"Hey, we're trying to make a movie, not a film." -- Bowfinger
This little ghost story by Henry Jaglom has a very good performance
by his wife, Victoria Foyt.
It also deals with a theme which is always powerful for me:
a moment when suddenly sees one's own life clearly
and has to decide whether to take the opportunity
to change everything.
Miranda Richardson does a wonderful job of playing T.S. Eliot's
very charismatic first wife Vivian,
who gets progressively more and more crazy.
I can't claim that all artists, or even most artists, are like
Jackson Pollock as portrayed by Ed Harris. I can only say that I've
known a number who were. They'd been the kind of bad kids who
always made life hell for their teachers, and for their parents.
And when they become adults, a lot
of the more old fashioned labels work quite well. Drunken bums.
Deadbeats. Ne'er do wells. Losers.
Ed Harris plays Jackson Pollock with a constant dazed, slightly
scared look in his eyes. Nothing in the world ever quite seems to
make sense to him.
One of Robert Altman's most beautiful films.
Right from the first moment, before one has any idea
what is happening, one is drawn in by the fact
that the scenes are both beautiful and interesting.
Visually, this British film is a delight to watch.
Wonderful art direction.
The story is fun and the dialogue is great.
A little bit of "Trainspotting" and
quite a big of "Pulp Fiction."
Don't come in late: the Cockney rap at the beginning
is one of the best parts of this film.
AI, at least for the first hour, has the definite Kubrick
look. I couldn't explain to you what that means, but I guess it's
one of those cases of I-know-it-when-I-see-it. Apparently Spielberg
was working from storyboards that Kubrick had made up, so that must
be a big part of it.
Then the second half turns into more of a Spielberg film.
The story here is heavily sentimental, but that's quite
appropriate. The real point of the film is visual.
It has the look of a Disney animated feature
made with live actors.
A beautiful film visually and very reminiscent of Fellini.
Whereas "Cookies Choice" and "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"
are visually wonderful because the film keeps showing you
in "Tango" the beauty comes not so much from the subject matter
(although watching the tango is always wonderful)
but from the way the camera makes love to the images it films.
A very romanticized portrayal
of the magical experience of putting on a play.
It reminded me of the Marcel Carné film
"Les Enfants du Paradis."
There's something in this that touches on one of my fundamental
Somehow, in order to get to really important meaningful contact
between two people, first of all one has to go through an enormous
amount of, um, fluff. ("Where are you from,
what sort of work do you do, what do you you do for fun?" etc.)
And I've always been attracted to stories about encounters between
people where this fluff is avoided, where one goes straight to
In this film, the relationship is by definition pornographic,
and yet we see only a few
sex scenes and the emphasis is on the human relationship
that develops between them without their even knowing even
each other's names. And at the end, they both decide (according to the
interviews which are interspersed) that they are in love with the
other, but each of them decides that the other doesn't want love
and so they part, never to meet again.
Wings of the Dove
"Besieged," by Bertolucci.
"Xiu-Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl," by Joan Chen.
"My Son the Fanatic," written by Hanif Khureishi.
"Limbo," by John Sayles.
"The Dreamlife of Angels" (French).
"The Winslow Boy" by David Mamet.
"Three Seaons," beautiful film shot in Vietnam by Tony Bui.
"Tea with Mussolini."
"The King of Masks," a Chinese crowd-pleaser
set in the Thirties.
"Central Station," Brazilian.
"The Harmonists," German, set during the Hitler era.
"The Loss of Sexual Innocence,"
pretentious film (but I liked it!) by Mike Figgis.
"eXistenZ," virtual reality movie with Jennifer Jason Leigh
(who is the main reason to see it).
"The Thin Red Line," based on the James Jones novel.
"The Red Violin," Canadian.
"Run, Lola, Run," German, fascinating because of the editing
and for other reasons.
I love it when writers and directors take risks and break all the rules.
The makers of this movie took risks big-time
and violated some very well-established rules.
Melanie Griffith (who is married to the director)
does a Jennifer Jason Leigh impression,
wearing an atrocious black wig
and looking like the worst example of trashy supermarket couture.
The movie comes across as completely amateurish and inept,
and yet if you can give up your critical facilities
and just sit back and enjoy it for what it is,
by the end it does have a certain charm.
This is one of those movies that is bad in a way that makes
An homage to Russ Meyer, perhaps,
or maybe Ed Wood.
The new Scorsese film is psychologically a sequel to Taxi Driver.
How a director of Scorsese's age can produce this sort of
wonderful wild energetic work
(similar to the in Mean Streets and
Taxi Driver) is more than I can figure out.
Scorsese's camera work grabs you by the throat
from the very first moment and never lets you go,
just as it did in those earlier films.
A visiting writer here at UH once said,
"A short story should be an urgent message."
This film by Scorsese is definitely an urgent message.
Movies That Have Been Important in My Life