Tag Archives: California

Numb by Harris Goldberg (2007)

Matthew Perry plays a depressed and detached from reality 30-something script writer and part of creative duo (the other half is quiet as never Kevin Pollak).

He is at a moment in life, when men his age go through their mid-life crisis. It seems Hudson never quite got over his adolescence until now. After having smoked one joint too many, he begins to suffer from a rare psychological condition, which practically disables him from normal functioning. He mainly sleeps and bores his shrink to deep REM.

A much welcome turning point appears when he meets Sara – the perfect idealised version of a woman-anchor, woman-saver, woman- iconic embodiment of forbearance and patience.

Perry is as far from his comic roles as possible and to a good change. His role is carefully led and credible. This film galloped through screens without much ado, go catch up if you can!

The melancholic drama carries an important message of the need for distancing oneself from everyday trouble to focus on the big picture and the general direction one needs to take going forward.

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Filed under Catching Up, film reviews

The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius

Silent movie, in black&white. With text boards to highlight essential bits of dialogue. So annoying! I couldn’t lip-read and a silent movie is such an enormous effort one has to make to focus on the plot and imagine the dialogue! For it is a full blown silent movie. With the exaggerated acting and gesture, with theatrical miming, with so much unexplained. And yet, the schema is magnified and in the majority of cases the following plot points are easily preempted and obvious. The film depicts an idyllic world, where money is only a topic when it suits the plot and in general no serious issues are touched upon.

I believe the crew had an incredible amount of fun making the film. It is made in full (as close as possible) in the genre, only the music is added to the soundtrack rather than played by the orchestra in the cinema!

Interesting experiment. I felt that had they done the same in colour – a lot would be gained. The costumes, the props were a great effort and a lot is lost in b&w technique.

It is not a must though. There are other films in the cinemas these days that may be more worth watching. It’s good, but not brilliant in my humble opinion.

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Filed under 2012 cinema releases, film reviews

The Black Belle by Brian McGuire

84 minutes long. This film seems like it was a great idea for a short but somebody had the money to make it a feature ignoring the fact that there was only enough material for a short.

It’s lustful and erotic and about 80 minutes too long. Filled with celebrity cast in cameo appearances such as James Duvall for example.

The main character – Belle is coupled with an attractive yet insecure boyfriend and from what we can learn about Belle’s experiences with various men, it is unclear why on earth would she want to remain in the relationship with Franklyn.

The plot falls into pieces and what would be a great idea for three, maybe four short films, was somehow glued together into one noncoherent feature of 84 minutes. No. Don’t.

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Filed under Film Festivals, film reviews, Raindance 2011

All That Remains by Pierre-Adrian Irle & Valentin Rotelli

It is a Swiss road movie. Created by yet another ensemble of directors at this year’s Raindance.

A beautiful tale told in two parallel stories of two hitchikers and their two drivers. One story is set on the famous Californian picturesque Higway 1 between Los Angeles and Big Sur, while the other is set just across the Pacific in Japan.

The pace of the movie is very slow and gradually unveils the mystery beyond the two trips.

Beautifully shot, fantastic presentation of city v. nature. Plus beautiful original soundtrack, almost all shot with natural lighting. Great cinema.
Also a great tool of a story told from voice over at the beginning of the film without the ending. That story gets it’s ending when being told again by one of the characters at the end of the film. The second time we hear the rest of the story. Such a nice narrative touch.

Allez les suisses!!!

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Filed under Film Festivals, film reviews, Raindance 2011

Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn (2011)

It’s a tribute to the art of cinema, cinematography, soundtrack, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, The Godfather and Los Angeles, California. A gem displaying the amazing attention to detail of the director and an incredible mastery of the cinematic tools.

Ryan Gosling plays a character who brings to mind a naive puppy who is unaware of its physical strength and wags its tail at any nice gesture from the outside world. Up to a point.

Slow motion, very long and slow introduction to the character’s world builds up to an unbearable suspense. This film has many good aspects. One of them is that despite a quite predictable genre, very few elements are easily predictable. Quite a few come up as a surprise.

The cast is carefully selected and has a surprisingly good chemistry. Notice the Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston.

Somebody said that this is the new Tarantino. It’s not. It is a brand new trademark of a brand new persona in Hollywood. Ladies and Gentlemen – remember this name: Nicolas Winding Refn.

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews