Night Blaze (This Week’s Movies)

blaze

Ben Dickey, Alia Shawkat: Blace (courtesy IFC Films)

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

Blaze. “Blaze looks and sounds great; some of its images have a sensitively chosen-yet-offhand texture that seems to spring straight out of a vintage country song.” (Herald link here.)

Night School. “Hart’s shtick, in which he frequently ends up being the butt of a joke, is still strong.”

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Movie Diary 8/29/2018

First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017). I can’t think of anybody else who would make a film like this circa 2018. From the very first moments, you are watching an impeccably seen universe: a slow creep in on a historic church in upstate New York, the sort of camera movement that usually prepares us for a horror movie – and maybe that’s what’s happening. The horror, however, is the sort found in Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest and Bergman’s Winter Light, two films that are explicitly referenced here. I am fascinated by this movie because on the one hand it very eloquently looks at the dilemma between living life and observing it, and on the other hand (although really it’s the same hand), it’s got something to do with cinema itself – it’s the summation of a certain kind of film that will, I think, no longer be made after this point. The generations that lived closely and intensely with Bresson and Bergman films are passing on, and from now on all of that will be a museum (as people describe the ill-attended church where pastor Ethan Hawke ministers to a dwindling flock – meanwhile, all the crowds are going to the multiplex – er, the megachurch – down the road, which in fact owns the quaint old churchhouse). The cast is superb, down to the smallest roles. Remarkable movie.

Boyhood Origins (This Week’s Movies)

Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane: a fragment of time in Boyhood

Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane: a fragment of time in Boyhood

Links to reviews I wrote this week for the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Boyhood. “Linklater calls for us to re-imagine how we treat movies and childhood.” (Here’s the SW version, in case of Herald paywall blockage.)

Cannibal. “The film is so beautifully lighted and framed that it’s almost as though Carlos is calling the shots, creating a movie world in which everything fits neatly into place.” (SW version.)

I Origins. “Once again the rationalists are forced to examine their atheistic beliefs – as they so often are in movies.” (SW version.)

And So It Goes. “The cranky-guy formula with very mild results.”

New installment of the Overlook Podcast ready for you: Put in the earbuds as former KUOW host Steve Scher and I talk about Mike Cahill’s I Origins and the tradition of films that favor the mystical over the rational. Check in here.

I turned up on KIRO radio’s “Mark Rahner Show” again last week, and we talked about The Purge: Anarchy, after which I stuck around for an exciting session of “Focus Group.” That hour is here; I come in halfway through.

Take a look at last month’s Framing Pictures panel, in which talkers Richard T. Jameson, Kathleen Murphy and I go over the likes of Snowpiercer, Jersey Boys, Edge of Tomorrow, and The Rover. Watch it online here. It’s also broadcast tonight at 8:30 on the Seattle Channel (likely channel 21 hereabouts).