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quick shots

Posted by martinteller on August 13, 2014

Lately I haven’t felt much like writing, and I’m not really sure what that’s about but that’s how it is sometimes.  I also feel obliged to post something about everything I watch and I’m not really sure what that’s about either, but here’s a bunch of movies I’ve rewatched lately without doing a full review…

An Angel at My Table and Sita Sings the Blues are both in my top 100.  Sadly, they represent half of all the movies on that list directed by women (the other two — Wendy and Lucy and Innocence — I revisited earlier this year).  Angel gets better every time I see it.  I have nothing to add to my last review, except that I can’t think of one damn thing I don’t love about it.  Rating: Masterpiece (100)

Sita, on the other hand, has that 3-minute intermission that feels longer every time.  It’s one joke, and not a terribly amusing one.  It’s just so unnecessary.  And the film as a whole felt like a little less of a “favorite” to me this time around.  Even though I still think it’s a unique and brilliant idea, with beautiful artwork and fantastic humor, it may not survive next year’s revision of my list.  I’d hate to lose one of my few female-directed films (not to mention the only animated one) but I can’t start making decisions based on tokenism.  Rating: Great (95)

Jacques Demy’s Lola is in my top 250, and again I feel like my previous review says all I need to say on the film.  I really love how carefree Demy is about building a series of unlikely coincidences and near misses… he embraces the stuff that only happens in the movies.  Rating: Great (89)

I also revisited two documentaries from the new Herzog Blu-Ray set.  Ballad of the Little Soldier is pretty much how I remembered it.  Some real downer stuff here, and more directly political than one usually sees from Herzog.  Rating: Very Good (82)

My patience must have grown in some ways in the nine years since I first watched the film Land of Silence and Darkness.  None of the scenes felt “too long”, it was consistently riveting stuff.  I think of it now as one of his finest works, very affecting.  The final few minutes comprise one of the most moving scenes Herzog ever captured.  Both of these docs make me feel very lucky indeed to be born into the circumstances I was, but Herzog does not frame these subjects with pity… he quietly marvels at their efforts to overcome such great difficulties.  Rating: Very Good (86)

There was also a new viewing that I didn’t do a review of, and perhaps the less I say about Never Been Kissed, the better.  The one thing I loved about it was getting to see Garry Marshall say “Hot wieners!”.  Just about everything else annoyed me on one level or another.  I often have a problem relating to American high school movies because they almost always involve this epic struggle to be “popular”.  I didn’t perceive this popular vs. unpopular divide at my high school, but maybe I was oblivious to it… apparently a lot of other people (or at least a lot of screenwriters) felt it deeply.  Still, I can’t stomach this much Drew Barrymore, especially when there’s so many other problems with the film.  Rating: Crap (30)

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