...

Hard day......................................................................

Anonymous said...

感覺很好的blog,祝你開心喔..................................................

于呈均名 said...

希望能有更多心得與我們分享~ ....................................................

Anonymous said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份..................................................

Anonymous said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。..................................................

建月 said...

Man proposes, God disposes...................................................................

麗芬 said...

要照顧身體歐~保重......................................................................

Anonymous said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。....................................................................

Anonymous said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債.................................................................

Anonymous said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德............................................................

Anonymous said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

Anonymous said...

還是喜歡這裡-支持你..................................................................

Anonymous said...

今天心情很好..你心情好嗎?..................................................................

Anonymous said...

rain before seven; fine before eleven.............................................................

Anonymous said...

成功可招引朋友,挫敗可考驗朋友............................................................

Anonymous said...

時時關心,時時感動。..................................................

Anonymous said...

對物要珍惜,對事要盡心,對人要感恩。..................................................

黃昱行黃昱行 said...

人並不是生來要吃敗仗的。人可被毀滅,但不可被擊倒。.................................................................

雅王任 said...

來看你囉~加油~~!!............................................................

Anonymous said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼....................................................

Anonymous said...

Joy often comes after sorrow, like morning after night.. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

let us be happey everyday!!..................................................................

Anonymous said...

你的部落內容真棒,一定要持續下去! .................................[/url]...............

Anonymous said...

及時行樂-快樂不需要理由............................................................