Movie Diary 4/13/2009

Fados (Carlos Saura, 2007). The best of Saura’s music/dance documentaries? I think so, with a style that manages to be both plain and lush at the same time. (full review 4/24)

Anvil: The Story of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi, 2008). Heavy metal as only the Canadians can do it, and a mind-boggling artifact on many levels. (full review 4/17)

Our Man in Havana (Carol Reed, 1959). What survives amazingly well in this comedy is the location shooting in Cuba, a fine widescreen subject for Reed’s eye. The Graham Greene story is designed to be just a bit more acerbic than it first seems, although Alec Guinness’s puckish performance, geared toward his earlier Ealing pictures, maybe delays the acid undertone.

Is Anybody There? (John Crowley, 2008). New one from the guy that directed Boy A, which impressed some people. This one I liked better, and cinematographer Rob Hardy is definitely a comer. (full review 5/1)

17 Again (Burr Steers, 2009). Not exactly the follow-up movie anybody was expecting from the director of the worthy Igby Goes Down, but whatever. Zac Efron gets a gratuitous dance scene in the otherwise non-musical film, which does not match the effect of Ricky Nelson’s song interlude in Rio Bravo — but then not much does. (full review 4/17)