Movie Diary 5/26/2014

Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-Liang, 2013). I am impressed by a SIFF audience that stayed mostly in their seats and seemed plugged in. This is a difficult film but a rather remarkable experience in a theater.

Filth (Jon S. Baird, 2013). Nastiness from Trainspotting guy Irvine Welsh, with James McAvoy and a strong supporting troupe put through the paces. Gaack. And I mean that literally. (full review 5/30)

Beneath the Harvest Sky (Aron Gaudet, Gita Pulapilly, 2013). Teen stuff, allegedly given a different sort of spin. (full review 5/30)

Attack of the Puppet People (Bert I. Gordon, 1958). At times one needs a break from SIFF and everything else. Very, very satisfying.

I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story (Dave LaMattina, Chad N. Walker, 2014). You will find out a great deal about Big Bird in this documentary (it includes Mitt Romney’s gaffe about cutting gov’t funding for PBS – a great index of the man’s cluelessness); you will also hear background music nonstop.

Jealousy (Philipe Garrel, 2013). Some widescreen black-and-white cinematography (Willy Kurant on camera) and a keenly-judged selection of moments from overlapping relationships. Not easy on the audience, but not a blank wall, either (although it has many blank walls, and they are evocative).

Still Life (Uberto Pasolini, 2013). Eddie Marsan gets a leading role, as a meek civil servant who tends the services for dead people with no mourners. Could have gone in a very sentimental direction, but doesn’t go there, exactly.

The Two Faces of January (Hossein Amini, 2014). Patricia Highsmith story, made into a serviceable period piece (1962, Greece and Crete) with a game-for-anything Viggo Mortensen.

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