Sorry for my abscence, these past couple of weeks have been particularly busy for me. But I've decided to get back into blogging now and should keep it up for the whole of September at least.
Films seen since Sunday 14th August :
Blue - 1993 directed by Kryzysztof Kieslowski
After seeing Kieslowski's The Double Life Of Veronique, I was intirgued by this director's work and decided to watch his celebrated Three Colours Trilogy.
This first film in the trilogy is an interesting one and is often considered the best. I can't say I fully understood it, but it certainly is a most beautiful piece of cinema, and is the most impressive of the trilogy in terms of it's use of the titular colour.
I realise that it was a film aimed primarily at capturing a state of mind on film, rather than a series of events. Fortunately the central performance by Juliette Binoche is impressive enough for this to work and it makes for an all around good film, that somehow left me slightly underwhelmed.
White - 1994 directed by Kryzysztof Kieslowski
I wasn't extremely disappointed, but I couldn't help but feel like this was a step down from the previous film and nothing more than a rather good film in it's own right.
Red - 1994 directed by Kryzysztof Kieslowski
Now this was an excellent film, and my favourite of the trilogy.
Irene Jacob proves her wonderful performance in The Double Life of Veronique was not a fluke by delivering yet another great one in this film.
This film combines the mesmerising atmosphere of Blue, with the more narrative driven style of White, making this the most balanced and satisfying film of the trilogy.
Jean Louis Trintignant is one of the other reasons I liked this film more than the others, he is a veteran of many great French films but this is definitely of his finest performances. I also appreciated the way this film not only concluded it's story, but that of the previous films as well, it made me appreciate them as a whole much more than before and really helped me grasp what Kieslowski was aiming at with these films. While the others did not really make it into my favourites, but Red definitely has, it's a beautiful, thought provoking film that I'd hihgly recommend, but to appreciate it you really do need to see the previous ones.
In The Name of The Father - 1993 directed by Jim Sheridan
Daniel Day Lewis And Jim Sheridan's earlier collaboration, My Left Foot, impressed my so much that I instantly decided to check out this film.
It is a very touchy subject, that of the IRA bombings carried out against civilians in the UK, and those wrongfully accused by the English and consequently imprisoned for many years. But Jim Sheridan handles it just as skilfully as he handled the subject of cerebral palsy in My Left Foot.
DDL gives yet another terrific performance, perhaps not as mind blowing as his work in My Left Foot, but certainly one of the finest performances of the decade.
It's a lengthy film with a brutal and intense subject and a number of fine performances, with fantastic supporting performances from Pete Postlethwaite and Emma Thompson. Highly recommended.
A Bittersweet Life - 2005directed by Jee Woon Kim
I reviewed this one a while ago, excellent film.
Naked - 1993 directed by Mike Leigh
Mostly known for his appearance in the Harry Potter series as Lupin. But his work here is infinitely superior.
The Good The Bad and The Weird - 2008 directed by Jee Woon Kim
It's an obvious homage to classic Spaghetti Westerns, with some interesting twists upon the genre.
It is a deft mix of genres, incorporating elements of both the Western and the Comedy genres. I can't say I liked Jee Woon Kim's directional style in this film, it pales in comparison to that displayed in A Bittersweet Life.
In some ways this could even be described as a guilty pleasure, it's not a great film, but it's one I'd never tire of watching and that never fails to entertain.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes - 2011 directed by Rupert Wyatt
Conan The Barbarian - 2011 directed by Marcus Nispel
Les Vacances De Mr Hulot - 1953 directed by Jacques Tati
I Saw The Devil - 2010 directed by Kim Jee Woon.
I found this film to be truly horrifying, definitely one of the most brutal, dark and chilling films I've ever seen.
However I notice there has been a bit of a backlash against this film, mainly for it's content and story, I thought it was fantastic though. Very hard to watch but it takes some common themes further than any other film has before.
The performances are all exceptional and the film flies by despite it's 2h 20 or so runtime. It's a very intense and disturbing film, that I would hesitate to recommend, as I found myself looking away from the screen during certain particularly gruesome scenes. But it's a very rich film, in terms of both technical aspects and thematic material, and I'm sure it would be most interesting to analyse in depth.
Le Mepris - 1963 directed by Jean Luc Godard
As it finished I simultaneously thought, "what a load of pretentious drivel" and "what a interesting, bizarrely mesmerizing film". And I still haven't made my mind up what I really think of it. Each aspect of it I could praise, or criticise to equal measure. It's rare for me to come across a film that causes such a split in my opinion, and for that alone I've given it a relatively high rating, but I do require further thought on the matter before I make my mind up on what I really thought about this film.
Well, unfortunately I did not get to see The Tree of Life in the cinema, but will definitely get hold of a copy as soon as possible, I fear that this long wait may have built my expectations too high though and I may risk disappointment...
I took a rather unexpected break from blogging for a couple of weeks, and while I had expected to be back to blogging now, it seems I won't be able to resume the level of blogging I had gotten used to previously.
And while this is obviously bad news for my blog, it is good news for my personal life, as I've recently gotten a place on a film set, this means I'll be extremely busy for most of the coming month. I'll try and blog when I can, but I doubt I'll be able to read many of your blogs.
But I do have a couple of posts ready, so expect to see those, and of course if I see a really inspiring film I will review it.
Also I've decided to make this post on the Directors whose work I need to explore into a sort of project, every time I see one of their films I shall probably write a short review containing my thoughts on it and on this new (to me) director.
I'll also update the previously mentioned post as soon as I've explored a director's work.
Time for some links (from quite a while ago unfortunately as I haven't had time to catch up on all your blogs yet):
Bonjour Tristesse reviewed Akira Kurosawa's High And Low, a film I really must see.
Bob posted some scribblings of a random nature, which intrigued me as I had never even heard of the films he mentions before. It seems I've still got a lot to learn...
Andy Buckle reviewed Camera Buff, a Kieslowski film that intrigued me, mainly because I've been getting into his work myself recently.
The site Comic Book and Movie Reviews kindly posted a short piece on my blog, very flattering stuff.
I really enjoyed reading this post over at Big Thoughts From a Small Mind, you must check it out, even if it's from a while back now.
The fantastic blog By Kubrick's Beard, reviewed the little known John Huston film, Fat City, that I happen to have seen and enjoyed.
Stevee reviews Kathyrn Bigelow's Strange Days, I really should see some more of this director's work despite my indifference towards the Hurt Locker.
Well, that's about it, it's good to be back blogging (kind of) and I've got a couple of reviews to post which is always a good thing.
Sorry I didn't have more for you, but I've been spending much of my spare time catching up on my film viewing this past few days.