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I loved Decasia, but for reasons that might evade others. Hence, I'm not inclined to recommend it.
I get a wonderful, visceral response to extremely complex noise and chaos, and Decasia is nothing if not a rampaging smorgasbord of same. So, I was in heaven, watching it.
I got a kick out of the music. I spent some of my viewing time reflecting on the composer's process. Fascinating!
I suppose I should chime in on the mythic payload. Respectable, seasoned commentators ply a line about the film as a commentary on "morals". Pishposh! If I take away any arc from this piece, it's a running commentary on decay; that chaos deserves our respect. It a powerful idea. It's another reality that, once we face it, pushes us to self- actualization. It reminds me of the aesthetic of John Cage in this regard.
One of my disappointments (strange to say, in light of what I said above) was discovering that the film's decay effects were also "found". Those effects were so wild, wooly, rich, redolent that I entertained (for the filmmaker) the conceit that they were meticulously engineered. Well, they *were* engineered, but by Loki, Eris, Kali, et.al. Which makes it all only that much more impressive, come to think of it....
Truly above the real
Have fond memories of seeing this as an opener for a mid-career Fellini flick. Everyone in the audience was spellbound. The imagery challenges you to metabolize it, somehow, and surely some of it stubbornly refuses to give up any secrets.
Was enormously impressed with the scene in the theater. It's a thought- provoking representation of a relationship between an idealized artist and an idealized audience.
Worth watching if yr not normally a fan of horror
Frankly, I've never seen a proper horror movie which redeemed the genre in my eyes. I was just thinking about it, and can only conjure up three times I was horrified by a film product: The cartoon short "The Boy Who Saw the Iceberg" by Paul Driessen; the scene in Morris's "The Thin Blue Line" where an incarcerated, handcuffed David Harris whimsically muses about the moment of murder as a religiously transcendent, timeless moment; and the sturdy narrative depiction of evil acts portrayed in "Rosemary's Baby". I also like Robert Rodriguez's forays into grindhouse style horror... but not because it's truly horrific. In fact, it's almost like Roldriguez knows this, even as he's working.
But, that said, I found this flick about as close as they come. I like the tethering the pretense of horror to a sturdy, modern materialism, and Candyman fairly pulls that off.
There are a few punches pulled. But there really is a depiction of something well nigh harrowing; a woman dedicated to discovery of the truth who discovers that materialism just may be no protection from an horrific reality.
Dig the minimalism
Excellent showcase: A man with a mic who takes you on a one-man comedic ride. Shot (or post-processed) monochromatic. And it sometimes reminds me of Kubrick; It's not hard to find a frame where that b/w looks beautiful; good balance and a somewhat "stark" look (low ambient light) that lends Burr an iconic look--particularly when he makes a face... which he does quite a bit in this show.
If you don't like cussing, skip it. Funny thing I've reflected upon wrt to Burr (and Oswalt, and...): Seinfeld often says that cussing in stand-up comedy is a shortcut; by which he means (sort of) cheating; hedging your bets with material short on genuine laughs by appealing to folks' prurience.
Well, Burr, et.al., put the lie to that. If there's anywhere that Burr cheats, it's in his way of morally shooting from the hip. But that doesn't daunt me: Even when I disagree with his moral calculus, I'm sincerely thankful for his shining, genuine humor, which is the stuff that *truly* covers a Multitude of Sins (as we all know, IFF we've kept *our* senses of humor!).
So this cussing hasn't stopped Seinfeld from hosting this ilk on his Cars/Coffee show... and is it a purely marketing decision (keeping "hep" with "the youth")? I think not!
I would be remiss not to point out that Burr has a very finely tuned comic instrument, which complements his comedic sensibility perfectly.
Did what it was supposed to do
I loved this documentary because it accomplished its mission. It reminded you of what Robert Altman was all about. His life work can be summed up thus: I'm not making movies to narc you out. I'm not making movies so you can forget your pain. I'm telling stories of passionate people, heroes and failures, who just might clue you in to cutting a path toward your own redemption.
I cried over and over as I watched it. It was touching and moving and an inspiration. It also happened to summarize much of the backdrop to my own life as a moviegoer.
Altman's story is a good one, and this flick tells it.
Girlfriend's Day (2017)
Sloppy, slapdash... and I *loved* it.
Had all the elements of an Odenkirk production: It's a rollicking mash of slice-of-life, crushing failure, latent romance, and colorful character.
Folks point out that the story is a bit confused... and they're right. There's a way of managing essential vs. negligible detail in a story. I suspect it can be rightfully and respectfully said that Odenkirk has a way of blurring that line; a way that some folks find off-putting and others find charming. Personally, I find it charming. You may not find it charming, so you've been warned.
Girlfriend's Day is a labor of love. Tune it in, hang with it, and it may pay off with the delight and warmth of a mystery greeting card, hovering preborn in the aethers, and whose message we may never know.
I laughed out loud... so it *must* be satire!
A fine mockumentary production which reflects faith in good old, down- home, painstaking hard work and passion.
No idea why this languishes in the IMDb 6.x ratings doldrums; I can only guess it has to do with a kind of genre "offset"; like there's a ceiling for the cred due to any mockumentary.
This is a marvelous production; and I'm not just trotting out that word gratuitously: I literally marveled ceaselessly from beginning to end. Productions of this nature are burdened with an expectation of almost supernatural ingenuity, and this flick carries that burden with a kind of iron-fisted grace. It's tough satirical medicine, reaching over the wall of your sensibilities to surprise you and get a dark chuckle out of you, and seems to do so with finesse and agility. It's a rollicking cavalcade of expositional ingenuity.
Lovely tech work; sound, editing, emulation of "period" media, and all the rest of it.
The only (possible) remonstrance might be in the area of acting: There's lots of either bad acting, or skillfully rendered bad acting by wonderful actors. And this contrasts with direction of "real" persons (typically on-screen historical experts, or politicians) which is done with aplomb.
Check it out!
Generation Zero (2010)
A parade of "serious" people pasted together to present a confused message
The best thing I can tell you about this flick is that watching it is a useful exercise, of a sort. It does one welcome thing, which is to exhort us to use our heads, and thereby do honor to a long line of head- using progenitors in western civ.
So: Watch the movie while keeping this in mind: The flick will from time to time try to throw in an inducement to indulge a knee-jerk emotional revulsion to some boogum or other; for example, the "hippies".
Hold back. Follow the better angels of your thoughtful, circumspect self and listen to the welter of "serious" thinkers as the presentation attempts to marshal them toward a larger view of the current "crisis". What I think you'll see (not feel) is that the attempt to deliver a broad, convincing, explanatory perspective falls flat. The individuals spliced into the presentation may each have something interesting to say, but the pageant of this documentary fails to knit them into something cogent and convincing.
There are so, so many ways to interpret economic reality which are much, much more compelling than this rather confused, disparate patchwork.
I watched this for one reason: Bannon (the writer/editor) is now (2017/02) on the NSC. He's the dog who caught the car. I wanted to see if perhaps this documentary would have embedded in it a hint or two as to anything Bannon may be able to claim in the way of praxis: In other words, one would wish that, once the dog catches the car, it turns out to be a magic car that breaks the spell and turns Bannon from a dog into a statesman with a clear, focused perspective; one which contextualizes economic reality in a practical way, suggesting a way forward into what he calls "economic nationalism".
This flick doesn't give me hope. For example, it will not surprise me if his response to the hard economic reality which promises only to continue to rob American futurity is to exercise heavy power. And that's just the old standby/more of the same: Keep us on the hamster wheel, and throw monetary tokens into the pit and torch them--just like in days gone by. He doesn't really have a truly republican vision.
Chelovek s kino-apparatom (1929)
All you really need to know is...
All you really need to "know" (as it were) is that after watching Man with a Movie Camera, you can't escape the impression that Koyaanisqatsi had to have essentially been a remake.
The following things come so close as to drive home such a conclusion: It's a frenetic, gushing, pouring-forth hash of largely fleeting images. The images are mostly of urban artifacts. And the music seems to have been written by a guy under the auspices of, really, the exact same muse as Philip Glass.
And the funny part is... there's almost nothing else to say! If you, um, "enjoyed" Koyaanisqatsi--OK: maybe "respected" is a better word--you should try out this flick to see if it rustles up the same degree of respect. It did for me! I could have turned if off at any time, and I was riveted by the artful barrage of urban existence imagery.
Beautiful slice of an unrequited inner-life
Put simply, it's probably best to describe this as a portrait of a certain type of neurosis. Some folks out there are going to relate especially well to the images in this flick. I'm reminded of Linklater's "Slacker", NOT in the sense that the two flicks address precisely the same thing, but rather that both flicks show you lifestyle choices/crises down the side lanes of otherwise normal American life. I felt the same way at the end of "Safe" as I did "Slacker": Whaddayaknow... someone made a movie about the kinds of folks I used to hang with.
Haynes is a wonder. "Safe" is at the same time all these things (and no doubt a few others beside): It's a loving AND clinical portrait, a deep psychological thriller (to the extent you find it compelling), it could very well be a cautionary tale, it finds the line between straight-up narrative and documentary and dances on that line with incredible skill.
If you are willing to invest your attention in an enormously artful film with no pat, happy ending--and in fact a burden of unresolved lostness-- watch it. Just be ready to ask yourself how much of Carol White there may be in YOU.