The Theory of Rosewater Camp (This Week’s Movies)

Kim Bodnia and Gael Garcia Bernal, in Rosewater.

Kim Bodnia and Gael Garcia Bernal, in Rosewater.

Links to my reviews this week in Seattle Weekly and the Herald, and etc.

The Theory of Everything. “Catches a frank, worldly view of the way things happen sometimes.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly version here.)

Rosewater. “Irony is the only thing standing between us and madness.” (Weekly link here.)

Camp X-Ray. “Watchable for its minimalist style and its dedicated performances.”

Sunday November 16 I’ll be at the Frye Art Museum presenting “Time as a Character in Contemporary Film,” a look at how filmmakers such as Richard Linklater, Bela Tarr, and Tsai Ming-liang incorporate the idea of Time in their movies. That’s at 2 p.m., and the talk is free. More info here.

Two episodes of the Overlook Podcast to catch up on. In the first, Steve Scher and I talk about Interstellar and other spacey things; listen here. The second is a take on Rosewater; drop in here.

Movie Diary 11/11/2014

Camp X-Ray (Peter Sattler, 2014). A guard (Kristen Stewart) at Guantanamo comes to know a prisoner (Peyman Moaadi, from A Separation) – oops, a “detainee.” What follows is sincere and expected, although the two performances and the expressive use of closed-in spaces make it interesting. (full review 11/14)

Movie Diary 11/10/2014

Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931). Still a kind of enchantment – and what a compact, swift-moving picture. Thanks to Rocky Friedman at the Rose Theatre, and all who helped out at the reading in Port Townsend on Sunday. We had a swell time. Speaking of which, here’s an interview I did with Larry Stein of KPTZ on the subject of Frankenstein and my book about the film.

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Interstellar Diplomacy (This Week’s Movies)

Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway: Interstellar

Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway: Interstellar

Links to reviews I published in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Interstellar. “Nothing is left unstated in this journey.”

Big Hero 6. “The climax is just as gigantic as ever in the superhero universe.”

Diplomacy. “Schlondorff understands the theatrical possibilities here.”

On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter. “The right cheerful-cornball tone throughout.”

Sunday November 9 I’ll be at the Rose Theatre in Port Townsend, WA, to introduce a screening of Frankenstein and talk about the book. Screening begins at 1 p.m., reading to follow.

On last week’s “Mark Rahner Show” on KIRO-FM, I talk with the host about Nightcrawler, and survey the endless roster of Marvel films to come. Listen here.

Movie Diary 11/4/2014

Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014). Nolan is very good with concepts, although other stuff – ideas, for instance – can cause trouble. When this movie’s in space, it’s really pretty cool, and the reach is admirable. Might be just a bit out of control, though. (full review 11/5)

Big Hero 6 (Don Hall, Chris Williams, 2014). There may or may not be an embargo in effect. Please act accordingly. (full review 11/7)

Diplomacy (Volker Schlondorff, 2014). In the waning days of the German occupation of Paris, Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling (Andre Dussollier) and military governor Dietrich von Choltitz (Niels Arestrup) meet to discuss whether the city’s going to be flattened by the retreating Nazis. It didn’t really happen quite like this, but one recognizes the dramatic possibilities. (full review 11/7)

On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (Dana Brown, 2014). Motorcycle footage from the son of Bruce Brown, director of the Steve McQueen original. It’s what you think it is, but some of the stunts are insane. Evel Knievel, you left us too soon. (full review 11/7)

The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963). Still an eerie experience.

The Body Snatcher (Robert Wise, 1945). First time seeing this in a long time. Other than being a smart, spooky movie, the thing gives you ample opportunity to appreciate how crafty Boris Karloff could be when given some running room.

Citizen Nightcrawler (This Week’s Movies)

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Links to my reviews published in the Herald and Seattle Weekly.

Nightcrawler. “Lean and freaky.”

Citizenfour. “A rare chance to see a now-historical character in the moment of truth.” (In case of Herald paywall, here’s the Seattle Weekly version.)

Young Ones. “Not quite odd enough to be a future cult film.” (Weekly version.)

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I talk about horror movies, direct from the Psychotronic room at Scarecrow video. Listen up here for Halloween.

Last weekend I talked about Birdman, John Wick, and Citizenfour on a couple of segments of KIRO’s “The Mark Rahner Show.” It’s archived here.

Thursday November 6 I’ll speak at the Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima, WA, for “The End of the Trail: How the Western Movie Rode Off Into the Sunset,” a program for Yakima Valley Libraries. The talk begins at 7:30. A bit of info from the Yakima Herald here.

Movie Diary 10/29/2014

The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014). The true story’s a humdinger, and there’s a batch of good British actors, and Tyldum directed the ridiculously fun Headhunters. So that’s why people are already calling the Oscar race. Maybe, but it is nice to have a movie come down on the side of reason and logic. (full review 11/21)

Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-Liang, 2003). Somehow missed this one the first time around: Tsai spinning mood and humor out of a near-empty movie theater showing King Hu’s Dragon Inn. Droll and lovely. Doing some prep here for a Magic Lantern talk about filmmakers who make Time a character in movies.

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