Movie Diary 11/02/2016

Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson, 2016). Gooney-bird Andrew Garfield plays the real-life conscientious objector Desmond Doss, who won the Medal of Honor for bravery at Okinawa despite refusing to carry a gun. Good true story, and Gibson sets up the big emotional payoffs like a butcher slicing into choice cuts of meat. Vulgar auteurism at its most vulgar. (full review 11/4)

Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016). Lots of reactions out already on this one, yet there is an embargo. So in the words of Donald Trump, I’ll keep you in suspense. (full review 11/11)

Gimme Danger (Jim Jarmusch, 2016). Marvelous rock history courtesy Stooges fan Jarmusch. The distance between Michigander Iggy Pop’s relaxed speaking voice and electrifying stage presence is something to behold. (full review 11/11)

Two Lottery Tickets (Paul Negoescu, 2016). A new-ish Romanian film that lightens the mood considerably from the run of prominent Romanian New Wave pictures, yet has its own stylistic integrity; this mostly has to do with a deadpan strategy of one-camera-set-up-per-scene, always chosen for maximum comic impact. The movie (a remake) is about three friends who lose a winning lottery ticket and scramble to find it again. I saw this movie in a multiplex in Constanta, Romania (with English subtitles!) while on a Fulbright Specialist visit to that country, which is why I haven’t been posting many things. But now I’m back, and the jet lag is just now … setting … zzzzz

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