Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957). AK does Macbeth, in a display of strengths: great sound, signature weary humanism, stylized blocking, eerie use of nature. Plus Toshiro Mifune is in titanic form.
The Identical (Dustin Marcellino, 2014). You ever wonder about what might’ve happened to Elvis’s twin brother if he’d survived? There’s a cool movie to be made out of that, and then there’s this one. Debut leading man Blake Rayne, an actual Elvis impersonator, turns out to be an unexpectedly appealing presence. It is daft. (full review 9/12)
The November Man (Roger Donaldson, 2014). Pierce Brosnan in the spy togs again – and even the lousy dialogue here can’t entirely dampen the genre pleasures to be had. (full review 8/29)
A Five Star Life (Maria Sole Tognazzi, 2013). This one looks like it’ll be the usual scenic crowd-hugging tale of redemption and all that. Thankfully – while the eye candy is in place – it isn’t that. (full review 8/29)
Moebius (Kim Ki-duk, 2013). The horrors pile up rapidly in Kim’s story of a messed-up family and its multiple castrations. Things get more severe from there. (full review 8/29)
Ladies Should Listen (Frank Tuttle, 1934). Cary Grant in a stagy farce – not quite himself yet, but still fun to watch. As is this clumsy movie, which floats on a cloud of untethered silliness.
Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968). Vodka blush. Chocolate mouse. Is God Dead? All that and so much more, extended here.
Links my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. “People are constantly talking about how rough it is and how lethal the people are. They left out one thing: You could also die of boredom here.”
The most recent installment of Framing Pictures is now online and watchable here. In this one I join Richard T. Jameson and Bruce Reid for a conversation about Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Eric Rohmer’s A Summer’s Tale, and a few confessions on the subject of Guilty Pleasures. The program will be broadcast on the Seattle Channel (often channel 21 hereabouts) at 10 p.m. Friday night, 11 p.m. Saturday night, 8 p.m. Sunday night, and a buncha other times; see the schedule here.
Check the Overlook Podcast for our latest movie-talk here.
I’ve been popping in on KIRO radio’s “Mark Rahner Show” on weekends lately; here’s the link to the most recent session, in which we talk about The Giver and play an exciting round of Focus Group. Before I come on, listen to the folks from Scarecrow Video talk about their Kickstarter campaign, which you can check out here (yes, I appear in the video).
Return of the Secaucus Seven (John Sayles, 1980). Directing debut of John Sayles, who will be honored at this year’s Port Townsend Film Festival in September. It meant something at the time, and it still means something now – although now it no longer looks quite as much like people growing up as it does people being young. A nice film, a little scruffy around the edges, as it should be.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, 2014). You saw the first one, right? This is more of what they did there. With any luck, when you see the film, it will not involve sitting through a live red-carpet event being broadcast in 3D in your theater. (full review 8/22)
If I Stay (R.J. Cutler, 2014). Can a high-school cellist (Chloe Grace Moretz) and a neo-punk rocker (Jamie Blackley) find happiness in the series of flashbacks that follow a devastating car accident? If it can happen anywhere, it can happen in Portland. (full review 8/22)
Love is Strange (Ira Sachs, 2014). John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as longtime companions whose Manhattan existence is upended by money and family issues. Sachs continues to work his interesting groove, in a film that strongly calls back to the Leo McCarey classic Make Way for Tomorrow. (full review 9/12)
Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.
The Giver. “The promise doesn’t pan out.”
New installment of the Overlook Podcast up this week. I didn’t go for The Hundred-Foot Journey, but it led Steve Scher and me to have a conversation about the film and the appeal of food movies; listen in here.
Sunday August 17 at 2 p.m., the Magic Lantern series at the Frye Art Museum presents Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s 2011 film On the Ice, a drama set in a tight-knit Inuit community. Performer Allison Warden will attend the screening. See here for more info.
On successive Thursday nights, September 4 & 11, I’ll be leading a workshop at the Northwest Film Forum called “Cinematic Space and Sound.” The first session will concentrate on the evocative use of screen space, the second on masters of sound. More information here.