Sunday, March 30, 2014
Thursday, March 27, 2014
|A Lesson in Love (1953)|
|Wild Strawberries (1957)|
|The Virgin Spring (1960)|
|The Silence (1963)|
|A Passion (1970)|
|Scenes From a Marriage (1973)|
|Cries and Whispers (1973)|
|Face to Face (1976)|
|Autumn Sonata (1978)|
|Fanny & Alexander (1983)|
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Persona deals with universal themes that had deeply fascinated Bergman ever since his transition from interpreter to auteur in the early 1950s. The silence of God, and man’s floundering follies in response, is a major conceptual catalyst, surging through Persona’s bleak gray skies like a web of jangled nerves. What makes the film unique is its avant garde trappings – particularly the famous psychotropic opening sequence – which at times makes Persona seem much more Godard than Bergman. Indeed, during the filming of Persona the French New Wave was at the height of its influence; an influence to which even moody Swedish minimalists were apparently not immune.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
If you saw Fernando Eimbcke’s dryly amusing Duck Season, then you know what to expect: leisurely pacing, naturalism on steroids and performances so understated they border on the comatose. Set in a seedy beach town on the Yucatan peninsula, this outing again features young Diego Cantano as Juan, who has just rammed his mom’s car into a telephone pole, and his meandering efforts to have it repaired early one Saturday morning.
As Juan ambles the town’s crumbling streets, his quest takes on Arthurian overtones, as he encounters a variety of oddballs who may, or may not, be able to help him. An aging mechanic with one foot in the grave (Hector Herrera) dispatches Juan to an auto parts store run by a young woman (Daniela Valentine), complete with a perpetually crying baby, who wouldn’t know a spark plug from a tire.
She suggests Juan enlist the aid of her friend David (Juan Carlos Lara), a young man much more interested in Bruce Lee movies and NunChuk flinging than auto repair. As Juan begins to despair for his situation, he makes a quick trip home – actually nothing in this film is quick- where it is apparent something is seriously amiss, and our first hint that there is a hidden, underlying story to this seemingly random, and rambling, journey.
But, through the course of this long and frustrating day, we are able to piece together the life altering events that led to Juan’s accident, and we are filled with a surprising sense of poignancy for this young man and his family. Yet Lake Tahoe is primarily a comedy, in the sense that Jim Jarmusch’s films are comedies, and it’s clear that Eimbcke and Jarmusch are kindred spirits behind the camera.
There is something in virtually every scene that will produce a chuckle, or at least a grin, and the entire film is infused with a uniquely subtle comedic sensibility. It will be fun to see where Eimbcke’s next goofy misadventure takes us.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Just when you expect another titillating French romantic drama about young girls and lost innocence, Maurice Pialat takes us on a surprising and highly subjective guided tour of a damaged family’s personal pain. The film is comprised of shifting alliances and points of view, and presents the fragility of family dynamics in ways that range from subtle to harrowing. First, we are introduced to young Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire), a budding young heartbreaker, at summer camp.
There, along with swimming and arts and crafts, she has taken up a new activity: the wanton pursuit of boys – and in some cases, men - for a bit of snogging in the moonlit weeds.
But as we think Suzanne’s sexual quest will be the real meat of story, the film takes one of its several leaps forward in time, and we are home in Paris where we meet Suzanne’s brooding boyfriend (Cyr Boitard) and her squabbling, malcontent family led by her father (Pialat) who is deeply suspicious of his daughter’s innocent-sounding “movie dates”.
The pressures in the family’s rambling apartment are palpable, and its walls seem to inch closer in every scene. Suzanne’s only escape from this toxic atmosphere of recrimination is through a series of sexual liaisons that ultimately leave her feeling empty, yet oddly grateful for even a few minutes of affectionate attention.
And it is this gratitude that prompts Suzanne to make a decision about her future that makes us eerily wonder if she is inviting a repeat of family history. Here, Pialat offers an interesting twist on conventional morality, as Suzanne’s late night escapades have an air of warmth and wholesomeness about them, in stark relief to the violent, and at times shocking, confrontations that await her at home.
“A Nos Amours” is a film that presses boundaries and pushes buttons. It forces us out of our comfort zone by involving us in a tableau of equally condemnable characters, yet we can’t judge any of them without revealing our own hypocrisy.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
The best of the rest from Ioncinema's 200 Most Anticipated Films of 2014
Don't know much about it but hey, it's got Sidse Babett Knudsen!
Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes when the famed Russian director takes a trip to Mexico.
Another comedic treatise on modern life from the renowned Swedish absurdist.
A father and his gifted son run from the authorities.
An ill-fated romance from the director of Farewell My Queen
Michael Keaton plays an aging superhero in the year's most bizarre pairing of director and concept.
This bio-pic is set in the world of French Pop Music. It could still be good.
A historical drama from the director of Lourdes
A heavyweight cast in this tale of the traumatic aftermath of an automobile accident
Hopefully there will be less spinning and twirling this time.
The discovery of a secret helps a young woman cope with loss and depression
Movies about drummers are always welcome.
Catherine Deneuve as a casino magnate
A teenage girl rebels against authority.
A romantic crime caper comedy set in England during the 1920s