Archive for July 12th, 2010

Screen cap from Anthony Mann's El Cid shown at Film Forum on Thursday July 8th with intermission and overture

by Sam Juliano
Wonders in the Dark‘s long-running 2000’s poll and countdown has reached the home stretch, and a #1 unveiling is scheduled for Monday, July 19.  This final of Allan’s decade polls has attracted remarkable, if unsurprising support in the daily post comments and on the ballot thread, (where seemingly record numbers have and will participate).  Outstanding essays by Joel Bocko (on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox) and Jim Clark (on Ingmar Bergman’s Persona) were also posted to excellent reception, while the site’s incomparable regular commentators continue to raise the bar by way of quality and prolific postings.  Meanwhile, over at Goodfellas, Dave Hicks has also entered the top ten of his wildly-popular ‘Director’s Series’ and Donophon has announced an intriguing new project at The Long Voyage Home upon his imminent completion of his stellar Jean-Pierre Melville series.  Our dear friend Dee Dee is on sabatical from her Noirish City site, and we wish her a reprieve from her tireless contributions to the blogging community.

    Here in the Northeast, temperatures have cooled just a bit in the past few days, but it’s a sure thing the baking will resume all too soon.  The Soccer World Cup has come down to Spain vs. Holland, and the results will be well-known by the time this particular thread is actually published.  Yankee fans are on cloud nine and the defending world champs are presently holding the best won-loss record in major league baseball.

    On the movie front, I have become gloriously addicted to the Anthony Mann Film Festival winding down at Manhattan’s premiere revival house, the Film Forum, attending nine more films for a total of 26 of the 26 offered.  I have all intentions to see the remaining 6 over the next four days, and will even be heading to the Film Forum on the festival’s Tuesday off-day to see the first two films in the just-launching “Hollywood on the Hudson” series which will feature a double feature of Crime Without Passion (1934) and The Scoundrel (1935).  I managed to squeeze in three newly-released films as well, making for 12 films seen since Tuesday in theatres.  Seeing the epic El Cid on Thursday night with Lucille, Sammy and Voting Tabulator Extraordinaire Angelo A. D’Arminio Jr. was a special thrill, as was the family outing to see the animated Despicable Me.  I saw the following:

     The Furies   **** 1/2   (Tuesday, July 6th)  Anthony Mann Festival

The Tin Star   ****     (Tuesday, July 6th)     Anthony Mann Festival

The Glenn Miller Story *** 1/2  (Wed., July 7th) Anthony Mann Festival

Strategic Air Command  ** 1/2  (Wed., July 7th) Anthony Mann Festival

El Cid  *****    (Thursday, July 8th)  Anthony Mann Festival

The Far Country ****   (Friday, July 9th)  Anthony Mann Festival

The Tall Target  ****  (Friday, July 9th)    Anthony Mann Festival

Desperate  ****         (Sunday, July 11th)     Anthony Mann Festival

He Walked by Night  **** (Sunday, July 11th)   Anthony Mann Festival

Despicable Me  ****  (Saturday afternoon) Edgewater multiplex

The Kids are All Right   **** 1/2  (Saturday night, July 10th)  Chelsea

Lisa Cholodenko’s wise, perceptive, homorous and poignant The Kids are All Right stands as one of the best American films of 2010, and it contains superlative performances by Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo.  These are the most three-dimensional characters we’ve seen in a while, and it shows how the success in family life is one that’s hard-earned.

Despicable Me is the third outstanding animated film released this year, and it’s a stylish and devilish confection with a deep emotional center.  In large measure the animation is audacious, the voice work distinguished and the characters engaging.  And it’s neither a Pixar, nor a Dreamworks release!

I will withold further commentary on the films I saw in the Anthony Mann film festival for the final (massive) wrap up post in about 10 days.  The festival ends on Thursday, July 15th with an 8:30 P.M. showing of The Fall of the Roman Empire. 

Filmmaker and ‘sweetheart of a guy’ Jeffrey Goodman has accelerated his blogging and firmed up plans to begin shooting Peril by the beginning of 2011, as he explains in an engaging interview with the Dallas Film Society.  Dallas was the city his first film, The Last Lullaby opened in, and the experience there was thrilling: http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2010/07/interview-with-dallas-film-society.html (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Allan Fish

(USA 2001 147m) DVD1/2

It’s no longer your film

p Mary Sweeney, Alain Sarde, Neal Edelstein, Michael Polaire, Tony Krantz  d/w David Lynch  ph Peter Deming  ed Mary Sweeney  m Angelo Badalamenti (with Rebecca del Rio)  art Jack Fisk  cos Amy Stofsky

Naomi Watts (Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn), Laura Elena Harring (Rita/Camilla Rhodes), Justin Theroux (Adam Kesher), Mark Pellegrino (Joe Messing), Ann Miller (Coco), Robert Forster (Det.Harry McKnight), Lee Grant (Louise Bonner), Katharine Towne (Cynthia Jenzen), Dan Hedaya (Vincenzo Castigliane), Melissa George (Camilla Rhodes), Brent Briscoe (Det.Neal Domgaard), Michael Anderson (Mr Toque),

We’ve all been there; that moment when something happens in a movie and you think you’ve nodded off and missed something important.  David Lynch’s masterful study in obsession and amnesia, among other things, is a case in point.  It’s not that you ever have the movie sussed, I doubt anyone ever will, but at least you can follow it until, bang, just like that, everything goes not so much topsy-turvy as unbalanced enough to send the earth off its axis.  It may be a movie when you come out of the theatre thinking “what the (expletive deleted)!”, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t a bona fide masterpiece all the same.

A young wannabe actress is coming to L.A. with dreams of fame and stays at her aunt’s house while she is away with a film crew shooting on location.  When she arrives she finds a woman waiting for her, an amnesiac, who she lets stay and tries to help to recover her identity.  Another young man returns to a Sunset Boulevard diner to relive a dream he’s been having and dies of a heart attack after a possibly imaginary encounter with a beast-like hooded man.  Meanwhile a young director is having his choice of leading lady for his upcoming film made for him by Mafioso style gangsters, while his wife is having an affair with the pool cleaner.  And that’s only the first act!!!  (more…)

Read Full Post »