Movie Diary 8/15/2016

Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014). Another extraordinary film by the director of Bamako and Waiting for Happiness, about an occupation by an ISIS-like religious group. Full of fierce absurdities and moments of poetry, and the principal roles are filled with non-actors who have remarkable faces. I missed this when it came out, or it probably would’ve been a Top Ten entry.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Werner Herzog, 2016).Even when Herzog throws off one of these documentaries, there are eerie moments and strange visions. This is about the internet, and it has some excellent soccer-playing robots. (full review 8/19)

Our Little Foster Dragon (This Week’s Movies)

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Suzu Hirose, Our Little Sister (courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

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

Our Little Sister. “Even death is part of the flow, part of the process of getting along and finding a place in the world.”

Pete’s Dragon. “An offbeat underwhelmer with moments of quiet charm.”

Anthropoid. “Clichéd: The movie is all jiggly handheld camerawork, and dark rooms, and breathless close-ups.”

Indignation. “There’s something glorious about a conversation that goes on, and on, and on, especially in an age where the conventional wisdom in movies is to keep it short and to the point.”

Florence Foster Jenkins. “Perhaps it takes someone with vocal talent to truly channel terrible singing.”

Tonight, Friday August 12, 7 p.m., the talkers in Framing Pictures will re-convene for a conversation at Scarecrow Video. We’ll scan the great career of Warren Oates, consider Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new film Our Little Sister, and find out what you’d like to talk about. Check the FP Facebook page for updates.

Movie Diary 8/11/2016

Little Men (Ira Sachs, 2016). Another thoughtful film from an interesting director (Love Is Strange), with dreamy European-style observation finally seeming more important than whatever up-to-date social issues are explored. Idiosyncratic cast, New York locations, a whimsical sense of which scenes are important enough to include. (full review 8/19)

Movie Diary 8/8/2016

Pete’s Dragon (David Lowery, 2016). From the director of the so-very-serious Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. The dragon has fur. I ask you. (full review 8/12)

How Green Was My Valley (John Ford, 1941). A beautiful film in which every composition, throw of light, and behavioral gesture bespeaks a fully-imagined community.

Private Property (Leslie Stevens, 1960). A weird one about two depraved punks (Corey Allen, Warren Oates) menacing an unfulfilled L.A. wife (Kate Manx). Overheated, for sure (Allen is trying to summon the corporeal form of Marlon Brando through sheer will), with some interesting low-budget moments.

Don’t Think Squad (This Week’s Movies)

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Don’t Think Twice (courtesy The Film Arcade)

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

Suicide Squad. “The movie never stops underlining how cool their anti-authority attitudes are.”

Don’t Think Twice. “This movie has a few hard feelings and one thrown punch, but Birbiglia prefers to capture a detailed world and its relationships, not hunt for dramatic beats.”

Under the Sun.

Early warning: Friday August 12, 7 p.m., the talkers in Framing Pictures will re-convene for a conversation at Scarecrow Video. We’ll scan the great career of Warren Oates, consider Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new film Our Little Sister, and find out what you’d like to talk about. Check the FP Facebook page for updates.

Movie Diary 8/3/2016

Anthropoid (Sean Ellis, 2016). I greatly wish the camera could stay still and give us a sense of what some of the rooms look like, but there is a good WWII story going on here (the plot to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich), and Cillian Murphy makes for a believable nerves-of-ice Resistance fighter. It’s no Hangmen Also Die!, let’s just say that. (full review 8/12)

Movie Diary 8/2/2016

Under the Sun (Vitaly Mansky, 2015). The director wanted to shoot a documentary in North Korea; officials told him he could do it as long as the documentary was scripted according to party lines. The bizarre results make for hugely disconcerting watching, as Mansky subverts the approved process by including multiple takes and behind-the-scenes glimpses. (full review 8/5)

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