The Friday 11/12/2021

Fusako Urabe, Aoba Kawai: Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Film Movement)

My piece for the Scarecrow blog this week, and etc.

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. “This is a glorious movie, one of the year’s best.”

I’ve got a new episode of my radio show, “The Music and the Movies,” this one devoted to the way cinema has imagined Paris. Includes appearances by Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker, and my anecdote about being pickpocketed on the steps of Sacre-Coeur. Listen here.

Scarecrow Academy, a free online discussion series presented by Scarecrow Video in Seattle, continues “The Art in Noir” on Saturday Nov. 13 with a conversation about Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. Check the Scarecrow Academy page for info about how to sign up. I introduce the film below.

Newly posted to my other blog, What a Feeling!, this week: vintage 1980s reviews of Krzysztof Zanussi’s A Year of the Quiet Sun, a lovely work from the Polish director, with fine roles for Scott Wilson and Maja Komorowska; and Keenen Ivory Wayans’ I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, the blaxploitation spoof that really launched the Wayans world.

Movie Diary 9/2/2009

Paris (Cedric Klapisch, 2009). Cavalcade of French stars in a fundamentally cornball scenario that tries to lay on an art-movie patina. Not exactly hard to sit through, with people such as Juliette Binoche and Romain Duris around – plus the indelible sight of Fabrice Luchini, one of my favorite actors anyway, doing some frantic gyrations to “Land of 1,000 Dances.” (full review 9/25)

Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino, 2008). Impressive Cannes success about Italy’s unprepossessing strongman Giulio Andreotti, a political film that unabashedly unrolls like a Scorsesian gangster picture. (full review 9/4)