Archive for July 17th, 2010

by Sam Juliano

     One of the greatest honors ever bestowed on a film blogger, was recently afforded our very good friend, Srikanth Srinivasan (Just Another Film Buff) for the incomparable work at his site, The Seventh Art, where his scholarly film criticism is unfailingly, lucid, descriptive and provocative.  As many readers know, Srikanth is a master of Asian cinema and those brilliant artists who have not gained to attention of many movie goers worldwide, and some recent posts on the little-known Lisandro Alonso and Lav Diaz have raised the bar on awareness with some of the finest writing ever gifted to movie fans in the blogosphere.  A two-part blog post on American icon John Ford, with extraordinary capsules on all his films is really the standard out there for Ford fans and American cinema in general.   I say it’s high time this very great writer (and special human being too!) be recognized by the professionals, as his work easily matches the best in the field.  Here is what Matt Connelly says in an evaluation where JAFB is sitting with the likes of Jonathan Rosenbaum and Paul Schraeder among other critical luminaries:

And I just cut and pasted the Connelly assessment here:

The Seventh Art
Print publications these days can barely muster a capsule review for most non-Western films released in the States, and that’s on a good week. Over at The Seventh Art, however, movies elsewhere given the 150-word write-off become the subject of lengthy reflection—the kind that newspapers normally reserve for important stuff like Sex and the City 2. Even better, the impressively prolific Srikanth Srinivasan matches quantity with quality. Alternating between directorial profiles, reviews of new releases, and reconsiderations of older works, Srinivasan’s posts are erudite yet accessible, displaying astute formal analysis and a deep knowledge of film history (a recent post on Lisandro Alonso persuasively connected his oeuvre to those of Tsai Ming-Liang, Robert Bresson, and the Italian Neorealists). Srinivasan’s expansive view doesn’t ignore U.S. cinema; the blog’s coverage of Inglourious Basterds remains among the most densely packed and satisfying on the Web. But this is a place where “American movies” tend to mean Bush Mama and Los Angeles Plays Itself rather than Avatar and its ilk. That a stinging pan of Cameron’s blockbuster gets roughly half the space of an appreciative look back at Lav Diaz’s filmography is enough to give the most despairing cinephile reason to hope.—Matthew Connolly

Here is the link to the full piece, found by Johnny-on-the-Spot Movie Man yesterday: http://www.filmlinc.com/fcm/ja10/filmcritusersguide.htm

And here is the beginning of JAFB’s latest post at The Seventh Art: 

Xi Qu: West Of The Tracks (2003)
Wang Bing

We have to leave sooner or later anyway. Can’t hold back the tides of progress.(more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 2009 306m) DVD1/2

Aka. 1974, 1980 & 1983

Twinkle, twinkle, little star…

p  Wendy Brazington, Anita Overland  d  Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker  w  Tony Grisoni  novels  David Peace  ph  Rob Hardy  m  Adrian Johnston, Barrington Pheloung  art  Christina Casali

Andrew Garfield (Eddie Dunford), Warren Clarke (Bill Molloy), David Morrissey (Maurice Jobson), Sean Bean (John Dawson), Paddy Considine (Peter Hunter), Eddie Marsan (Jack Whitehead), Rebecca Hall (Paula Garland), Maxine Peake (Helen Marshall), Sean Harris (Bob Craven), Mark Addy (John Piggott), Peter Mullan (Martin Laws), Jim Carter (Harold Angus), Robert Sheehan (BJ), Anthony Flanagan (Barry Gannon), Saskia Reeves (Mandy Wymer), Lesley Sharp (Joan Hunter), Cathryn Bradshaw (Marjorie Dawson), Daniel Mays (Michael Myshkin), Joseph Mawle (Peter Sutcliffe),

Settling down on the 5th March 2009 to watch the first instalment on Channel 4 one was immediately struck by the look of Red Riding.  It’s bathed in a distinct golden veneer.  No nostalgic glow this, more like yesterday’s stale beer, or dried up piss.  Appropriate really, for this is a horrible place, West Yorkshire (Riding as it was back in the days) in the seventies and eighties, a county terrorised by two evils, a child kidnapper and killer with a passion for turning the children into posthumous angels by attaching swan’s wings to their backs and, infamously, the Yorkshire Ripper. 

            If we’re being brutally honest, the middle instalment doesn’t quite hang together as well as the surrounding chapters; perhaps because removing the preceding novel (1977 wasn’t dramatised) removed some of the foundation, more obviously because the first and third parts now trace the search for the same killer.  The central theme running between the three remains constant, however, of a dark, bleak, hell on earth, in which there is no hope at all.  The law has become the equivalent of the anti-law, making it up as they go along, protecting their own nefarious interests, sending innocent men to prison, torturing, abusing and battering suspects, killing whoever gets in the way, and generally making a mockery of the very word Police.  Each drama has its crusading hero.  The first sees young reporter Eddie Dunford fall into an affair with the mother of a kidnapped child, only to come unstuck as he gets in over his head.  The second sees an outsider sent from Manchester to oversee the Ripper hunt, only to have his hands tied in every direction and, as soon as he gets close to the corruption at hand, he, too, pays for it.  By 1983, some of the guilty parties are dead and others are nearing retirement.  And while a solicitor becomes involved in trying to get a harmless innocent released from prison for crimes he didn’t commit one guilty officer has reached breaking point and lets that extinct commodity in the West Yorkshire Police creep in; namely, a conscience.  (more…)

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