Every now and then I have an irresistible urge to travel long distances on my bicycle, partly to explore new areas that speed by too quickly and abstractly in a car, and partly to give myself time to mentally process assorted life issues that weigh in my thoughts. The holiday weekend provided me with such an opportunity, so I rode from my home in Pasadena, California to the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles and back on Saturday. The 50-mile roundtrip (including diversions) allowed me to visit Koreatown for lunch, where I picked up DVDs of the Korean films My …Read more
Some assorted viewing updates…
Christ in Concrete (Give Us This Day) (1949)
All Day Entertainment seems to be a company with its act together. Not only do they intentionally distribute films on video that have slipped through the cracks of history (a more common fate for movies than one might realize), they also lavish their polished DVD releases with plenty of supplemental material. Their multi-volume collection of films directed by Edgar G. Ulmer is one such example. The unsung German filmmaker who emigrated to the US in the ’30s–along with directors like Fritz Lang (Metropolis) and …Read more
One of the pleasures of a regular regimen of video watching is the unexpected tributaries and whirlpools that gather around commonalities which might otherwise go unnoticed. This last week, for example, I watched the Region 2 DVD of 11’09″01 as well as the Criterion Collection’s latest DVD releases, Alain Resnais‘ Night and Fog (1955) and Hiroshima mon amour (1959). In general terms, these films address three significant human tragedies: the killing of US civilians in New York and Washington, the Nazi extermination of Jewish civilians, and the US atomic bombing of Japanese civilians. Watching all three films, I couldn’t …Read more
From time to time, I’d like to spotlight reviews by some of the site’s regular participants. This one is from David, who was surprised by just how much he enjoyed Ang Lee’s latest superproduction, Hulk. And if you’re not up on your comic lore, peruse this informative primer for a historical overview.
When I first heard the announcement, some two-odd years ago, that Ang Lee, fresh from the critically acclaimed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), would be helming the theatrical debut of The Incredible Hulk, I was excited. I didn’t read comics much growing …Read more
So I picked up the new Cineaste today at Borders and it’s a great issue. One of the more serious magazines on film widely sold in the US, Cineaste tends to emphasize political readings, but also expands to encompass a variety of commentary. Here are some excerpts:
ïAn interview with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the Belgian filmmakers who have been making documentaries since the ’70s, but whose first three fictional works (1996’s La Promesse, 1999’s Rosetta, and 2002’s The Son) have made significant waves in recent international cinema:
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Jean-Pierre: “[The Son] is a story
Several years ago when I was a student at the University of Arizona, a friend of mine named Toru–an international student from Japan and also an incorrigible film buff–invited me to a Hayao Miyazaki film festival that was being put on by the campus animation club. Not having anything better to do and always being game for exploring the work of unknown filmmakers, I cheerfully tagged along.
Nothing prepared me for what I encountered. As I recall the festival, the exact plots and narrative details of the fantasy films elude me, but the colors and compositions, the visual sweep and …Read more