12 July 2010

catching up...

I've been too slow to pick this thing up since my little road trip and my move decreased the time I spent online or watching movies. I'll probably hurriedly try to catch up with some of what I've watched in the past few months, just so I can continue to have a record of all that.

Last night I watched Storm, a German movie about a war crimes trial that played last year at the Chicago International Film Festival. I skipped it then because the reviews seemed rather tepid but I ended up enjoying it. It's basically about the how and why that all these unstable places like Bosnia are getting packed into the EU and what some of the costs are. I thought it was acted and produced well and as to the reviews that damned it for looking like a German made-for-TV movie, I'd say that German made-for-TV movies are often a lot better than what gets put into theaters. B+

Prior to that I had watched a 2007 German comedy called Mein F├╝hrer. It's basically about how Goebbels gets this Jewish actor out of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp so he can work as Hitler's acting coach. It's not quite as distasteful as it sounds but it didn't quite win me over either. It was all right. B-

I also watched this documentary called A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash. Unsurprisingly it was about the coming oil crash. Like most of these documentaries it suffers for being a sort of introduction for people who don't know anything. As such, I thought it did a pretty good job and I felt like I learned a few things as well. C

The Silent Star is an old East German science fiction movie about this international team of scientists who head out to Venus after a mysterious cylinder is found at what was believed to be a UFO crash site. The lady physicist is naturally responsible for making sure everyone eats and aside from looking at a microscope a few times mostly just chases people around with jars of liquid nutrition. The main point is that that Americans are like the Venusians who destroyed themselves while trying to take over the world. Hiroshima is invoked about a half dozen times. It was interesting as a Cold War artifact. C-

After years of trying, I finally made it through Godard's overrated film Breathless without falling asleep. I'm not sure I really get Godard. I'm never sure of how I feel about the morality of his films and I don't often find myself caring about his characters. C-

I'm not sure why I enjoyed Claude Chabrol's A Girl Cut in Two, since it seemed kind of empty. I like Ludivine Sagnier and she was good in this movie, though not particularly mesmerising. I watched it while I was starting to come down with something so I could have been a little scrambled in the brain but I feel like there is something there worth liking that rises above the lurid subject matter. And I'm sure there's something to the ending but I was too tired to piece it together. B

Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam is yet another Nick Broomfield documentary that manages to be fascinating even while it makes you uncomfortable because there's something incredibly slimy about Broomfield. Aside from the fact that he's kind of gross, I felt like the film lacked a certain scope. He's always leading you down the garden path and fixating on one thing and ignoring a few other things. Instead of focusing on Fleiss's personal life so much, I guess I'd have liked to know more about her prostitution ring and her trial. C

Mary and Max is sort like Muriel's Wedding crossed with 84 Charing Cross Road and blended with Wallace and Gromit. I really liked it, though the second half lost a little steam for me. It's another movie I skipped at the film festival last year because of negative reviews... B+

The first time I saw My Winnipeg I had accidentally gotten drunk at lunch and I ended up passing out during it. I was really sad. What I saw coincided really well with my drunken feverishness but my good friend Mark, with whom I saw it, said it was just all right or something. I finally got the chance to revisit it the other day when I noticed Netflix had added it to their instant viewing selection and I really loved it. I love that deranged blend of fantasy and fact. A

This isn't going so well. I think I have the flu or something.

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