Monthly Archives: August 2010

I Wanna Be Like You, I Wanna Walk Like You, Talk Like You, Too

Animal Kingdom (Michod, 2010)

“Every morning in Africa a gazelle awakens knowing it must today run faster than the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning a lion awakens knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It matters not whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun rises you had better be running.” This African proverb seems to perfectly encapsulates the world of David Michod’s Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom. The people in this film, whether cops or criminals, are always running from, or after, one another in an attempt to keep balance in Melbourne, Australia. The world is a bitter struggle for comfort and survival, two ideas the film explores in great depth. Continue reading

Used To Be The One Of The Rotten Ones And I Liked You For That

the Last Song (Robinson, 2010)

A common complaint leveled against the present day Hollywood system deals with the lack of originality. Every film seems to exist as a remake or an adaptation, leaving creative filmmakers in the dust and keeping a fine control over exactly what ideas and perspectives are brought to a wide audience. While I do not find the constant desire to remake films or adapt existing franchises to the screen as a necessarily bad tactic, when looking at a film like the Last Song, based on a Nicholas Sparks novel that at the time of filming was still a work in progress, certainly could have used a bit more originality, and a much larger injection of creativity. But many films have enough intangibles to transcend typical flaws, so can the Miley Cyrus factor shoulder the weight of the film on her shoulders? Continue reading

Endless Dreams: A Tribute to Satoshi Kon

Early today it seemed the Twitter world – who would have guessed- was all about about Satoshi Kon, revered anime director of Perfect Blue and Paprika fame. Reports started cropping up that on August 23rd, one day ago, the director passed away suddenly at the age of 47. I had the chance to see Kon’s Paprika during its 2007 theatrical run, my first film from the director, and was instantly floored not only by the sensory overload but also by the intricate plot and essential love letter to cinema that had been sent. After seeing this film I made it a point to check out the rest of the man’s work, and much to my surprise I had already previously fallen in love with the visionary’s creation without even being aware. Kon’s series Paranoia Agent ran on [adultswim] and had initially turned me on to the power of anime as a storytelling medium. Kon existed as a storyteller in the purest sense of the word. Continue reading

She Was Born In Spring, But I Was Born Too Late

Three Colors: Red (Kieslowski, 1994)

I entered Krzysztof Kieslowski’s final entry in his Three Colors Trilogy, Three Colors: Red, with a great deal of uncertainty tinged with a splash of hopefulness. I had little frame of reference for this film, knowing little about the actual plot that would be explored and having never seen another film from the Polish director, but the reputation these films have built up since their release in the early 1990’s is astounding. However, outside of the reputation I did not know the plot of this film or its exact connections to the previous two films in the trilogy. So after sitting down to confront this film would it have been better to build context with the other two films or will I have to already begin revising my Top 97? Continue reading

Are Notes Not?

So last night I found myself watching a White Stripes concert film/documentary hybrid, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights, and as I started to type up a reflection on the film I found that the actual substance to the film was not nearly as consequential as the thoughts the film raised. In fact, the film made me realize two very important things, and I keep questioning a few ideas in relation to these revelations. Continue reading

Keep Your Pekinese, Turkish Cigarettes, And Your Lighter That Looks Like A Gun

Twelve (Schumacher, 2010)

Many would say that Joel Schumacher is responsible for one of the worst films ever recorded: Batman and Robin. I have not seen this travesty, so aside from the film’s reputation I have little else to form any sort of valid opinion. Similarly, I have incredibly limited exposure to Schumacher’s filmography, so when I saw this film about two weeks ago all I took into Twelve dealt with the reputation that the film had built up since its premiere at Sundance. The film was ridiculed by the collective press so horribly at the event that Schumacher had all future screenings canceled and did not conduct any interviews at the festival after the film finished screening. So is the film as hollow and pretentious as the individuals on display in this world or is Schumacher’s latest film an unfortunate victim of critical group think that, like the residents of this upper New York society, is simply cornered by expectation? Continue reading

Top 97 Films (Part Two)

Exactly one year ago today, well actually one year and two days ago today, I published my list of Top 97 Films at the older version of Processed Grass with the intention of revisiting the list one year later to see how things had changed. As I compiled my list this year I found quite a few surprises, some films that did not settle as well as I had originally perceived, and one major shake up that was about three years in the making. As usual, I will revisit this list next year on August the 17th and post a third updated list. But so much for the talking, let’s get to the films! Continue reading