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I'm Not There. (2007)
solves the biopic problem
What a treat! Todd Haynes has solved the annoying biopic problem of depicting coincidences and fakery in telling someone's story. Haynes' biopic is like a visual poem for one of our most beloved and prolific American Poets. Niceties are dispatched with. And the whole thing flows like a mind-bending Dylan track. I need to commend every actor/actress for staying true to "their Dylan's" spirit. The writing is wonderful and often hilarious. Blanchett is transcendent in her role as Dylan. Ledger takes the 70's/80's Dylan and gives us insights that relate so wonderfully to his earlier incarnations. Gere takes us into the present and plays around with the aging poet with humor and dignity. I can't recommend this enough for Dylan fans and non-Dylan fans alike. A beautifully wrought castle of elements. Haynes strikes again with one of his most coherent and endearing pictures to date.
Big Eden (2000)
a little slice of paradise
An excellent musical score accompanies this excellent Mountain Time Zone story of a man lost and the small town friends and family who help him re-discover himself. Though rather lighthearted, the film tackles some very large issues revolving around homosexual self-hatred and the importance of family in all of our lives. The man character has "escaped" his modest upbringing in a small Montana town for New York City. He is a successful artist, but not too successful in accepting himself. His trip back home to comfort his dying grandfather, the man who raised him after his parents' death, becomes a soul-searching adventure that also promises self-discovery in one of the least likely of settings. Beautifully written and acted, this gem is absolutely worth the investment of time to watch it (even repeatedly). Fantastic performances by everyone involved. Alternately touching and hilarious. No disappointments here. For anyone who loved films like Brokeback Mountain, this film is not to be missed.
Le samouraï (1967)
The best gangster film of all time...or at least a perfect one...
I first saw this film "in revival" at a grand old theater in Chicago in 1993 or so. It's delicate balance of beauty and toughness moved me then and has continued to haunt me ever since. Now that Criterion has finally released a restored print of this on DVD, after being plagued with sub-standard VHS editions for years, I encourage lovers of gangster films of all kinds to experienced a rare thing in cinema....perfection. Alain Delon, who's performances in all of Melville's films have created quite an impressive ouevre, performs here flawlessly...Mostly w/o words. Through a series of gestures and action, we understand Delon perfectly (whether we agree with his status as a gangster or not). The cinematography is absolutely impeccable. If you are interested in this film...please also see Le Cercle Rouge and UN FLIC, both of which contain moments of brilliance.