Monday, March 07, 2011

Viewing Log #76: Who You Are and Who You Say You Are [3/1/2011 - 3/7/2011]

by Ryland Walker Knight



  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives [Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010] Not sure why I feel compelled so immediately to compare it to Syndromes but I do: I like the latter better, though this is surprising given how devoted to liquids this newer picture is. Matter of fact, Boonmee has a lot of things I love all working together, but specifically light and liquids grounded by loss and romance and real people in a real (political) world. It's also easy to analyze when you start thinking but it's not quite here for that; rather, its flow is to be felt through the eyes. I will try to see it again this week.

  • The Ricky Gervais Show [HBO animated iteration, 2nd Season, a few different episodes] The best part is how Ricky thinks everything is the funniest thing ever every single time.
  • Fighting [Dito Montiel, 2009] As Iggy says, "Un vrai film." But what's weird is that the fights are the least interesting (certainly the least interestingly shot) parts of the movie. Unless of course you like beefcakes like Channing Tatum, who is real here, with slowly building confidence that never outshines his quietness. Matter of fact, it's a really quiet movie in general and that's what I like so much: how much action plays on faces. Terrence Howard is a master at whispering and deflecting and I think he's going to be an even better actor in his 50s. I hope he stays in shape so he can do some Walken-like bad guy turns.
  • 30 Rock "TGS Hates Women" [Beth McCarthy-Miller, 2011] There hasn't been an episode this funny and this on point on so many targets in ages. Read this list and tell me she's wrong. (Don't, btw.) I busted a few guts, but none harder than at Baldwin's dismissive skip-over delivery of: "He's not a strong writer." And that was the secret to this episode: Jack had a great role against another great ludicrous obstacle figure.

  • Rango [Gore Verbinski, 2011] # Ran into Daniel and Felix by chance outside and Daniel summed it up: "That Gore Verbinski's pretty lit up, eh?"

  • Chocolat [Claire Denis, 1988] # Somehow I'd forgotten how funny this one is, how breezy despite the big stakes for the little lady. The print wasn't lousy but it sure was old. And, boy, Issach de Bankol√© sure was young then; not to mention exceptionally gorgeous; now, as a middle aged man, his face is more handsome than pretty. Would've been nice to see how it played off White Material, but I had to skip the first one to finish some work. Great final shot, as ever, set to some great music with the world just happening around and through the frame.

  • Rango [Gore Verbinski, 2011] Got to see it a first time at Skywalker Ranch thanks to Emma's dad, Michael, who did the dialog sound editing. So it was a charmed screening to start, and the setting certainly put me in a generous mood, but I truly think it has a shot at staying amongst my favorites of the year all year long. Because it's not just clever quotes. There's real interpretive work done here on the part of G.V. and his writer John Logan and his actors (chiefly Depp, duh) and his animators. That is, for all it points to and lifts from, it's a unique work of art about acting and action. And it's beautiful. Every single composition and set piece. And it's funny. Every single scene and sequence. There are so many gags it's crazy. It's really hard to keep up, to be honest, since it skips along rather well. But more on all of that soon. This is just a late night scribble of pure enthusiasm.

  • In The Loop [Armando Iannucci, 2009] # With the Hambone, who loved it, I'm happy to report. Gandolfini sure steals the show.

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