Archive for August 16th, 2010

Here are all 10 ticket stubs saved from the Chaplin Festival. As always, the Film Forum only lists the "first" titles of the regular double features that are offered.

by Sam Juliano

     He is in my carefully considered opinion the greatest versatile genius the cinema has ever produced, and on a list of my favorites may well rank as my top choice, (depending on what day of the week I am asked the question. Ingmar Bergman is the one who seems to alternate with him, but both Yasujiro Ozu and Robert Bresson and even Carl Dreyer are with them at the pinnacle) No film artist has engaged me as thoroughly, no comic has made me laugh as much, no humanist has brought more tears, no technical genius -not even Keaton- has caused me to marvel just how much acrobatic brilliance can come from a single person. He was the consumate genius, writing and directing his films, serving as the main star, and to boot, writing his own music, some of which includes some of the finest compositions of the century. Michael Jackson’s favorite ‘song’ of all time is “Smile” from Modern Times, and the overwhelming poignancy of the music he wrote for the final flower girl scene in City Lights (his greatest film across the board) is the perfect embodiment of theme expressed in music. His physical agility, his astute understanding of the human condition, and his uncanny sense of timing all are part of this Shakespeare of film, the single man who set the standard that has not subsequently been equalled.  If by now the name of Charles Spencer Chaplin has not been figured, well then the reader is from another planet. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center where Mostly Mozart Festival is being performed.

by Sam Juliano

Say summer three times fast…..and then…..it’s gone!  Just when you thought it was time for relaxation, September is a palpable reminder, and in just two weeks the schools will be opening again.

While in some corners of the blogosphere activity has tailed off, in others there has been some passion and excitement.  Over at Icebox Movies Adam Zanzie is just completing his wildly popular John Huston Blogothon, and a number of friends and affiliates have made terrific submissions in examining this icon of American cinema.

Jason Marshall is engaged in an annual countdown (much in the style of Dave Hicks and Jeffrey Goodman) and there has been some wonderful writing over there at Movies Over Matter that I heartily recommend.

Here at WitD Maurizio Roca has penned a fantastic review of The Searchers (where he makes his “peace” with the film) that has ignited a monster thread with over 175 comments.  This is a tribute to Maurizio’s engaging writing style and the usual suspects strutting their stuff. (Jamie, Joel, Bob, Donophon and others all in top form)  Jamie Uhler’s masterful series on Rainer Maria Rilke has concluded, and one can only marvel at the talent and passion on display here.  Allan’s continuing series on Yoshida, Joel’s excellent new review on Davies’ The House of Mirth, and a review of The Dead for Adam Zanzie’s John Huston Blogothon rounds out the action here at the site.

After taking most of the week off from running around Manhattan after over a month of such torrid activities, I returned to the familiar routine again over the weekend, where I attended a magnificent concert in the Mostly Mozart Festival at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center on Saturday night with Lucille, and watched the first three offerings in the Film Forum’s “3D Festival” (which included a Three Stooges short also in 3D on Friday night) as well as this weekend’s Ozu film at the IFC Film Center’s ongoing examination of the magisterial director.  During the week when I “stayed home” I watched five of the Yoshida films that Allan had sent on to me and found two more masterpieces in the lot.  So all things considered, I wound up with yet another blistering week, though what with the Wildwood vacation from Tuesday through Friday of this coming week, that long-awaited break is finally at hand.  What’s that you say?  Theatres in Wildwood?  I’d rather drown in the ocean.

This was the first week in about 14 months that I failed to see a single “newly-released” movie in the theatres.

Man in the Dark   *** 1/2     (Friday night)  Film Forum’s 3 D Festival

Pardon My Backfire  ***      (Friday night)  Film Forum’s 3 D Festival

Gorilla At Large     **           (Saturday afternoon)  Film Forum’s 3D Festival

Kiss Me Kate           ****       (Sunday afternoon)   Film Forum’s 3 D Festival

Record of a Tenemant Gentleman **** 1/2  (Sunday morn.) IFC Ozu Fest.

I will save detailed commentary of both the 3 D Festival and the Ozu films for round-up posts when the festivals are over, as I have done with Chaplin today.  Same plans are in place for the Yoshidas.

At home:

Wuthering Heights  ***   (Yoshida)

Coup d’Etat    ****     (Yoshida)

Affair in the Snow  *****   (Yoshida)

Confessions Among Actresses **** 1/2  (Yoshida)

Farewell to the Summer Light  *****    (Yoshida) (more…)

Read Full Post »