Archive for May 18th, 2010

Screen Cap from Fellini’s masterpiece ‘La Dolce Vita’

 © 2010 by James Clark

      With this look at Fellini’s very European, and, in that sense, “old world,” blockbuster, we seem to have departed the land of David Lynch. But our new series, “Old World/ New World,” takes as its focus that “newness” so pungent in the lengthy affair with “fire walk.” And that means continuing to inhabit a precinct cinematically smouldering over a remarkably wide expanse.    

     In view of this orientation, what may have seemed a limitless source of pleasure and nourishment—the “old” and the “new”—sharpens down to old times and places and new times and places as evincing rare, explosive and indispensable turns of sensibility. This means deleting from consideration contributions from film artists whose craftsmanship and understanding remain an irresistible joy—figures like Jean Vigo, Jean Renoir, Ernst Lubitsch, Max Ophuls, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Satyajit Ray, Jacques Tati and Akira Kurosawa—contributions from artists of towering reputation, particularly amongst film academician enforcers—figures like Jean-Luc Godard (with the exception of Breathless and Eloge de l’Amour), François Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Melville, Agnès Varda (with the exception of Cleo de 5 a 7 and Le Bonheur), Claire Denis, Pedro Costa, Jia Zhang-Ke and Apitchatpong Weerasethakul—and contributions from impressively extravagant powers like Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Jackson and James Cameron. (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Allan Fish

(USA 2005 134m) DVD1/2

Where bluebirds sing and there’s a whisky spring

p  Diana Ossana, James Schamus  d  Ang Lee  w  Diana Ossana, Larry McMurtry  story  Annie Proulx  ph  Rodrigo Prieto  ed  Dylan Tichenor, Geraldine Peroni  m  Gustavo Santoaolla  art  Judy Becker  cos  Marit Allen

Heath Ledger (Ennis Del Mar), Jake Gyllenhaal (Jack Twist), Anne Hathaway (Lureen Newsome), Michelle Williams (Alma), Randy Quaid (Joe Aguirre), Anna Faris (Lashawn Malone), Linda Cardellini (Cassie), Graham Beckel (L.D.Newsome), Scott Michael Campbell (Monroe), David Harbour (Randall Malone), Kate Mara (Alma Jnr, aged 19), Roberta Maxwell (Mrs Twist), Peter McRobbie (Mr Twist),

Could there have been a more unlikely critical and popular hit in the hard-line conservative America of George W.Bush than Brokeback Mountain?  On the face of it, most definitely not, but then again, few people seemed willing to look below the surface.  It was inevitable that in that heartland of self-righteous, testament-slamming hypocrisy, the Bible Belt, the film was damned with a fury worthy of Elmer Gantry in full flow, for depicting a love which, to them, was cursed in hell.  One could like to think we lived in a forgiving, non-judgmental society, but that would be an object lesson in naivety.

            In Wyoming in 1963, an unemployed rodeo rider, Jack Twist, and ranch-hand Ennis Del Mar, spend a tough winter up on the eponymous mountain herding and taking care of sheep, keeping coyotes, bears and the like at bay.  While up there, the two men, who previously believed themselves heterosexual, engage in a passionate homosexual affair.  In an attempt to distance themselves from their feelings, both marry young women; Ennis marrying the devoted Alma, while Jack marries a rich man’s rodeo-loving daughter, Lureen.  Both have children, but when they meet again several years later, their affair continues, though they are seen by Alma, who eventually asks for a divorce, while Jack continues his marriage.  They arrange to meet up on the eponymous mountain several times a year under the pretext of going fishing, but around them their lives unravel, with eventually fatal results. (more…)

Read Full Post »