God's Little Acre

God's Little Acre
Lord, make way for gold

the girlfriend experience

the girlfriend experience
chelsea's work

Trash Humpers

Trash Humpers
broken, faked, MADE

Monday, January 28, 2013

FLIGHT: A Descent in Five Movements

                                             FLIGHT:   A Descent  in Five Movements


Robert Zemeckis' FLIGHT is a film of two big events, many uncontainable emotions and 5 major internal movements of the protagonist's psyche.

His ego and his talent are earned and unnerving.  His disposition wavers between ultra charming and vicious.  His psychological moods can only be controlled from the outside.  He is handsome and he behaves like a cad.  He is scared to be alone.  He may sound recognizable because he is an addict.  he is one who still suffers, who is in the midst of a major movement ( an arc, a flight, if you will) within the course of his disease.   This movie was made to chart that.


Here are some images detailing the burden of  carrying a beast on one's back, and the  struggle to seem in control.

Denzel devastates as Whip Whitaker  because he is simultaneously so recognizable (in handsome visage, in iconic laugh + voice + rapid mood shift) and so invisible within the role.

He is very proud.  He is dependent on that semblance of power;  which is the saddest, least proud lie.

His lies pour out of him like milk in a collander, though for much of his flight he will look you square in your eye, acting like a steel container holds his milk.


His sadness is contagious, though he will not get close enough for you to catch it.






                                                     1st movement:              swagger


in control.


                                                 2nd movement A):          feelings of danger + fear


feelings creep in .



                                                   2md movement B):   feelings of danger + fear

 Keep wearing the mask, though it's paint starts to chip and wear.



                                                                3rd movement:         need + dependence


I'm scared. i need help. I am still sick so i can only demand you do what i tell you.  Love me.  Provide for me.


                                                        


                                                         4th movement:  swagger

I just lost my mind in front of my wife and son, who express hatred and disgust for me.  But i'll step out their front door and within 30 seconds i'll adjust my mask and smile.




                                                         5th movement:    i am alone. help me.


I'm sick of myself .  I'm sick of my disease.  My life is a circle. Help free me.

Monday, January 21, 2013

the blended present tense: a look into Abel Ferrara's THE BLACKOUT


A night of coke, followed by a few hits of rock, and then he looks into the mirror and  hears her say....
"It was a boy, Matty."



His reflection starts to retreat; engulfed in a blackness.



He can barely see himself,  and his obsessive obliteration of the senses can not stop the patterns of recognition.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

first time i saw them in 2012: best of rep/home views

 FRAMED is  most definitely the best non new film i first saw this year. The rest are in no particular order.



FRAMED ( on Blu ray)

People are telling me that this was Phil Karlson's follow up to WALKING TALL.  I don't see any connection btwn the two films.  FRAMED looks to me to be the  brilliant reason and better film for Karlson to work w/ Joe Don Baker on again.  Joe Don is simply stupendous here.  He is dangerous, he is vulnerable, he is smart, he is UBER sexy and virile. He and his torch singer gal have a fascinating relationship, as the battle btwn justice and being framed peaks in parallels to the battle btwn  obtaining not so honest money and obtaining safety.  Also, this film has a revenge angle right out of a Tarantino film.

i can not wait to see this again.






GOD TOLD ME TO (home viewing)

This is the best Larry Cohen film i've seen.
And it's one of the coolest films I 've seen all year.  Tony Lo Bianco is killer good. It's got Sylvia Sidney too. ..It's a brilliant, creepy mindfuck of a film,  and another perfect pre gentrified NY film.
One of those films you watch where  you can't help feeling like it was speaking to some ugly sort of collective cultural /urban psychic id /ills of the moment.  Sometimes nyc is one ugly fucking place of misery.  Watching this film as a new yorker you can almost imagine the plot of this film could have really happened.








EL PICO (on 35mm at Anthology Film Archives)

What a find! Combines harrowing drug coverage with honest feeling Latin American middle class family depiction and a nod to the larger political corruption at the root of all problems.
Filmed like an afterschool special meets rousing third world heroic tale meets novelesque treatment of drugs and politics with plenty of crowd pleasing Hollywood techniques in tow.



DEJA VU (on 35mm at 92YTribeca)

Definitely my favorite Tony Scott film. What a mind fuck. You can not ignore that this man goes balls to the walls out there for his obssessions and curiosities. Denzel Washington as the most paranoid yet competent version of "Scottie Ferguson". Tony's  conversational rythms, ruminations on elasticity of time, romantic martyr fantasies and devastating action culminate in what i believe is the be all end all Tony Scott masterpiece.
Thanks to Gina Telaroli and Danny Kasman of MUBI for programming!



THE LIQUIDATOR (on 35mm at Anthology Film Archives)

One of the few (sad face)  actual prints shown this year at William Lustig's series at Anthology, I felt like one of the few/only people who actually both  thoroughly enjoyed this film and forgave it for it's weaknesses/tangential overextensions. Rod Taylor + Jack Cardiff + European locations +sexual innuendo + humor + mod clothing + set design=  can do no wrong.  Smart, sardonic, FUN.





LA VIE COMME CA (DVD home viewing)
 this is apparently Brisseau's first film, a telefilm that seems really more at home in an arthouse than tv. But if we are in the world of telefilms this is along the lines of FRANCE/ TOUR/ DETOUR /DEUX/ ENFANTS (but not THAT good. )  The tone of the film (sorry to keep the parallels in Godard -land) is more  2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER as it focuses on the prefab suburban housing complexes that started springing up outside Paris.
Features  a glorious Pascale Ogier performance. And Marie Riverie is in the cast too.  An early curiosity, an oddly nouvelle vague meets Kaurismaki minimalism sort of style, and the fashions are pretty stellar.




THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID (on 35mm at MoMA)

I loved this film. it's my favorite Philip Kaufman film now and i can not even believe that it IS one.
Cliff Robertson can make you simulatenously feel  melancholy and seduced.  Filmed so attractively though it's full of mud and desperation.  Full of style while grounded in immediacy and realism.





SOUTH OF THE BORDER (netflix instant home viewing)

This is the oliver stone film that even the (wrong) people that don't love oliver stone can love!
a smart, lefty, lean and instructive documentary on A couple of recent Latin American leaders (particularly a key stone/chavez interview) and their Socialism/ politics.  this is a MUST SEE!!




WINDOWS (home viewing)

Gordon Willis should really have done less woody allen films and more of this sort of thing. Talia Shire is a freaking revelation. I never found her too interesting until i saw her in this film, emoting deadly fear.  This is one of those films that I as a New Yorker, and i think the same could be said about anyone who even lived in the city for some period of time, can really appreciate as a pre gentrified view.   A fun bklyn + manhattan film for guessing the location.  This is also a  creepy film, a not wholly successful stalker /woman in peril film but i can say the same about two other of my personal all time favorite films: LOOKING FOR MR GOOD BAR and EYES OF LAURA MARS.  This one complements those films and will make  a sweet triple feature.



THE LIBERATION OF LB JAMES (dvd home viewing) 

 a  stellar late film from William Wyler that features the likes of Roscoe Lee Browne, Lee Majors and Barbara Hershey, all performing exquisitely.  Racism and the pacing of cultural progression are at the forefront.  This is one of those rarely smart films about more modern racism where the simultaneous pride and shame of a man just cuts to the core (seen in an unforgettable performance by Browne)  the immediate ugliness of racism.










Tuesday, January 1, 2013

the list. the best.

these are the best new films i saw in 2012
(so far)


1.  SAVAGES (Oliver Stone)
insightful critique of Kardassian californIA culture.  It allows us to enjoy the vapidity as it sends it up.  A culture that loves LA cant help but love drugs.





2.  SIMON KILLER (Antonio Campos)
 this film helps me get started on my 2013 resolves:  no more folksy brooklyn songwriting, no more bullshit twee and precious things posing as art, only listen to and watch things that get under my skin and show me something.  The film inhabits both his interior fantasy and the external lie. and the balance btwn the two is something wholly new.















3. HAYWIRE (Steven Soderbergh)
as much a super lean international action genre piece as it is a picture of a woman in trouble; extracting herself from internat'l intrigue achieved by following the rules to get out of an unhealthy romantic relationship.





4.  FLORENTINA HUBALDO, CTE (Lav Diaz)
tremendous and small.  mired in the dirt of the earth of daily life while attaining super-real heights.





4.5  WHORE'S GLORY (Michael Glawogger)
The ROYAL FAMILY of Glawogger films, it's Vollmann/Glawogger- esqueness at it's grittiest and most graceful.





5. THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (Paolo Sorrentino)
q:  what is more fun than a david byrne co-starring and scored holocaust revenge film 'hyphen' Sean Penn starring as Robert Smith at age 45 comic send up?
a:  not much more than four other films...





6.  SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN (Malik Bendjelloul)
men in this doc speak of Rodriguez'  poetic ability to spin the sadness and anonymity of daily working poverty into something far reaching and sublime. His song about Sugarman and the "silver majik ships, you carry"  that add "colors to my dreams" connect the role of dealer to the role of  artist.




7. MAGIC MIKE (Steven Soderbergh)
more serious than fun for me, though many people thought  the opposite.  A working class GFE.




8. SCATTERED JUNK (Timothy Morton)
i highly highly highly recommend checking out Audley's No Budge website, and this haunting film is the best example why.  It's like someone succeeded in bringing in the next iteration of larry clark/gus van sant but in the form of a younger, next generation filmmaker.




9. BACHLORETTE (Leslye Headland )
are heros/heroines this slutty/fucked up in the head/allowed to casually do this much cocaine w/o being more punished by movie narratives? Here they get away with it and it works.  Lovable.



10. PROJECT X (Nima Nourizadeh)
a rare example of a film about partying mainstream teenagers that is so original and exhilarating that i felt my seratonins explode through my body as i watched it.




i also really liked BARBARA, FAKE IT SO REAL, BERNIE, PROMISED LAND, BAD FEVER and parts of THE MASTER.

you ask ...where are the cool films my friends directed? and where is THIS IS NOT A FILM?  all were first seen in 2011!

Lorna's Silence

Lorna's Silence
spirit interrupts

the girlfriend experience

the girlfriend experience
chelsea managing the business

l'Interieur

l'Interieur
cutting through the walls