Posts Tagged ‘Cate Blanchett’

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: A second time round…

June 11, 2008

I love writing about things I enjoy, which should give you a clue as to how I feel about this current installment of Indiana Jones. And how I feel about movies. Thankfully everyone involved in the making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull seems to also love movies and thankfully Indiana Jones.

There’s more joy for the cinema captured in the first 5 minutes of the Crystal Skull than there has been in any movie I’ve seen this year. Admire how Spielberg effortlessly swings his cameras in and out of cars, catching reflections off hubcaps and side mirrors. And in the details, how extras playing Communist Infiltrators shake their heads at the crazy youths driving them down. The lighting separates the action and space inside and out [Janusz Kaminski] exquisitely giving details to every actor’s face. It’s beautiful. It’s fast, furious, free-flowing and fun to watch. You take in every aspect and every aspect is perfect. Anyone who’s said this movie is on auto-pilot isn’t watching. (more…)

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“I’m Not There”: An Artist as Landscape

December 5, 2007

I’m Not There

I don’t really like talking about my films. Everything I want to say is in the film itself; for me to say anything more is, as the proverb goes, like “drawing legs on a picture of snake.” But from time to time and idea I thought I had conveyed in the film does not seem to have been generally understood. On those occasions I do feel an urge to talk about my work. Nevertheless, I try not to. If what I have said in my film is true, someone will understand.’ – Akira Kurosawa

None of the characters are called Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’s bio of the eccentric artist I’m Not There, which is fine since we’re not dealing with absolutes. I’ve grown weary over the years of bios dealing with the same old things (since Chaplin for goodness sake): who they were sleeping with, what drugs they did, how it all influenced their … yawn! Haynes avoids many of these cliches, partly through non-linear storytelling much like the wonderful film La Vie en Rose did earlier this year, but also by creating the most complex and realistic interpretation of not only an artist but a human being I’ve seen in a long time. It plays almost as a hate letter in response to those who try to put artists and people in simple to understand boxes. That because they are good at something or stand up for something in the world, then that’s all that they are. There’s a devastating moment in the film in which a pompous British interviewer an unnamed character (so proclaims the blank space on imdb.com) played by Bruce Greenwood who in searching for his idea of what truth is uncovers Dylan’s origins and the room falls silent as the mystery behind this artist begins to crumble. Doesn’t the interviewer realize that a person is more than where they’ve come from or more than the style of music that has influenced them or that they’ve influenced. Don’t Dylan’s fans realize that in order to thrive as an artist, the artist has to change! They have to work against the pull of society and who they are as a person. Artists’ have to challenge themselves and what they believe.

In this film Dylan seems to be just as much in search of who he is as Haynes is searching out who Dylan is, but unlike the Brit Interviewer he gives us more than one truth.

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“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”: goes for bronze

October 16, 2007

elizabeth

The follow up to the brilliant 1998 film Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age doesn’t take place so much during the Golden Age of her reign, but during the moments leading directly up to it, or at least it felt that way. And if you’ve seen the first film recently not only is the plot given in the final moments of the film just before the credits but so to is the outcome of the plot, so there are fewer surprises now. In fact, and unfortunately, there’s little to be surprised about in this new undertaking.

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