Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Art of Film -- Revisited

Who's your daddy? ... Chinatown

What makes a film a valuable work of art? The answer is complicated by the fact that there are many different ways for a film to make manifest what its subject or subjects are. For me Chinatown is a great film because it 1) Tells an intriguing story on two levels, the story of the building of Los Angeles, and the corruption it entailed; the love story of two unlikely lovers caught up in the larger story. 2) It does this visually as well as through dialogue and narration. The images and scenes of the film are key to the unfolding of the story. Music and cinematography are essential exciting elements. 3) the film is coherent despite the intricacies and complexity of plot, unfolding of characters, and surprising revelations. The characters in the film change and grow more aware as the story unfolds. 4) The film is brilliant with profound insights into character, history, human nature, love, corruption, the power of evil, capitalism, naivete, and disillusionment, to name a few. It is a dark story, but whether a film is "uplifting," or depressing, or shocking, or whatever does not matter so long as it possesses such qualities as the above four. My one caveat is that I am bored with the contrived "Hollywood ending," resembling the unnecessary, but now too often performed, "happy ending" to a good massage.

Recent films I think excel, some of which I've posted commentary* :

On The Road (review)
Weekend *
Take This Waltz (review)
Perks of Being a Wallflower (review)
Dangerous Method (review)

Past Films that have shaped my life and my understanding of life include:

 Akira Kurosawa
(truth is subjective)

But this is just a sampling.
It is also essential to mention the great directors whose films have shaped my life:

Federico FelliniBernardo BertolucciAlfred HitchcockRoman PolanskiWerner FassbinderKen Russell, Peter Greenaway
Lina WertmüllerDerek JarmanPedro Almodovar, Ang LeeJohn WatersIngmar BergmanLouis MallePier Paulo PasoliniKurosawaLuis BunuelJohn Cameron MitchellSarah Polley and good old Woody Allen
(all are clickable)

The one
we sat down
and had a drink with:
John Waters--

The Guardian has quite a list
of 40 current Film Directors

Current Films


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easily, Down the Throat

On Tuesday night, November 6,  we celebrated the Democratic victory and the amazing triumph of liberal causes with some of these united states shoving gay marriage down the throats of repressed Republicans, and others shoving weed  into their mouths, noses, and lungs. Talk about a breath of very fresh air...
And the 51 % managed to shove the black man leader back into the once White- only house, with a mandate of over 3,000,000 votes.

So, we decided to celebrate all the throat shoving with buttery French Foie Gras, washed down with a fine Vin d'Alsace, selected by our host David McQueen. It was a splendid night.

As Thanksgiving approaches, there is much to be thankful for...


Sunday, November 04, 2012

Emerging Creativity

It is a time of emerging creativity, new poetry, new song, new ideas, imagination and new film. Here is the film STAR EYES from Alex Williams and company with an appearance by Darryl Gossett: