Movie Diary 5/17/2010

Splice (Vincenzo Natali, 2009). A little Canadian-flavored horror, with Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as researchers doing Frankensteinian tinkering in the lab. Lesson: Never have sex with your experiment. (full review 6/4)

It’s a Gift (Norman Z. McLeod, 1934). Periodic viewing of an essential. Hard to pick a favorite scene from this W.C. Fields classic – Mr. Muckle? Picnic on the grass? The mystery of a man searching for Carl LaFong?

Marwencol (Jeff Malberg, 2010). Kind of an amazing portrait of a head-injury victim who creates a doll world of unfolding WWII tableaux – which he then photographs, superbly. I think this has Synecdoche, N.Y. beat. (plays in Seattle International Film Festival 5/30, 5/31)

Like You Know It All (Hong Sang-soo, 2009). Droll and very funny portrait of a film director in a couple of rhyming situations: as a judge at a film festival and as a guest speaker at an island university. (screens at SIFF 5/25, 5/26, 5/28)

Ride, Rise, Roar (David Hillman Curtis, 2010). Concert/backstrage preparation movie about a David Byrne tour. Makes me feel foolish about not paying more attention to Byrne lately. Around the time he puts on a tutu, you realize he can hardly do wrong. (screens at SIFF 5/28, 5/29, 6/3)

Cargo (Ivan Engler, 2009). Among Swiss sci-fi pictures, one of the better entries. On its own, hard to distinguish from so many others. (screens at SIFF 6/8, 6/11, 6/12)

Double Take (Johan Grimonprez, 2009). Wiggy number that uses clips of Alfred Hitchcock from his TV series intros and staged trailers, to summon up a storyline out of a Borges story about (I guess) the falsity of duality. (screens at SIFF 6/4, 6/6)

180 Degrees South (Chris Malloy, 2010). Easy enough to go along on this backpackin’ trip to Patagonia; pleasant endless-summer wish fulfillment, even though somebody must’ve been paying for it. (full review 5/21)

Looking for Eric (Ken Loach, 2009). Loach still surveying lower-class Britain, but this time with magical realism. I have no problem with that. (full review 5/28)

Shrek Forever After (Mike Mitchell, 2010). Ogre still green, but in 3-D. If you didn’t like Shrek before, you won’t now. (full review 5/21)