Movie Diary 1/6/2010

Issey Ogata: Here comes the Sun

The Sun (Alexander Sokurov, 2005). Measured by the other Sokurov WWII dictator movie I’ve seen, this one is much less opaque (and much more devastating) than Moloch, his Hitler picture. A pretty remarkable film, in fact: Hirohito’s last days as a god, rendered as a series of small scenes in nice rooms where horror has its roots. The lead performance by Issey Ogata is quite a feat, executed with near-constant attention to a busy mouth twitch. (full review 1/8)

Strongman (Zachary Levy, 2009). The fact that this documentary about a man who would dearly love to make his living doing feats of strength (yes, he seems to be about 100 years late for such a job position) is both compelling and creepy-crawly. You don’t have to squint too hard to recognize it as not so much about a single muscleman as about a common mindset loose in America. (full review 1/8)

Extraordinary Measures (Tom Vaughan, 2010). A variation on the almost completely forgotten George Miller film Lorenzo’s Oil, and also based on fact. Harrison Ford looks awfully relaxed about not having to carry the show. (full review 1/22)