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Archive for February 11th, 2019

 

 

by Sam Juliano

The Grammys were staged on Sunday night, but I don’t yet have a full report.  R.I.P. Albert Finny, one of the greatest of all film actors.  Our annual Oscar party will be held at the Tiger Hose Firehouse on Sedore Avenue in Fairview on Sunday, February 24th.  The BAFTAs were also held on Sunday night with Roma scoring yet again for Best Picture and The Favorite racking up the most overall wins.  James Clark’s latest mega-essay in his ongoing Ingmar Bergman series, Smiles of a Summer Night was posted this past week.  In addition, J.D. Lafrance published his weekly film review on Keith Gordon’s 2000 Waking the Dead.  Another superlative essay from J.D.

Lucille, Sammy, Danny and I took in the three-hour-plus latest masterwork, The Wild Pear Tree,  from the brilliant Turkish writer-director Nuri Bilge Ceylan Wednesday at the Film Forum. This fascinating barrage of extended dialogues, examining complex musings on philosophy, theology, politics, and ethnics all transcribed through a cynical haze includes the usual ravishing visual tapestries of seasonal resplendence that showcase again why Ceylan is one of the world’s most singular talents. 2019 now has its set-the-bar cinematic work, one that begs for repeat viewings. The Wild Pear Tree is stunning.

The final of the five films nominated for the Foreign Film Oscar, the German Never Look Away was watched last night at the Angelica Film center with film and TV writer/blogger and friend Adam Ferenz, who is in from Michigan for a few weeks. The epic film about art, love and politics set over three decades in Germany spanning the Nazi era was set in Dresden, Dusseldorf and Berlin was loosely based in part on the life of painter Gerard Richter. Both Adam and I were stunned and surprised at how extraordinary this often powerful and emotional film panned out to be, though we were all most familiar with director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s previous Oscar masterwork “The Lives of Others.” As “Never Look Away” did not open in 2018 in USA theaters as did the other four nominees, the film which rates a strong 4.5 of 5.0 (perhaps I’ll go the limit as I ponder further) will count for 2019. Great score and Oscar nominated cinematography from Caleb Deschanel. 

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