John Carpenter, Big Trouble in Little China
Enjoyable but lightweight action flick with Kurt Russell trying to outdo John Wayne and not taking it very seriously. Fun first time round. A return visit won't be necessary (soundtrack not bad though)
Pedro Costa, Casa de Lava
Wow, what is this about? Even Costa has admitted he doesn't entirely know – a sort of remake of I Walked With A Zombie
that takes place on the blasted volcanic island of Fogo (amazing landscapes). I can't summarize the plot (and wouldn't if I could..), but the images will remain with me for a long time to come, for sure. Any film with Edith Scob in it must be good. Have yet to find an exception to that “rule”
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Deux jours une nuit
Yawn. So our heroine has two days to persuade her colleagues to forego a 1000€ bonus so she can keep her job in a dingy little company somewhere in the suburbs of Liège (at least it's sunny this time). Quite why the Dardennes wanted to sign up a star like Cotillard just to make her look dowdy and miserable, I dunno (surely some local Belgian chick would have done the job for substantially less money, and just as well). We don't even have the facile kneejerk Loach-y satisfaction of knowing the boss is an asshole and the worker a hero. Hell, if I were the boss of this outfit I wouldn't take her back. A bore.
Anthony Mann, The Naked Spur
Long overdue for a Blu-Ray release – classic western, complete with tortured Jimmy Stewart hero, dialobical sniggering villain (Robert Ryan, spectacular), and feisty tomboy sidekick (Janet Leigh). Shot on location in the Rockies (helluva way from Abilene, where they're trying to get to, but never mind). Soundtrack's a bit too colourful, but then again so's the landscape. Great stuff.
Derek Jarman, Sebastiane
I liked this last time I saw it, but I guess the novelty of good-looking lads frolicking in the bath in slowmotion, not to mention the Latin spoken dialogue (yes, Latin as in hic haec hoc not Jennifer Lopez) has worn off. The execution scene's pretty, if that's the word. So's the Eno music.
Lisandro Alonso, Fantasma
The two “stars” of Alonso's first two films, La libertad
and Los muertos
, get lost backstage in a Buenos Aires cinema before a private screening of the latter. Umm, that's about all, folks, though to read what some crrritics have written online, it's supposed to be the best use of sound since Walter Murch. Hm, hardly, though it does exert a curious fascination. Where did that dog come from? Did Misael bring it with from the pampa? Go figure
Joon-Hwan Jang, Save The Green Planet
This film is totally fucked.
The sequence ripping off 2001
and intercutting it with Dachau and Nam combat footage is daring enough (there's also a hilarious poke in the eye for Usual Suspects
), not to mention the cop who gets stung to death by bees, but wait till you get to the lunar eclipse. Holy shit, Batman!
Sergei Eisenstein, Strike
In addition to the baby being thrown off the balcony, there's cow being butchered, several near fatal drownings by water cannon, and a guy who gets his neck crushed in a doorway. Crikey! Vive la révolution!