Movie Diary 10/15/2012

Detropia (Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, 2012). Sharp, handsome, evocative. Detroit’s collapse spoken about by people who watched it happen, and observed by an implacable camera. (full review 10/19)

Gabriel Over the White House (Tay Garnett, 1933). Hugely peculiar political fantasy with a do-gooder president (Walter Huston) who gives himself martial-law powers. Some extremely mixed-up politics and a great artifact.

The Connection (Shirley Clarke, 1962). Junkies await their supplier in a seedy apartment, in a newly restored film that looks and sounds spectacular, even if the stage basis for the project boxes in the proceedings a bit. The Beat feeling is present, and there’s lots of jazz.

The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev, 2012). There’s almost a ghost of Hemingway’s Francis Macomber, albeit filtered through the most current film trends, in this study of a young couple trekking across Georgia (the other Georgia) with a local guide. (full review 11/2)

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 (Paul Johansson, 2011). Yes, this. Although the picture was shot on the cheap, it’s not at the Ed Wood level, even if the dialogue becomes hilariously stilted at times (there are only so many ways you can say that what we need is less government and fewer regulations hampering the ideas of great men). Trains have made a comeback, by the way, which is the only positive aspect of this movie.

At What a Feeling!, we look back to 1983, and a review of Roger Spottiswoode’s Under Fire, which seemed pretty strong at the time but has been under-mentioned since.

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