Week 36

Triumph of the will.jpg

Triumph of the Will- I will admit when I got this in the mail I thought it was Olympia, Reifenstahl’s documentary of the 1936 Olympics in Munich. Instead I received (by my own error) Triumph which takes place over 4 days during the 1934 Nuremburg Rally. I thought I would have to overcome some sickening Nazi revulsion for the duration of this movie but the only real obstacle was boredom. Imagine you live 83 years in the future and you need to watch 2017 footage from a 4-day Fourth of July Parade including all of its speeches. Of course as a snapshot it’s very revealing to see Germany in the fervor and ramp up to war. People are happy and (for lack of a better word) proud to be German. The crowds are huge and speeches are effective. Often, a strong enough wave will pick you up and carry you whether you fight it or not. There’s a lot to be said about this as a movie, good and bad, but one thought kept coming to mind. Flags. Fucking flags everywhere. A sea of black and white swastikas carried by troops past buildings draped in them against a horizon crowned in eagles wearing 2 story tall flags. Germany lost the war but they won that flag battle for sure. This is a historical document so it is slow but the moments of boredom are punctuated by fascinating elements of might and oratory.

C7 A4


Good Time

Good Time- A man has to rescue his mentally handicapped brother from prison while committing crimes and evading the police himself. Along the way he encounters strangers that enter and exit the film in unceremonious fashion but still leave an impact. It’s an exercise in futility but Pattinson pushes forward with near Run, Lola, Run enthusiasm until the end. There’s something to be said for entering a story that is not all inclusive. You aren’t introduced to each character in proper fashion and you also don’t get to give a proper goodbye but you get to experience something poignant with them anyway.

C7 A6



Levitated Mass- Earlier this year, I watched Troublemakers a documentary about land artists. This is about one of them and a project he undertook in 2012 in conjunction with LACMA. I found the first doc moving and the second one no less so. When I say “he undertook” I should amend that with it was his idea and he made a lot of the designs after discovering a 340 ton rock in a quarry. The process itself required hundreds of people, thousands of man hours and paperwork across 22 cities and 40 years to transport the rock to LA. I can’t really put it in words and recommend it be seen to be believed.

C7 A5


young adam

Young Adam- I think this marks the second time I’ve seen Ewan McGregor’s penis. I don’t think I can say that about any other Jedi. It’s fine. I mean the reason I saw it not the penis itself. It actually makes sense as it’s the driving force behind most events in this working class Scottish murder mystery. And if all else fails it’s got Tilda Swinton in it and she’s amazing even when she’s trying to be plain. You also see her naked but at this point I’ve lost count of how many times that’s happened.

C7 A5



Casting Jon Benet- There is a beautiful moment in this documentary where all the actors auditioning for the role of Jon Benet Ramsey’s parents are on the same set. Each father/mother is dressed the same and are having different conversations in different parts of the scene. The camera pans slowly from left to right as the dialogue overlaps in a cacophony of sound. It’s a solid doc with an abnormal premise

C7 A6




mother!- By now, there are probably college essays being written on this movie so whatever insights I could provide would be redundant.  You either know you don’t want to watch or you do want to see it but haven’t which leads me to my question Why Not? It’s a beautiful allegorical tale heavily advertised (but thinly veiled) as a domestic disturbance with a visiting, overzealous couple.  In a medium that is increasingly becoming bogged down in franchises and determined to quash out the idea of “auteurs” or “directors who think for themselves” the fact the Darren Arronofsky is still able to to make well budgeted and beautiful movies is shocking. mother! should never have been made. Same goes for Black Swan and The Wrestler. But he just keeps doing exactly what he wants and it works out well for all film lovers, even if you don’t have the strongest stomach.

C8 A4


The dinner

The Dinner- This is a movie about teens. Or the internet. Or marriage. Or Civil War. Or mental health. Or fine dining and cuisine. Or I have no idea what this movie is trying to tell me other than it is okay to lie about your son’s crimes to protect his future and Steve Coogan’s American accent is weird. The makers of this are trying so hard to say something and I just don’t get it. But fine dining also escapes me so maybe I’m just too low brow.

One Good Thing: There’s some beautiful meal preparation footage here and foodies may enjoy those moments.

Watch Instead: The Trip

C4 A5



Up- I had the chance to watch to watch Up in theaters but I opted to go see Land of the Lost instead. Eight years later, I have finally corrected that mistake and watched the superior movie but give me a break though. Will Farrell and Danny McBride doing improv back and forth for two hours in the remake of a TV show I vaguely remembered from my childhood? How could I lose? Well Land was boring and ridiculous and not that funny so I took an L on that one. What else can I say about Up that most don’t know? It’s beautiful and Pixar is God (Cars 2 is Apocrypha).

C9 A8


Hard Candy

Hard Candy- This is one I’ve been meaning to get to for some time I just knew something evil was lurking in it that I wasn’t ready for. A presumably naïve girl meets and older man she met online. They go back to his place and it is all downhill from there. She takes him hostage pretty quickly with the intent of torturing him for information on his secret life as a pedophile. What this director and writer do expertly (at least from my adult male perspective) is traverse the length of the movie and convince you that she is in the wrong. That being said, I wonder if a woman would say that he is guilty and we just don’t yet know why. For as long as this movie feels with it taking place in only two locations, a lot happens and Ellen Page is terrifying through implication if not stature.

C7 A6

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