by Sam Juliano
We are moving closer to the mid way point of August and for many this spells long awaited vacation weeks. Weather has typically been unrelentingly hot, but still bearable in the metropolitan area. The baseball season is nearing crunch time, the football season is just weeks away from commencing, and opera fans are preparing for an exciting new season at the Met. Those in the profession of educating are now looking at three weeks before the start of the new school year.
The Childhood/Adolescent Films Countdown is also nearing the half way point, and all things considered that’s pretty remarkable. It seems like it just started a few days ago. The venture will continue into October. Once again this past week was a very fine one for superbly written essays, page views and comments.
Lucille and I took in two masterful films over the weekend, but not before meeting up with our very good friend Sachin Gandhi on Monday night in Manhattan. We briefly toured the city in my Odyssey, stopping at one of the Barnes & Noble stores where the final day of the Criterion 50% off sale was being conducted. As always Sachin is a lot of fun to spend time with. Lucille and I attended our third wedding of the summer on Friday night as well. The two films we saw are as follows:
Phoenix **** 1/2 (Saturday night) Montclair Bow-Tie Cinemas
Listen To Me Marlon ***** (Sunday) Film Forum
LISTEN TO ME MARLON, the poetic, impressionistic and personal documentary on the man who is probably the greatest screen actor of them all is wholly masterful in the manner it incorporates Brando’s taped conversations, and the film appears to have been orchestrated by a dead man. Brando’s life, work and radical politics and all brought together in what is surely the best documentary ever made on a screen actor.
PHOENIX re-teams director Christian Petzold and Nina Hoss in a restrained noirish melodrama combining mystery, loss and identity set in post-World War II Germany. Hoss, who is electrifying, plays a woman who survives Aushwitz, and returns to Berlin to find out some vital information concerning her capture. The ending is powerful. The film pushes very close to a five-star rating.
At Noirish our great friend the esteemed prolific author John Grant has posted a terrific essay on the 2009 American independent “Oral Fixation”: https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/oral-fixation-2009/
At Overlook’s Corridor, the cinematic storm trooper Jaimie Grijalba is involved in a remarkable series focusing on Hispanic American films that have won awards. The latest in his impressive string is the 2014 Cuban work “Vestido De Novia”: https://overlookhotelfilm.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/5dop-5-vestido-de-novia-2014/
Over at Twenty Four Frames, our great friend and writer John Greco offers up an excellent review of 1978’s “Eyes of Laura Mars”: https://twentyfourframes.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/eyes-of-laura-mars-1978-irvin-kershner/
At Mondo 70 Samuel Wilson has published a fascinating essay in his Pre-Code Parade series on “The Easiest Way” (1931): http://mondo70.blogspot.com/2015/08/pre-code-parade-easiest-way-1931.html
At Tuesdays with Laurie, our great friend Laurie Buchanan has all her friends and readers most intrigued by her new post “Night Blindness”: http://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2015/08/04/night-blindness/
Sachin Gandhi has posted a terrific review of Simon West’s “Wild Card” at Scribbles and Ramblings: http://likhna.blogspot.com/2015/08/wild-card.htm
Over at Attractive Variance Jamie Uhler offers us an authoritative musical capsule piece titled “Three Days of Bass”:https://attractivevariance.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/three-days-of-bass/
At Movie Classics, Judy Geater has posted a fantastic piece on the John Western western “Angel and the Badman” as part of a recent blogathon: https://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/angel-and-the-badman-james-edward-grant-1947/
Our longtime friend the film maker and movie lover extraordinaire Jeffrey Goodman has posted Part 29 of his series on four films that recently has impressed him. His latest roundup contains some great stuff: http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2015/07/favorite-four-part-twenty-nine.html
Ever exploring new angles the resilient Tony d’Ambra has posted a brilliant piece on “Noir Beat: The Finnish Connection” atFilmsNoir.net:http://filmsnoir.net/film_noir/noir-beat-the-finnish-connection.html/
Over at Patricia’s Wisdom, the terrific book reviewer and friend Patricia Hamilton has posted a wonderful review on Margaret Atwood’s “Stone Mattress”: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2015/08/stone-mattress-nine-tales-margaret-atwood/
At It Rains….You Get Wet Robert Tower has posted an extraordinary piece titled “One of a Kind: Charlie Huston and the Mystic Acts of Erasing All Signs of Death”: http://le0pard13.com/2015/08/07/one-of-a-kind-charlie-huston-and-the-mystic-arts-of-erasing-all-signs-of-death/
J. D. Lafrance’s fantastic review on 1981’s “Southern Comfort” by Walter Hill is leading the way at Radiator Heaven: http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2015/08/southern-comfort.html
Aaron West has posted an extraordinary piece on David Fincher’s “The Game” at Criterion Blues: http://criterionblues.com/2015/08/07/the-game-1997-david-fincher/
Shubhajit Lahiri has penned an excellent review of Woody Allen’s 1992 “Husbands and Wives” at Cinemascope: http://cliched-monologues.blogspot.com/2015/07/husbands-and-wives-1992.htm
Weeping Sam’s latest post at The Listening Ear is his splendid musical roundup, titles here “Dog Days of Music” and leading off with the Boss’ “Jungleland”: http://listeningear.blogspot.com/2015/08/dog-days-of-music.html
At Unseen Films the incredible Steve Kopian speaks of the last weekend of the New York Asian Film Festival:http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-final-friday-at-nyaff-2015.html
Marilyn Ferdinand has posted a fantastic review of Richard Lester’s film debut at Ferdy-on-Films: http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2015/famous-firsts-its-trad-dad-aka-ring-a-ding-rhythm-1962/25478/
At Lost in the Movies our longtime friend Joel Bocko is leading up with a banner piece on “Neon Genesis Evangelion: Episode 11″: http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/07/neon-genesis-evangelion-episode-11-day.html
Terrill Welch’s incomparably beautiful Creative Potager blogsite offers up all kinds of nature-inspired sublimity, and leading up is a revealing work-in-progress feature titled “For the Record I Am Still Very Much a Living Artist”: http://creativepotager.com/2015/08/04/for-the-record-i-am-still-very-much-a-living-artist/
At Filmicability Dean Treadway’s latest post is a superlative examination of the famous film year 1941: http://filmicability.blogspot.com/2015/07/1941-year-in-review.html
At Vermillion and One Nights Murderous Ink has posted a unique and fascinating piece on “Bing Crosby and Art of Recording”: http://vermillionandonenights.blogspot.com/2015/06/bing-crosby-and-art-of-recording.html
David Schleicher has penned a superlative book review (though one of disappointment) on Margaret Atwood’s “The Heart Goes Last” at The Schleicher Spin: http://theschleicherspin.com/2015/07/26/im-bored-first-while-the-heart-goes-last/
At The Reluctant Blogger the photographer Jeff Stroud has a wonderfully rejuvenating post up at The Reluctant Blogger titled “We Awaken”: https://jeffstroud.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/we-awaken/
At The Seventh Art the exceedingly gifted writer Srikanth offers up a fabulous review on 2015’s “Papanasan” by Jeethu Joseph Tamil: http://theseventhart.info/2015/07/04/ellipsis-81/