h1

That Sugar Film

July 31, 2015

directed by Damon Gameau, 2014

That Sugar Film

The Australian doc That Sugar Film comes ten years after Morgan Spurlock’s novel Sundance hit Super Size Me, the sobering and darkly comedic expose on the fast food industry that took audiences by storm and spurred change in regards to how high profile companies like McDonald’s portioned some of their meal options; it also charted the effect of said company’s product on the body, an experiment that now feels cheap and dated in the hands of writer-director and test subject Damon Gameau, who not only copies Spurlock’s approach to test and trial, but finds little reason to keep us intrigued.

Read full review at Sound on Sight

h1

Manglehorn

June 18, 2015

directed by David Gordon Green, 2014

Manglehorn

Manglehorn dabbles in the strange and peculiar, but at its core, it may be director David Gordon Green’s safest and least rewarding drama yet. The film contains weird scribbles in its margins, but the narrative is thin and contains little to chew on. A.J. Manglehorn (Al Pacino) is a grizzled locksmith and wounded soul living in small-town Texas, still aching for a woman named Clara who got away many years ago. He sends regretful letters to her like clockwork but they always find a way back to his mailbox unread. Manglehorn now spends his days cutting locks, looking after his ill cat and making kind, flirty conversation with Dawn (Holly Hunter), the friendly bank teller he visits each week.

Read full review at Sound on Sight

h1

Blu-ray Review: The River

April 21, 2015

directed by Jean Renoir, 1951

The River

The iconography most commonly associated with Jean Renoir’s The River (1951) can be linked, in most cases, not only to the film’s startling use of color, location, and exotic capability, but also to the immense difficulty of its production in the late forties. There also exists a proper devotion to memory, a sense of vivid recollection that concerns itself less with the politics of India, but one primarily centered on reflections of youth and how we interpret and misinterpret love. In this manner, The River, Renoir’s first color feature – shot entirely in India – is a delicate balance of simplicity and beauty, a wise coming-of-age tale that captures life’s transient nature in full effect.

Read full review at Movie Mezzanine

h1

Interview: Joel Potrykus (Buzzard)

March 7, 2015

buzzard_credit_photo_courtesy_of_sob_noisse

Movie Mezzanine: Buzzard is the third film in your “animal trilogy,” as you’ve called it. Were these always the three stories you wanted to tell in succession?

Joel Potrykus: Well, not exactly. Coyote [his short from 2010] just kind of happened on its own, and then once I started writing Ape (2012) and decided, yeah, it needs to be called Ape, we all kind of sat around and [decided] we need to do make this an official trilogy. So the trilogy idea didn’t start to happen until we were writing Ape, and I didn’t want to make something where if someone didn’t see Ape, they wouldn’t understand Buzzard. I feel like I told less of a story in the trilogy but more of an emotion, an idea, a feeling. It’s more just kind of a study on…I wouldn’t want to say politics, but a study on human nature from my perspective.

Read full interview at Movie Mezzanine

h1

Blu-ray Review: Don’t Look Now

February 12, 2015

directed by Nicolas Roeg, 1973

Don't Look Now

Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now presents its world of grief as something both recognizable and sympathetic, but it’s also one that becomes more frighteningly askew and enigmatic with each passing minute. Endlessly resisting the urge to move forward and backward in any coherent straight line, the genius of Roeg’s 1973 supernatural horror landmark rests in its unsettling depiction of the compression of time. Despair, neglect, and irresponsibility all weigh down on the film’s primary characters, a British couple who have left their stateside home for Venice after the death of their daughter. Dread and tragedy seem to follow them everywhere, leaving the couple and the audience to intuit the unpredictable nature of the images and sounds Roeg presents us with. The film’s famous imagery has no doubt left a lasting impression over the years, but in revisiting the film via Criterion’s new edition, Don’t Look Now feels as chilling and timeless as ever.

Read full review at Movie Mezzanine

h1

Blu-ray Review: La Cienaga

January 29, 2015

directed by Lucrecia Martel, 2001

cien3

The constant menace of ennui lingers over every frame in La Cienaga, director Lucretia Martel’s stunning début that unfolds with an unsettling nightmarish sprawl that seems to stretch on long after the credits roll. There are no instances of traditional horror present in this sweaty and sticky setting, only cyclical occurrences and the inevitability of repeated social rituals that fail to signify any sense of hope or escape for the film’s many characters. Observing the banal activities of a rich extended family in the summertime, Martel’s film is filled with a certain type of societal rot that only she could precisely construct with the sort of detail that is boldly applied here.

Read full review at Movie Mezzanine

h1

Cake

January 26, 2015

directed by Daniel Barnz, 2014

Cake

In Cake, it takes about fifteen minutes for director Daniel Barnz to establish the ground rules for this familiar portrait of grief and addiction, followed up by another 90 minutes or so of dramatic clumsiness and eye-rolling clichés. Whether it is drugs, sex, or booze, each brings a routine numbing quality to the table for Claire Bennett (Aniston), a seemingly darkly comedic and scathing woman who we first meet in a support group for chronic physical pain. The group is discussing the recent suicide of one of their members, while Claire draws appalling gasps due to her candid sarcasm on the matter. Sporting facial and body scars as well as weedy hair, Aniston’s return to drama screams “I’m ready for recognition!” but Cake does a horrible job of providing Aniston with much to work with.

Read full review at Sound on Sight

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers