Friday, January 30, 2009


Nothing to get too carried away with, and a few to avoid.

Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon (****)

amazingly well-rendered adaptation of the book - never easy viewing, yet extremely rewarding

Pineapple Express (*)
I don't know about popcorn (or marijuana for that matter) but you need a large bucket of industrial strength morphine to sit through this agonisingly, excruciatingly stupid film

Kurt Cobain: About A Son (*)
90 minutes of unreleased audiotaped interviews to self-consciously arty visuals which get boring well before the realisation of what an inordinately overrated artist Kurt Cobain was: an average pot-smoking geeky rock 'n' roll dreamer with not a whole lot to say for himself; in fairness to Cobain, he'd have probably also hated this film

Man On Wire (***)
this documentary of tightrope walker extraordinaire Philippe Petit's most daring stunt is extremely visceral - as is the reliving of the then still standing Twin Towers; a pity that there isn't more film footage of the event, the photography is otherwise superb - but I still believe much more could have been done with this fantastic subject matter

Appaloosa (***)
a western, unevenly veering between the traditional and modernist - Viggo Mortensen is singularly outstanding and with a rather better balance in direction this could have been a memorable classic; imperfect though it is, Appaloosa is still worth seeing


The Shivering Manatee said...

The inclusion of Petit himself in the film totally makes it. The contrast between his hyper, almost on the verge of needing to be on lithium mania, and the extreme serenity and centredeness of him when he's on a wire is striking. I thought it was a fantastic film, and all the better for never mentioning 9/11.

Thomas Bey William Bailey said...

"About A Son" really cleared up any doubts I might have had about Cobain's 'genius' or lack thereof. Although to truly be struck by just how mediocre his thoughts and on-the-nod dreams were, a copy of his 'Journals' will do the trick just fine- after wincing your way through page after page of elementary school spelling mistakes, and the continual transformation of petty gripes into epic Siberian ordeals, you'll throw your hands up in disbelief wondering how he ever came to occupy the privileged position that he did.

SYpHA_69 said...

I don't know, I've always found the transformation of petty gripes into epic ordeals to be somewhat endearing... a classic example being J.K. Huysmans' "Downstream", nothing more than a 70something page rant about the inability to find a decent restaurant in 19th century France!

Grandpa Scorpion said...

A couple of months ago Petit was interviewed on Conan O'Brien in the States.

Unique take on life to say the last. I have to see this now.

LJP said...

Never bought into the Nirvana hype in the first place. Everyhting about Nevermind was either cutesy or half-baked anyways...