September 28, 2014

Psychedelic Vision On becomes real-life dirge

Mood Indigo (Michel Gondry, 2013). Psychedelic Vision On becomes real-life dirge. No illusion can be sustained for long. But the full (2 hours, 10 minutes) cut allows you to sustain it a little longer than otherwise. 

September 23, 2014

Family viewing

Stories We Tell (Saran Polley, 2012). Despite the pitiless interrogation of his daughter, it would be good to think (and for what it’s worth, I do) that Michael Polley keeps something back for himself. 

September 22, 2014

Meaningful blasphemy

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, 2013). The conjunction of the words “punk” and “prayer” is not a contradiction; instead, Pussy Riot (effective initials: PR) fall into a long tradition of meaningful and provocative blasphemy. Think also of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. As a punk band, PR are artists working as a band as a project, rather than “musicians”. Which is a good thing. Each performance is documented and has a developed purpose. Sometimes it works far too well.

September 19, 2014

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt (Margarethe von Trotta, 2012). Fifty years later, framed in a how-I-wrote-that-book narrative, studded with stagey impersonations (a William Shawn here, a Mary McCarthy there) and awkward expository dialogue, Arendt’s conclusions from the Eichmann trial seem entirely preposterous. Which was surely not the intention. New Yorker assignment sub-genre (Capote). The Heidegger connection should be/could be a whole other movie. Perhaps a better one. 

September 3, 2014

Bank scene


Un Flic (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1972). Things done better in film than any other medium include chases, bank robberies and train scenes.