Andres’ Film Queue: Feb. 1 – Feb. 7

For the first time since starting this site and this segment, I have seen a reasonable amount of movies within a week. But by my standards, it’s almost concerning. Only six. Only.

Mulholland Drive (2001)
Directed by David Lynch

Over the past week I watched this film once in full, and twice from the Silencio club scene on, in order to write an article on the final act, which you can find here.

Tokyo Tribe (2014)
Directed by Shion Sono

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into here, all I was aware of was that it was a hip hop opera that took place in Japan, and that the story revolved around gangs. That was enough for me. The film takes place in an “alternate Japan” where everything is a bit more colourful and more cartoonish, and it works excellently in the film, outside of the villain, Buppa, which was too much for me. Small grievances aside, the film knew exactly what it was; an extremely fun time. The camera work was remarkable, as it kept moving around, making the film feel constant and giving the film a bigger sense of scale. It was my first time watching a film by Shion Sono, and so I’m now looking forward to finding Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Also worth noting is that, in 2015 alone, Sono released five feature films and one film for TV. That’s an insane work ethic.

Grease: Live (2016)
Directed by Thomas Kail 

Speaking of camera work, I’m in shock over how most of this was done. I went in with moderately low expectations. Last week, Kennisha had written about Grease: Live and mentioned that she may have liked it more than the original (which she later clarified as a momentary feeling), and knowing how much she loves the original, that shocked me. There were moments that I absolutely loved, such as the classic “Greased Lightnin'”, and even the race (a moment I had to rewind two or three times to get a grasp on how it was made). But in the end, the original is still the original. There lies a bit of the beauty of (good) remakes. We now have two versions of something that works, and in this case, works really well.

Eraserhead (1977)
Directed by David Lynch

I spent all of this past week trying to write about Mulholland Drive. I’m not going to spend the next week writing about Eraserhead. Lynch’s debut film firmly stands with its feet in the ground as a film where the director already knew exactly what he was doing from the beginning. The first time I saw the film, everything flew far, far over my head. Since then, I read what the film is “about”, and watching the film with that in mind, I got it. It still makes for an extremely odd, bizarre, and wonderful experience.

The Big Lebowski (1998)
Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

Hail, Caesar! came out this weekend, and as I’ll be watching it soon, I thought, what’s better than revisiting some older Coen films? I decided on one I haven’t seen a dozen times (looking at you Fargo and Inside Llewyn Davis), so I chose the Coen film I’ve always been indifferent to. Odd, I know, as this film has a cult following, in a literal sense. I saw the film for the first time about two years ago, and during this time, I thought it was good. It was very funny, but it doesn’t have a hold on me as it clearly does on others, and that’s okay. One day, my mind may change and I’ll figure out why the film has touched so many people, but until then, this is just one dude’s opinion.

Ikiru (1952)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa

In Ikiru, we see that there’s nothing more terrifying than never truly living. When Kanji Watanabe finds out he has stomach cancer, he comes to this realization and decides now is the time to start living. The compositions that Kurosawa creates are exquisite, with a perfect sense of framing and blocking.  Early in the film, Kanji meets a writer at a bar who helps teach him how to live a little. The novelist asks him if his stomach is hurting, Watanabe tells him no as he clutches his chest. It’s a heartbreakingly real moment. The two-hour masterpiece is a work of art that makes me want to make sure that I’m truly living.

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