Films Seen This Past Week:
Phantom Of The Paradise - 1974 directed by Brian De Palma
I have never been a fan of De Palma's work, but recently a saw Blow Out and proclaimed it the best of his films I had seen, and now I've seen Phantom of The Paradise I'll proclaim it the second best of his that I've seen. It's a wildly entertaining reinterpretation of Faust that I thought would be the kind of "so bad it's good" film, but I was wrong, it's actually an excellently shot, decently acted film with some brilliantly campy set and costume design.
It was perfectly paced and I wasn't bored for a second, I would highly recommend this for those looking for something really entertaining.
Spaced 1999-2001 (14 episodes) directed by Edgar Wright
I had listened to my dislike for TV shows and avoided this one for quite a while, but now I realise that I should have trusted Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, for this is one of the most brilliant TV shows I've ever seen. It just might be my all time favourite, as not one joke fell flat, each film reference was hilarious and of course it was a technical marvel. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are their usual hilarious selves, but Mark Heap who I had never seen before and is not well known at all, was the real surprise for me as his character, Brian, quickly became one of my favourites. All in all, it's simply one of the best TV shows you'll ever come across. If you are a film buff, there is no avoiding it.
Leon - 1994 directed by Luc Besson.
This is a very well made, well acted film with an interesting soundtrack and a compelling story, but it will never be one of my favourites nor will I ever consider it a great film.
This is because I found the lack of a morally grounding character to be rather annoying, and thus ended up siding with the most charismatic character, which is obviously Gary Oldman's, who is supposed to be a detestable villain.
I haven't really got time to explain the reasons for my mixed response to this film, but it mainly has to do with the strange character of Matilda and her relationship with Leon, watching this and knowing that the director himself had married a 16 year old when he was well into his 30's. I just found it unpleasant and detracted from my enjoyment of what is essentially a very well made film. Maybe this was because I saw the extended version....
A Few Thoughts:
- I just noticed Mosfilm's Youtube channel, an awesome find full of classic Soviet and Russian films. I'm sure I'll find some great works in their. Such a shame I didn't find this earlier really.
- The Silent Film Marathon is a bigger success with you guys than I thought it would be, I didn't think you would want to read about Silent film for so many days straight, seems I was wrong and I'm glad! I'm actually thinking about another kind of marathon I might be doing, it will be very different from the current one though.
- The recent blogger troubles have resulted in the disappearance of my review for La Roue, I doubt it will be restored now. This is very annoying but I suppose it's partly my fault as I forgot to back-up. Anyway, I'm continuing the marathon, I've rewritten the review for La Roue and have reposted it here. It's not as good as the original review, I wanted to move on to another film and glazed over this one a bit. Anyway, coming up next is The Last Laugh.
- I was going to participate in the LAMB's movie of the month, but eventually didn't, mainly because Oldboy is a film that I haven't really made my mind up on yet and as I didn't find time to rewatch it, I would feel uncomfortable reviewing it. My opinion was very mixed upon first viewing, I liked many aspects of it, but was quite disturbed as well.
- As I previously made clear in my short review of Leon, I do think that a director's personal life has an affect on their films. This is undeniable and to say a director can be great despite the fact that he may be a not so great person, is incomprehensible to me. I don't see how one can separate art and life when the art is born from within, if you are a disgusting person within, your art will be unpleasant. Of course this is a generalisation and I do realise that I can't really pass judgement on people I have never met. But I still think the idea is worthy of more consideration. Take the film I reviewed last for example, La Roue, a darkly tragic work, that was made immediately after the director has lost his beloved wife, this can hardly be a coincidence.
Time for some links:
Bonjour Tristesse takes a look at the original 13 Assassins as well as Miike's recent remake.
Lesya reviews Hanna, a film I am really looking forward to watching.
Matt announces his upcoming marathon, he will be reviewing all of Miyazaki's films.
Stevee reflects on What an R18 is Like For Someone To Young To Watch Them, interesting stuff that would technically apply to me as well seeing as I'm still only 17, but I haven't looked at a films rating for years to be honest.
The Film Conoisseur reviews the Blob - 1988.
themoviesnob reviews a favourite of mine, The Proposition.
Groggy reviews Dr Strangelove, which he believes to be Kubrick's finest work.
Jesse reviews Metropolis, a masterpiece in film making.
Andy reviews Thor, a film I did not expect to want to watch, I've changed my mind though...
As always comments are appreciated, feel free to share any random thoughts, basically consider this an open thread.