Thursday, March 12, 2009


All of the following to stimulate the mind (and body) - with the exception of the dismal The Unborn.

Martyrs (****)
the initial impression of Martyrs is that of its relentlessly shocking and deeply disturbing violence; however, when the context is revealed and it becomes clearer where you're being led, that unflinching lack of subtlety begins to make sense: The Passion Of The Christ is successfully remade as a horror movie

Synecdoche, New York (***)
it's hard to dislike a film with such a strong cast, with such an intensity of ideas, and such ambitious complexity - Synecdoche, New York (which is a great title) is not an easy film by any means yet is certainly worthy of one's attention and effort; however, in my view, Kaufman boldly reaches towards but ultimately fails to touch the heart of the matter that is the nature of the human condition

Film (****)
odd, bleak, yet fascinating and thought-provoking short film by Samuel Beckett featuring Buster Keaton - it lends itself well to initiating philosophical discourse on the nature of perception and perceptiveness, and the illusion of (personal) identity

Viva (**)
visually, the 70s sexploitation vibe is captured superbly well, along with some deliberately wooden acting and a curious feminist subtext, but the stylised humour got a little too Austin Powers for me at times; that all said, there's a veritable cornucopia of male/female flesh and sexy retro clothing on display

Låt Den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One in) (*****)
a long-held theory of mine has been disproven: the one where a terrible zombie film is always better than a good vampire film; this beautiful, gentle, yet horrifying film is emotionally moving in the most surprising ways imaginable; the music, the pacing and direction, the fearless story-telling, and above all the two children who play the lead roles of Oskar and Eli, touch artistic perfectness

The Unborn (*)
regardless of how bored you are, this is a wretched waste of time


The Shivering Manatee said...

Couldn't agree more about Let The Right One In, a wonderful, surprising example of how to shake a genre up. There's a nice piece on it in the new Electric Sheep mag (and Empire). Apparently in the novel it's based on, the perpetually 12 year old girl Eli's minder and corpse-getter is a very active pedophile. Which perhaps hints at Oskars future were he to stay with her and grow old as she doesn't....Fantastic end scene as well.
I'm curious where you saw the Beckett film. Was it at the cinema? I had to resort to nefarious means to get a "copy". I'd love to have it on DVD, and a cinema release would make that more of a possibility.

the mullah said...

make sure you get the sound version of "Film". there is one sound. I won't spoil it by telling you what it is... =)

William Bennett said...

indeed! an almost-silent film with that one highly significant sound (a touch of masterstroke)