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Those Nazi Boys
Great performances of uniformed men (Nazi's?) in town, great musical arrangements on the side and a lot of cultural references and newspaper headlines here. Furthermore a pretty boring total spectacle, for next to some religious philosophy the film itself only offers us some nice images, mostly the faces of the Nazi men responsible for it remain on the back of your head after viewing this flick. What beautiful eyes those Nazi boys had! As if the direction was focused mainly upon pardoning one's own responsible activities in the Second World War. But why didn't the woman near the ending have no armpit hair where there definitely should have been knowing the Germans in those days the way I do??
The Movie goes Down, Long Live Hollywood.
this movie is not a good movie. I've seen quite some good movies, and this is not one of them. I'm a big Denzel Washington-fan, but this movie makes me dislike the man more than I could dislike Carmen Elektra in Disaster Movie. Denzel Washington was not acting at all, he was just repeating his act of Man on Fire. at least he must have listened to my comment on that movie and played here on constant 'I'm on overdose'-scale/-attitude. at least the best part of the movie came in less than a second at the beginning, when Denzel wook up next to a very beautiful woman. at that point in the movie (the beginning, thus), I simply knew that this movie was gonna be dynamite; it didn't get any better than that. be careful with movies that show a naked woman at the beginning; it is all they have to offer. the rest of the movie will be in most of the cases one big bugger. this movie proofs this theory once more. if you want a nice television movie, sure, you have to be here, but for the rest, not worth a single price. if this movie does win any price, it just would show that Hollywood has nothing more to offer. the movie goes down, long live the plane. unfortunately just a bit too little scenes of the actual flight, and no mystery, but big time disappointment. show it again and I'll puke.
Women in Love à la Brakhage
philosophical ideas go together with boring quotations of lovers and friends through life while we witness total blackness, white flashes and images of naked women through the past of the main character. references to poetry, paintings and daily pleasures are basely the main items of conversation together with admiration to fascist ideology. the story is nothing more but (three??) drunks speaking to one another, bluffing about their (love) life. it wouldn't be that dull if it was a bit interesting. and yet, it's this lack on fascinating items that's so mind-blowing. how is it the stupid things are always the most impressing ones? perhaps it's the combination of beautiful (naked) women and music on freezing and re-freezing photographs that's captivating that much. the conversations are worth listening to either, especially the protagonist's vision on sex with friends (and this for a movie from 1969!), it really entered my mind completely. besides the naked pleasures and sexual references between the drunks, we find lots of posters of porn flicks and photographers at work near the presence of the same beautiful women with good records on the background and tripping images mixed between each other the way Kenneth Anger did this in Lucifer Rising, Jack Smith in Scotch Tape or Andy Warhol in Chelsea Girls. actually, the whole movie could be described as one great acid trip. is there any hidden meaning in this film, like the director's opinion over some matters?? well, we see lots of female faces over female bodies and female hobbies. it's all females and girls through one another. the pictures of the kids throughout the women situations show the misunderstandings Abie Thoms had as a kid, maybe Marinetti was his way to deal with his childhood problems, expressed with the very weird, hairy male figures in this picture and the naked women all over. seduction leads to nakedness leads to sex lead to children to seduction and all over: Marinetti is a film about life, as it states itself: 'life in art'. I have no doubts about it that David Lynch based his Inland Empire on this flick, for soon everything turns out to be a real urban nightmare... this kind of love is pretty masochistic. sexual horror and mechanical teasers, it's all possible in Albie Thoms' "Marinetti" (but no idea what the title's all about). one thing is quite obvious, Thomas was a big Brakhage fan, and a bit of Deren and Akerman can be found in him as well. Marinetti proves this all, but I do doubt if I would ever have the patience to watch this video-music reference mix again.
there's a hidden message in this movie...
okay, so what is happening on Film in which there appear edge lettering sprocket holes dirt particles etcetera?? well, it's a good question. first of all, we must remind ourselves here that we are watching a film that has been put together with a very well meant intent. the only thing that could make you wonder is what the intent of Owen Wilson was with making a movie like this which is really about nothing at all (except for the terrible soundtrack that could make a horse fly over twelve cattle and some letters flying over the screen). is this movie about those letters, I wonder? is it a secret message that the director is projecting to the viewers? is he really supposing we would take the time to see what letters they all are? is there really any point in this? does he even try to make a point at all?? maybe Owen Land was just trying to be friendly to an ex-love out of his life (see the picture of the woman on his left and the hidden meaning of the letters together on your right). oh yeah, this is really making me happy, for I have nothing else to do than to connect those letters... finally, we witness a few seconds of darkness before the film ends. with this darkness, the 'music' disappears as well. the end of a love affair? goodbye Nashville? who might say... I bet Owen Land could!
Brush of Baphomet (2009)
The Change of Colors in my House made me watch this Movie a few Times
wow! what was Kenneth Anger thinking to express with this short documentary??? we see a lot of paintings, check. paintings of a Christ-like, check. the title refers to the devil, check. we have a nice tech-no beat on the background, check. so what does it all mean? was Anger trying to implicate a dark unknown hidden secret about Christ and paintings of Aleister Crowley?? off course not. this movie doesn't make any sense, but it's wonderful in the way it doesn't. if you watch it closely, you get the mysterious feeling you are being sucked into the painting. now, that's a special thing to say about a movie. first time I watched Brush of Baphomet, I was like: oh my God! the painting is getting hold of me... and it's true, you know: the colours of the paintings are so remarkable unreal, that they start to replace the reality we live in. very soon, my home became to resemble one of Crowley's paintings. lucky for me, this experience did not last very long. it changed back the way it was. the thing I am trying to say is: please see this movie, it will change your life in ways you cannot imagine.
oops Anger did it again
one could easily wonder how it is possible that Kenneth Anger still is able to make movies today... isn't he like really old by now? yet, he continues to make movies as if he were only twenty-three. what an oeuvre! off course, one cannot deny the impact of his experimental short film Scorpio Rising on MTV and it's music clips, now it is those music clips of MTV that has probably been the greatest influence on Anger's newest flick, 'Missoni', and boy, what a rush once more! it's a montage (it's an Anger, how could it be anything else than a montage) containing lots of really modern dressed (or as good as naked) people, in a way which resembles Puce Moment and Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, as well as Lucifer Rising and Invocation of my Demon Brother. yes, this one short is the top of them all, it picks out its best ingredients and makes something totally new out of it with new images that will appeal to a young audience. way to go Kenneth Anger! you rule!
Porträt einer Bewährung (1964)
the eyes of the beholder
some people get stuck in time... that certainly is the case with the portrait in Porträt einer Bewährung. as always, Kluge play with concepts like time, warfare and the results of defeat. in fact, every Kluge short movie can be seen as a case of psychological denial of the main figure in an environment with facts happening on a different scale of the main character in question. Porträt einer Bewährung offers us the chance to see history happen again through the eyes of an innocent bystander, who gets involved in more than he'd like to be, thus creating our present (or his future in the past storyline) reformed by his own thoughts. it may sound silly when you put it like that, but the real question is whether or not this will happen to ourselves. will we become old and naive in a world we can't follow because of the values we learned to appreciate in our youth? possibly. and perhaps that possibility makes this movie so great to watch.
Lehrer im Wandel (1963)
you will never forget this one
one may question how the times have changed, and with it, the educational values of our society system. one may also ask, why isn't anyone there who has got the same guts as Alexander Kluge had when he made 'Teachers in Transformation'. it's a short glimpse of pure genius. with this short experimental movie, Kluge draws lines between education and situation, and how the two of them value our morals. it all begins very innocent, but very fast the slow pacing rhythm goes a little bit too fast, and the point of view of the subject becomes something totally different: how politics change our mental states. for the better? for the worse? Kluge makes no direct judgment, however, it surely is understandable after watching 'Teachers in Transformation' how he for himself viewed the subject of his short film, which contains some striking images that will never leave your mind after viewing.
Science Friction (1959)
how I see Stan Vanderbeek's hidden Message
when you see many (experimental) movies made by Stan Vanderbeek, you can easily categorize them, or as we say, find the similar elements between them to find a way to understand the meaning of his films, or at least try to do so. Science Friction definitely is not his best one, but it affirmed what I was thinking about him: that mister Vanderbeek uses images like eyes and hammers to make his point. but what is his point actually? in Science Friction, he shows us many known faces from around the world, and plays with them as he always does. most important here are the references to authority and the universe. if, and this is a personal approach toward Vanderbeek, Stan uses eyes to make us see we are watching while being watched (I know how strange this may sound) and hammers as a metaphor for violence in the society we live in, we can conclude we are watching violence that is violating us in an artistic way. in effect, it may represent our way of living with, near and close to each other. this way we forget we're just a little spot in the endless universe, which was created by violence and constantly uses that violence to change in little bits we can't see with our own eyes, but maybe we could by viewing a Stan Vanderbeek movie. it's all about representing life as we know it in an artistic way, nothing more, nothing less. this may not directly be science fiction, but because of his frictional approach, this sure is rightly called Science Friction. to conclude, I didn't like this one, but all the other Vanderbeek experimental pictures I saw already, I really adored. long live Stan Vanderbeek, even if he's passed away a long time ago. but maybe this could be a nice topic for one of his movies: contacting from the afterlife to give us messages hidden in everyday objects mutilated on the small screen.
A La Mode (1959)
something to think about
Stan Vanderbeek's A la Mode is a work of pure genius. As always, he makes use of many known things on many other levels and ways of saying other things using mutation, reformation and reviewing, thus creating something totally different. A la Mode can be seen as his piece de resistance. It uses a lot of faces we don't know and normal objects we use everyday. by building many layers with/of these things we know, he gives us the feeling we know what he's meaning with a certain scene, yet he manages to double cross us and force us to view things his way, an abnormal way perhaps, but the message is clear nevertheless: I believe Stan tried to make us acknowledge the hypocrisy in which we live, work and eat. nothing is what it seems. we trust the things we create, giving our fate to something like clothing (mode). but fashions are made and deleted everyday, so we must be careful to trust ourselves instead of something artificial as clothing. but by saying that, Stan actually tells us not to trust anything, even his movies can be falsely interpreted. if what he tells can be seen as false, how can we be sure that what he's telling is the truth? maybe the things we know are right and he's wrong... something to think about.
The Bed (1968)
loving you is loving me
there are many similarities between James Broughton's "The Bed" and Chris Marker's "La Jetée", first of all because it's in fact a science fiction short, happening today (or in the past). next, it shows us many people who actually could be the same two. it's a strange thought, but logical if you play with the idea. naturally, one cannot deny the messages about our own obsession and sexuality in this picture. maybe what Broughton was trying to say, is that we all are the same, and having sex with multiple persons is like having sex with yourself. we are all the same, yet we are all different. it's up to the viewer to make up his mind about it: we're nothing more than combined water elements. we are all united in one big happy family. the truth about it all doesn't matter. loving you is loving me, thus "The Bed" gives us the feeling hate, abstraction and laws are unimportant. we love ourselves by loving others. or at least, that's what I think this short movie was about.
The Gardener of Eden (1981)
natural questions of life
having just seen James Broughton's 'The Gardener of Eden', it makes me wonder what kind of person he was in his daily life. but the question is a rhetorical one, because The Gardener of Eden makes it all very clear: he must have been a great nature-loving movie director, and a peaceful one too. what The Gardener of Eden asks of us, is to question the idea of men coming from nature of from a higher super being. the nice thing about this short experimental movie, is that it doesn't give us any straight answers: it shows us nature and her population has possibly been created by nature as well as by a divine being. are we children of a god, or the results of millions of years (r)evolution?
High Kukus (1973)
think about it: the meaning of life explained in three minutes
'High Kukus' from James Broughton is one of the most honest experimental movies I have yet seen. it tells us a lot about nature itself, and the meaning of life. still, someone can ask what Broughton was trying to say with this short movie. perhaps the most obvious answer is that James just wants us to accept the circle of life: a nut, a tree, the rain, the nut again, the forest, the animals, life itself. is life repetition of the same thing? that's the real issue I believe Broughton wants us to think about. we're all the same, and still, we're all different. it's contradictory, but it's possible, and maybe be asking so many questions with the same images over and over again, the director succeeds in his goal: he makes us all philosophical, even if we refuse being so.
Musical Poster Number One (1942)
hippies and colors
Many things can be thought about Len Lye. a propaganda artist? a peace loving hippie avant la letter? a Brakhage look-a-like? I guess it's all the same, especially if you watch many movies made by Lye after another. true, it's difficult to remain concentrated, because the movies of Len Lye are not really specified: they hand about a lot of things, but remain something that can easily be described as nothing. you can be fixated on the content, which is empty, or you can relax, sit back and let yourself be hypnotized by re-appearing images and forms. only if you have the time and you're open-minded, you can truly enjoy the works of Lye. the meaning of it all? exactly what you wish. I prefer thinking Lye was a peace loving soldier who'd like to show us the good and the bad sides about going to war. Lye is like like Oliver Stone, he gives us the answers and we must form the questions ourselves. and that's not that hard to do or to figure out.
Why I hate Inception
there are a lot of reasons why I didn't like Inception. to begin with the fact I was disappointed in the story, I find this the worst movie since Shutter Island. but that's no coincidence! what's the link between Inception and Shutter Island? Leonardo DiCaprio! wait... does this mean Dicaprio only acts in bad movies? no, because Leonardo DiCaprio can act, even though he always does the same thing and looks the same way he did in the last picture you've seen with him. it only means DiCaprio chooses to work on promising films that end up as no good. and why is Inception a bad picture? now here's the point! it's a stupid picture, with no mystery in it at all! am I joking?off course I'm not! the so called twists in the end are easy to come up with, so that when the clues are shown during the show, you can easily guess what they will turn out to be. what we really should be asking ourselves is this: if I had the choice between a James Bond movie and Inception, which one of the two would you prefer to see? answer: the James Bond movie. however, this is not the case with other movies directed by Christopher Nolan! Bond versus The Prestige? Bond loses. the same with The Dark Knight or Memento. and here's why: Inception is deception, because it's no good movie. I rest my case. I hate Inception. you like it? okay, tell me why.
Die Bettwurst (1971)
Genius movie about homosexuals and cows
Don't let the first part of 'Die Bettwurst' scare you off: it's utterly boring, yes, but the second part is interesting and the ending is a work of pure genius, with over the top acting that will make you laugh as hard as you ever did and a funny scene with cows, I believe this is the only movie ever made with a scene in which cows run away in fear! it's so funny, it will make you long for a sequel, and you will have forgotten the boring first part. okay, so now the question remains: what is this movie about anyway? well, it's actually about nothing, everything is improvised by a woman who wears a different wig every time we see her and a gay individual who is trying to make out with her. yes, it's all about homosexuals, trying to be straight because they want to be 'the same as everybody else'. off course, this is my own interpretation. a lot that's important remains unsaid, but it's all about homosexuality, even if you don't get it. it's about trying to be the ideal man in our society. that makes me wonder... are we each an individual with our own thoughts or mindless sheep being led to the slaughterhouse? 'Die Bettwurst' gives you an answer. it may not be the answer you were looking for, but it's an honest approach close to the truth we're all looking for. go and see 'Die Bettwurst'. you won't regret it.
La cartomancienne (1932)
praises from an experimental film lover
you want to see the very principles of experimental filming? don't hesitate watching 'La Cartomancienne', a short film work of pure genius. you get to see lights that transcend into images like Busby Berkeley would adapt in his 'Gold Diggers ...' series. you see philosophical images which raises questions faster than answers, like the scenes from a David Lynch movie, only sixty years later. you see unclear things and entities in the water of a lake, as Kenneth Anger would do in his 'Eaux Artifices', thirty years later. in fact, the whole picture can't be reviewed without making comparisons with Maya Deren's 'Meshes of the Afternoon'. they contain both almost the same story in other pictures. our conclusion is that there would be no experimental film today without 'La Cartomancienne' in 1932.
okay, so we have Jack Smith... Jack who? Jack Smith, yes, the cult director of such movies as 'Flaming Creatures' (in fact, his only complete movie he ever made). you're reading this, probably because you know his style and you want to learn more about who Jack Smith (and, off course, what he did and mad, because a lot of his 'pictures' remain only as pictures somewhere hidden in a vault, carefully put away like the ring in the Lord of the Rings-trilogy). well, you're on the right address with this documentary. it tells us a lot about the sixties and a lot about Jack Smith, but also about the other experimental movie makes, avant-gardists and art directors. but, and here's the but(t), it shows us less movies of Smith as expected, and too much other stuff that has less to do with Smith than his lifestyle. but that isn't so bad, because it shows Smith as he was, just as he wanted movies to portray realities and not the thing we call fiction, but even beyond that. after viewing this excellent documentary, I have a bit of disappointing feeling, the 'magic' is gone, Jack Smith was only a man and not a cult icon. still, he remains more than a man, he stays to be art. art is as important for him, as it is for us. still, I'm glad I watched this.
Ascension of the Demonoids (1985)
homosexuality and science fiction
obviously, this Kuchar film is about homosexuality, because every film made by him is about homosexuality, but not every one of his picture shows us so clearly it's meaning as 'Ascension of the Demonoids'. but the demonoids are not homosexuals... or are they? it's a good question to ask yourself while watching this, because the whole picture loves to mess with its viewer's mind. again, a lot of masks are used, which could mean it's difficult to come out of the closet as a homosexual. then again, the flashy colors of the background shows us someone cannot deny being himself, no matter how hard he tries to hide the truth, identities remain themselves at any time. the science fiction part of this short movie, seems to be added for no reason at all, but to have an original plot, and to discuss about the similarities between the way we would welcome alien beings, as well as the gay community. Kuchar makes fun of homosexuality, drawing similarities between theater plays and reality, but he remains tactful, with discretion, yes, but still, because of the as good as plot less plot and silly plot lines, all this remains very unbelievable and stupid in a way. the psychedelic images could please a lot of hippies, but, sadly for them, this movie was made long after the glorious hippie era. but everything we get to see, everything we're being told, has nothing to do with the strange ending of it all, blending a Shakespearian situation with Jesus characters and imaginative illusions that seemed to have come from Disney (animation) movies. on top of that, the elements of other Kuchar films change our POV's simply by appearing now and then. the total impression we get of 'Ascension of the Demonoids', is one of boring originality. yes, it's boring, but it's original, so in this case, the story being boring is a good thing. it's more about homosexuality than that it's about science fiction. but it's also about all forms of sex, as well as homosexual as heterosexual, and that's well shown, even though you have to use your imagination as viewer to really get something to see. 'Ascension of the Demonoids' in two words: homosexual impressions.
The Dolly Sisters (1945)
my synopsis about 'the Dolly sisters'
okay, so let me get this right: the songwriter, who faces difficult choices in this movie and sings about following his imagination, gets three women throughout the picture... what a lucky man he turned out to be, promising boredom as a simple composer, ending up as a king with three wives! hey, wait a minute... so what this movie is actually saying, is that it's okay if you remain loyal all your life, but the lucky ones, are the people with multiple love affairs at the same time (as the last image we get to see, promises us)? wow, this gives a total new meaning at this musical! so, if you're keen on love, you should write songs. compose music, and the women will fall for thee. that's the hidden message of this picture. I'm not content, it's not a Christian thing to do... but, then again, what's still holy these days? certainly not 'the Dolly Sisters'!
bad or worse
I can tell a lot of things about women and their little crimes... doesn't every one of them is a little bit a tease? and if they are a tease, aren't they excited when a man does something terribly wrong, or even bad? now, if you watch this episode of 'Tales of the Unexpected', you'll discover that some women skip the male element of the exciting crime and become criminals themselves. but where male criminals often are experts of committing a crime, a female thug is more likely to make mistakes in it. so you want to know what I'm talking about? well, I won't reveal much, you'll have to watch this episode for your own good. but, so much I can say, you'll be disappointed, because what you just read, is a perfect synopsis of it, without revealing one thing about it.
a bad episode
there are many reasons why this episode from the great science fiction series 'The Twilight Zone' is stupid. let's begin with the acting. the characters in this certain hitch-hiker episode act like they are little children who cannot act at all. the acting is very unbelievable the movements they make, are telling the viewers too much about the 'ending' and what they say is boring. the story itself is so obvious that even a blind man would hear how this is going to end. the set-up and the background don't look inspiring at all, actually they were very badly shot. to end, I would say this is a bad episode because the story is too simple and the acting is worse. conclusion: a bad episode from 'THe Twilight Zone'.
Early Abstractions (1987)
I admire Harry Smith
this movie is an example of perfect synchronization between music and images. do you remember how people suddenly began to sing in the old musicals? well, here it looked a bit the same, with only two differences: one, there were no actors, nor story lines to worry about, and two, all the songs came from the Beatles discography. by now, you probably have realized I liked the result, because, why should I spend my time writing this review otherwise? the colorful images represent the sixties marvelously, it's like they are everything we live in, when we watch this experimental short movie. how this was conceived? simply by the words and music of Lennon and McCartney, and, not to forget, the Stan Brakhage-esquire mix of hippie symbols and colorful lines that seemed to have no other purpose than to keep the viewers in the sixties hippie era. Harry Smith, I admire your art.
Invitation to the Dance (1956)
nothing good about it
this movie is probably one of the most boring pictures I ever saw. it has got nothing to tell, except for the three little stories that are brutally forced into a concept without inspiration, but filled with unusable ideas. oh yeah, Kelly was a genius alright, but this is a perfect example of how geniuses can BEEP the BEEP up. the stories are already known to the general audience, so what I was searching for, was a novelty about them all. I was bitter when I found out Kelly only repeated himself. the story with the clown made me wonder if I washed my feet today... too bad, this truly is a movie to see while washing your feet, so you can do something useful when the torment begins. second part, the 'crime': really stupid and boring, it made me compare the good with the bad, and this seemed to be the ugly. the third part made me realize Kelly repeats himself over and over again, like a little child with a doll or when a kid becomes a teenager. too bad for the whole idea, this movie didn't reach adulthood for me, it should have stayed in Kelly's brain.
De luitenant (1964)
the book is probably better
okay, so what we got to see, was a quite ridiculous story about a boy who wanted to be cool and pays a great price for it. it's a simple story and the movie is too short to fully work it out. that's a pity, because of that we never really get to find the spirit of the picture, which allows the film to get unbelievable. the characters are cute, that's not it, but you really get the feeling the book by Hugo Claus would be much better. I haven't read the book (yet), so my opinion is based on interpretations, but if you see the male protagonist walk besides a gang of young outcasts, you can almost be certain his admiration for the 'bad guys' are much more and better explained in the book than in the movie. in fact, there can be no movie based on a Hugo Claus novel, that's better than the book itself. if you can live with that, this short movie will be exactly the right one for you.