Sunday, October 28, 2012

CLOUD ATLAS 10/28/12

My Cloud Atlas review is still being mulled over. Just got home and NO I was not blown away either by the upcoming storm or the film.I did not read the book by David Mitchell so I came to the movie with no expectations except the fact that it was directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski (Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run.)

This just under 3 hour film speaks to how actions we do radiate through time from the past into the far future, and our personal interactions have an effect sometime and someplace in the Universe. Not my personal philosophy, but the film and the interlocking 6 stories held my interest as did seeing actors playing many many different roles in different time periods. Tom Hanks often is totally unrecognizable, as are Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent - made up as characters in various guises. Some are rapacious, corrupt, some are evil, some are innocents who develop the courage to "change" their surroundings and environment. Exploitation is evident in every epoch. My favorite and the most emotionally resonant story was the love affair between a young composer and his male lover- the heartbeat of their affair beams over the years.

I liked the fast-paced inter-cutting from one story to another - making you feel as if time were all of a piece and events from the far past are similar to future occurrences. This is an ambitious undertaking which was smoothly done, but still much of the film was cliched and too "new-agey" for my taste. I did respond to the strange language of the characters from a post -apocalyptic future There was a beautiful patois and rhythm to their speech - tho my friend who came with me did not understand what they were talking about.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Searching for Sugar Man" is a documentary in search of a subject - Sixto Rodriguez - a young Mexican American singer in the 1970's who lived in Detroit Michigan and sang in local bars with his back to the audience. That alone would be the beginning of a legend. Detroit is beautifully filmed - the sounds of crunching snow underfoot and the light of the city are as mysterious as the subject of this film.

Why search for Rodriguez? His two albums which were enthusiastically reviewed in USA bombed. Very few people knew or know of him. BUT ironically he became a large hit and influence in South Africa to the point (according to the filmaker) where his songs were a catalyst among the youth in the fight against Apartheid. Since there were only the two albums available, and no tabloid documentation on Rodriguez, myths sprung up about the artist including suicide by immolation or a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head during a concert.

Rodriguez was a total unknown - no mass publicity, no articles in magazines, etc - just an artist making his art in isolation. AND that is the crux of this film. It speaks to all of us who work and work with an occasional wave that breaks our way - but mainly living our lives doing what we need to do unknown with little or no support commercially. Even though personally after years of making art, I felt saddened, I also felt vindicated by seeing this film.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ARGO 10/13/12

Saw a wildly entertaining film entitled ARGO directed by Ben Affleck. It is based on the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979-1980 during the Jimmy Carter Administration and some of the scenes will feel very contemporary. A fast-paced, heart stopper - constant cuts between historical documentary footage, Iranians protesting against America, and a bizarre but true plot - hand in hand with the Hollywood film industry to get out 6 of the Hostages who had escaped the Embassy and were holed up in the Canadian Ambassador's home.
Very well directed and filmed without being confusing - my heart was beating so quickly at the end - with an old-fashioned, exaggerated Hollywood beat the clock touch - that I swallowed an aspirin in case I would get a heart attack..I am big on preventative medicine.