Movie Diary 5/12/2010

The Secret of Kells (Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey, 2009). The unknown sneaker in the Best Foreign-Language Oscar category this year, an elaborately drawn fancy about the Book of Kells. Nagging feeling: this movie was supposed to be good for me. (full review 5/14)

Skeletons (Nick Whitfield, 2010). Since this film doesn’t tell you what it’s about right away (and I’m not sure it ever does), it seems unfair to say anything about it. Which suits me fine. (plays in Seattle International Film Festival 5/26, 5/28)

Man Bait (Terence Fisher, 1952). From the Hammer film noir DVD set, a film that is somehow not good but not bad, either; set at a small London bookstore that seems to employ a great number of people. George Brent is the lead, Diana Dors is in the title role.

Visionaries: Jonas Mekas and the (Mostly) American Avant-Garde Cinema (Chuck Workman, 2009). Bunch of stuff gets left out, inevitably, but the treatment of major experimental films is nicely judged. (plays in SIFF 5/27, 5/28)

American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi (Sebastian Doggart, 2009). Not too many surprises in material or attitude in this profile of Condoleeza Rice, but there’s still plenty of reason to be freshly appalled. (shows at SIFF 6/2, 6/3)

American: The Bill Hicks Story (Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas, 2009). The life of the late cult comedian is narrated by his friends and family, an ingratiating approach that does justice to Hicks’s life; the copious clips from stand-up routines do justice to the work. (plays SIFF 6/10, 6/12)