Film Micrœview #472: The Other Side of the Wind

11.14.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Shrug.

Tedious and irrelevant. A historical curiosity but not worth much as an experience or thesis.



Dream 573: Kenobi, Machinist

11.10.2018 § Leave a comment

Obi-Wan realizes later in life that his true calling was building machines. No wonder, then, that he failed Anakin, turning him into a “servant” of evil, something “more machine than man”.

Film Micrœview #471: What We Do in the Shadows

11.04.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Shrug.

Wouldn’t exactly put this in “you must watch this immediately” territory. Felt more like TV. A few quite amusing moments. Otherwise a bit tedious.

Dream 572: These Cookies Just Got Real

11.03.2018 § Leave a comment

Cookie Monster has gotten so used to his friends being in no real danger (such as them falling into a Sarlac but suspense only lasting a couple seconds before they all blast out on a rainbow jetpack) that it’s taking several freaky incidents for him to even begin to get it through his head that this time around the stakes are higher. Now his friends are possibly all going to actually die, and he’s being chased across the desert by an evil cartoon elephant, almost out of bounds.

Film Micrœview #470: Platform

11.03.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

I feel like my understanding of modern Chinese culture just leveled up. This megadose of ennui and history was starkly beautiful and kind of sad and exhausting.

Film Micrœview #469: Minbo no Onna

10.31.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

While I’ve watched Itami’s earlier film, Tampopo, probably a dozen times if not more, somehow I have never managed to watch another one of his films. Perhaps there was something particularly irreplicable-seeming about its magic, as opposed to the magic I had sensed in other of my desert-island-film directors’ films, which in those typical cases led to me immediately exploring their oeuvres.

In any case, while this is no Tampopo, it demonstrates that Itami is more than a one-trick pony. I can see many of the same stylistic flourishes I love from Tampopo here in more refined, nuanced, and synthesized forms. He doesn’t need the full expectation-flaunting flowing episodicity of Tampopo to craft a wonderful filmic experience. He instead deploys some tricky moving compositions which merely flirt with that impulse, sometimes conflating the ghost eye of the camera with a character in a scene, another character speaking in words to another character while looking through the fourth wall. Or disrupting expectations by getting distracted by a brawl immediately after a new exciting scene is starting. Such a thing wouldn’t have a place in pure continuity edited storytelling cinema, but it works here to embody us more in the characters, both physically and psychologically. Such a simple trick but with profound effects worth unpacking in lengthy film theory essays in college. Something like this being a bizarro merger of Kurosawa’s staging in depth and Ozu’s crossing the 180 degree line, strangely diametrically-opposed aesthetics cross-pollinated to make something great and uniquely his own.

Also powerful to consider the film as an event in the context of Japan’s struggle with the Yakuza problem, and its consequences for Itami.

Dream 571: Dessert Bánh mì

10.27.2018 § Leave a comment

At the reunion potluck. Connie has brought dessert bánh mì. We’re all sitting at tiny square tables laid out in a grid; not sure how four people are supposed to fit their plates and drinks together on these things, should really be two people max per table but each has four chairs. I suddenly realize Connie and another girl I remember from my freshman year dorm has been sitting at the table next to me this whole time. I play it cool like I knew all along to avoid hugs though I feel super awkward about it.

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