Toni Neruda Wick (This Week’s Movies)

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Sandra Huller, Peter Simonischeck: Toni Erdmann

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Toni Erdmann. “Life becomes theater, an ongoing masquerade that looks a lot more fun than the grown-up business of maximizing profit margins and exploiting the little guy.”

John Wick Chapter 2. “If the outline is more ordinary, the movie still scores big with its not-quite-real world.”

Neruda. “Takes a skeptical view not only of its title character but of the idea of making anybody a hero.”

Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America. “Engaging, if generic in its approach. And it raises issues that surely demand deeper explanation.”

Tonight, Feb. 10, the talkers in Framing Pictures re-convene for a conversation at Scarecrow Video. We will look at this year’s Oscar nominees and assess how wrong they are, ponder new movies such as Toni Erdmann and Split, and more. Join us for a freewheeling talk about movies old and new, and what you’d like to talk about. Check the FP Facebook page for updates.

Sunday February 12 I’ll give a talk for Historic Seattle entitled “Shot on Location: Architectural Landmarks on Film,” at 2 p.m. Check the details here, or at the Northwest Film Forum’s calendar.

Last month’s Framing Pictures is now online (and occasionally being broadcast by the Seattle Channel). Check out the Framers settling the Best of 2016 right here.

Movie Diary 2/7/2017

John Wick Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski, 2017). You can’t improve on canine vengeance as a motivation, so nothing’s going to match the first one. But there’s nothing about the sequel that should blunt the momentum of this new Bond franchise. (full review 2/10)

Movie Diary 2/6/2017

Ramona (Edwin Carewe, 1928). A Silent Movie Monday event at the Paramount, with a splendidly-restored print courtesy the Library of Congress. Dolores del Rio stars in a movie that manages to be sympathetic to the Native American (a depiction of a massacre against an Indian village is harrowing) and also embody a message about forgetting all that and moving on. Fascinating.

Neruda (Pablo Larrain, 2016). Plays like  fantasia about a detective (Gael Garcia Bernal) chasing the famous poet in the aftermath of WWII. An inventive approach to whatever the movie is actually about, which I have to think about some more. (full review 2/10)

Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America (Matthew Ornstein, 2016). A decidedly offbeat documentary about a musician who makes it his business to befriend and convert Ku Klux Klan members, one racist at a time.

Not Midsummer Space (This Week’s Movies)

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Robert De Niro, The Comedian (Alison Cohen Rosa/Sony Pictures Classics)

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

I Am Not Your Negro. “Best of all are the vintage segments in which Baldwin perches in a cloud of cigarette smoke and lets flow his elegantly formed but passionate observations. As a speaker, he was a spellbinder, and he knew it.”

The Space Between Us. “He is allegedly some kind of genius boy, but he dumbs down in order to play the fish-out-of-water routine.”

The Comedian. “De Niro gets the joke-telling all wrong.”

Midsummer in Newtown. “Because of its intimate look at the struggle against grief, Midsummer in Newtown gets a pass for whatever wobbles it has as storytelling.”

Sunday February 12 I’ll give a talk for Historic Seattle entitled “Shot on Location: Architectural Landmarks on Film,” at 2 p.m. Check the details here, or at the Northwest Film Forum’s calendar.

The talkers in Framing Pictures re-convene for a conversation at Scarecrow Video on February 10. This time we’ll sift through the Oscar nominations and assess how right and wrong they are. Join us for a freewheeling talk about movies old and new, and what you’d like to talk about. Check the FP Facebook page for updates.

Movie Diary 2/1/2017

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016). Joins a handful of other good ones from 2016 in the way it snakes unpredictably through a truly original scenario that comes to seem kinda epic. A basically sober movie that has many funny moments. (full review 2/10)

The Space Between Us (Peter Chelsom, 2017). Teen love, tested by the distance between Mars to Earth. But not for long. Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson are the teenagers, with Gary Oldman trying once again to play a normal person. (full review 2/3)

Movie Diary 1/31/2017

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016). A scintillating documentary built around some of James Baldwin’s unpublished writing, blended with some of the author’s eloquent appearances on TV talk shows back in the days when talk shows had people like James Baldwin as guests. (full review 2/3)

Midsummer in Newtown (Lloyd Kramer, 2016). A Shakespeare production with schoolkids from Sandy Hook Elementary. Obviously, the throat clutches. Sort of wondering why there are so many mentions of God and no talk of guns. (full review 2/3)

Government Dogs (This Week’s Links)

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Emma Suarez: Julieta (Manolo Pavon, Sony Pictures Classics)

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Julieta. “Each shot is a formal arrangement of color and composition—actually, each shot is practically a floral arrangement, given how pretty it all looks.”

Gold. “McConaughey is unleashed, and the result ain’t pretty.”

A Dog’s Purpose. “Through every step of philosophical flapdoodle peddled in A Dog’s Purpose, Hallstrom manages to maintain some level of dignity.”

All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone. “Filmmakers can’t possibly predict what the world will look like when their movie actually gets released. Sometimes you get lucky.”

Early notice: Sunday February 12 I’ll give a talk for Historic Seattle entitled “Shot on Location: Architectural Landmarks on Film,” at 2 p.m. Check the details here, or at the Northwest Film Forum’s calendar.