20 of the Most Visually Stunning Films of the 20th Century
Increasingly I hear people referring to any film made in the last century as old. Nobody likes “old” movies. It seems that most people don’t even really like black & white. I used to be like that, but of course you can’t call yourself a real cinephile and not have a basic knowledge of the great classics. I’m here to help you. How? I’ve selected 20 of my favorite films of the 20th century. My hope is that these films will help you appreciate the fact that there are gorgeous looking pictures throughout any decade. Moreover these films aren’t just pretty to look at, but they’re also some of the best movies ever made. Continue reading
Short Documentary Review: Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980). Les Blank Doesn’t Show Us.
Werner Herzog bets fellow filmmaker Errol Morris that he won’t be able to complete his debut feature Gates of Heaven (1978). Herzog is so convinced that Morris won’t be able to finance and release the documentary about pet cemetery business that he’s willing to eat his shoe, if his friend should succeed. Morris does indeed succeed, but will Herzog live up to his promise? You better believe it. After boiling his boots for 5 hours with a little garlic,herbs, stock, salt and hot sauce – Guten Appetit! Continue reading
Film Analysis: Sono Sion’s Utsushimi (2000)
Utsushimi (2000) is Sono Sion‘s ninth feature film. Before directing his first feature film Man’s Flower Road (Otoko no hanamichi) back in 1986, Sion was a writer and a poet. Only one year later he would gain worldwide popularity with his groundbreaking Suicide Club (Jisatsu sâkuru) which would be quoted by directors like Eli Roth. Utsushimi on the other hand seems to have inspired modern auteurs like Lars von Trier and Pedro Almodóvar. Continue reading
Documentary Review: Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer (2013)
Ushio Shinohara (Gyu-chan for his friends) is a a Japanese Neo-Dadaist artist who moved to New York in the 1960s. Now in his 80s and after a career of ups and downs he’s still struggling to pay the bills. As a true artist he never compromised his vision. He is considered one of the most famous starving artists. People enjoy his exhibitions, but they rarely actually buy his art. His works have been shown in the most renowned museums worldwide and he’s still struggling to pay the rent. Continue reading
Would We Care if They Weren’t So Pretty?
Would we care if they weren’t so pretty? I’ve asked myself this questions quite often lately in relation to certain films and film characters. Would I still like this movie so much if the lead actress wasn’t so beautiful? Would the film manage to keep my attention? Would my eyes still be peeled to the screen? Would I care about what happened to this character if she (or he) wasn’t so good-looking? Would I have seemed out and watched the film in the first place? Tough questions to answer, but let’s try to investigate this topic a little further.
On the surface almost nobody wants to admit that they can be conditioned or give much importance to how a person looks. However it’s a fact that good-looking people tend to be more successful in life. Let’s skip specifics. Statistics show for example that tall people have a higher income and similar stuff like that. I’m sure it’s something that has to do with having “good genes” and all that science talk I know nothing about. What’s important here is that whether we like to admit it or not looks matter. Continue reading
To me Sofia Coppola is not just one of the most talented directors of all time: She’s also a truly beautiful young woman.
It’s her alluring bourgeois charm. Her natural beauty and calm, yet magnetic presence. Her sophisticated style and sweet, vulnerable, always immaculate look. Her playfulness and lightness and poise. Everything about her is just simply fascinating.
These are my ten favorite pictures of her.
‘Bad’ Movies You Watched Last Week?
Bad movies. Bad movies everywhere!
Not really. Not for me anyway. This week I managed to mostly steer clear from the bad stuff, but of course I had to watch at least one bad one, otherwise we wouldn’t have a post here.
I’ll premise this by saying that my ‘bad’ movie of the week might not be necessarily bad if you’re a kid. Then again I don’t think many kids would read this blog. I’ll stop being annoyingly self-referential and give you a mini-review without further ado.
The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) – 4.5 (IMDb 6.6) – Adventure, Family, Fantasy
‘Spiderwick Chronicles’ was clearly trying to cash-in on the whole adventure/fantasy craze started by blockbusters like the Lord of the Rings films, the Harry Potter franchise and the similarly titled Chronicles of Narnia. My little sister is probably the key demographic for this film and she liked it; my mom also really liked it. I thought it was trying to hard to establish a new brand, but it fails because it’s too much of a child friendly film (which typically alienated adults), while at the same time featuring some fairly scary stuff (for a kids movie anyway). Nickelodeon’s brand of humor and portrayal of family is also really starting to get on my nerves. So much so, that I find myself agreeing with Born to Buy (2005) author Juliet B. Schor, but that’s a whole other discourse for another time.
Going back to the film, the fantasy elements are weakly executed or explained. The creature design is cartoony and laughable at best. The acting is standard and clichéd, bordering annoying. There are some interesting visual elements, but the film tries to do too much, while at the same time not having the guts to sway from what’s considered a “normal” look in these kinds of films.
Yes, overall I can’t wait to end this review because I really disliked it, although some of the family drama, I must say is rather effective, but still annoying. To the film’s credit they managed to cut it in a way that is action-oriented, so at least it moves at a fairly good pace.
Recommended if you’re a kid, not recommended if you’re a thinking adult.
‘Meh’ Movies You Watched Last Week?
Welcome to another weekly update of the movies I watched during the past week.
Being back home for the summer I try to watch as many films as possible with my family. Naturally they prefer more recent stuff, so that’s what my weekly viewings with them will focus on. Coincidentally, there were also a lot of new releases that I wanted to review and so this past week I ended up watching a lot of ‘newer’ films. My brother being mostly a horror and comedy guy, that was how I picked the movies in terms of genre.
As for the ‘meh’ or ‘just-okay’ films I’ve seen, I only have one on my list and that would be the Maniac remake. In case you haven’t read my review yet, click this.
Like every week I like to turn over the question to you and ask: What ‘meh’ movies did you watch last week?
Thank you for reading my blog.
My favorite films
I added a list of my favorite films in the section Lists, where you can also find lists of my favorite directors, my favorites of the year and other stuff too.
The current list comprises fifty titles, forty-nine feature films and a short film. Knowing myself this list will change quite a bit and very often. I will do my best to update it regularly.
Again, these are just my personal favorites, I’m not trying to say these are the best movies ever made or anything like that. Recommendations are always much appreciated.
‘Meh’ Movies You Watched Last Week?
I’m happy to report, that I haven’t seen any “meh” film this past week; but maybe you did?
Meh films are sort of “middle of the road”, they’re not bad, but they’re also not really good. Films like that can ultimately be even more frustrating and annoying than good or bad ones, because they don’t give you any kind of strong emotional response, but rather leave you cold and neutral. They’re also more difficult to review and discuss, in my experience, because usually people tend to either take the easier “hate it or love it” approach.
To me these kinds of films are almost worse than the bad ones, because they ‘don’t do anything’ for me. However, depending on what mood you’re in it might be that among these movies one might discard as “just okay”, there might be a great film.
I know certainly I’ve realized before, while reflecting on a film, that it was actually better than my reaction on the first viewing.