Thursday, October 1, 2015

Top Films (September 2015)
Phoenix (2014, Christian Petzold)
There is another movie this year about a women with bandages covering her face trying to establish her identity. However, I found Phoenix to be the far stronger movie with a far more satisfying ending.
Hikinige/Hit & Run (1966, Mikio Naruse)
Like Akira Kurosawa's High and Low, Naruse directed a tight thriller that thoroughly entertains. Although a departure, it is one of his strongest films.
Une Nouvelle amie/The New Girlfriend (2014, François Ozon)
Like some of his more recent films like In the House and Young & Beautiful, The New Girlfriend has the same vibe. Entertaining, yet suspenseful. Also
Freeheld (2015, Peter Sollett)
I read a recent article on Indiewire that claimed this film was safe and dull. Writer Jessica Kiang also criticized such classics as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Philadelphia, and Gentleman's Agreement, because, "These films are frequently cited as agents of attitudinal, if not actual change." These films seem to be a reflection of social change in America. Freeheld features great performances and shows
Sauvage innocence (2001, Philippe Garrel)
Garrel thrives when he's creating ultra-personal films.

Honorable mention:
99 Homes (2014, Ramin Bahrani)
She's Funny That Way (2014, Peter Bogdanovich)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Love at First Flight (short film, 2015)

This year, I was a team leader for the 48 Hour Film Project. You are assigned a genre, prop, line of dialogue, and a character. In Los Angeles, we started at 7:30 PM on August 7th and finished by 7:30 PM on August 9th. Here is our project:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Top Films (July & August 2015)

Polytechnique (2009, Denis Villeneuve)
It blew me away.

Io la conoscevo bene/I Knew Her Well (1965, Antonio Pietrangeli)
A light film that really captures the lightheartedness of the sixties.

The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015, Kyle Patrick Alvarez)
The film was low-budget, but featured great acting from the students who portrayed guards and prisoners in an experiment at Stanford. Based on true story, I wish this movie had been around when I was in college. Instead, we watched videos hosted by Philip Zimbardo (the leader of this experiment). Knowing what Philip Zimbardo looks and sounds like, I was a little bit disappointed by Billy Crudup's portrayal of him. The hair and make-up was authentic, but Crudup did not emulate Zimbardo's accent. But for what it was, it was very entertaining and kept me on the edge of my seat, even though I knew the story. 

Irrational Man (2015, Woody Allen)
The mixed reviews have been pretty unfair. Rarely do you get a choice film from a comedic director that explores a moral dilemma. I could see how someone could be disappointed with it, however, I was not. 

L'Homme à l'imperméable/The Man in the Raincoat (1957,  Julien Duvivier)
Duvivier is a master filmmaker. He creates this mystery beautifully. It's highly recommended.

Short film: Café (1990, Gretchen Somerfeld)

Cafe by Gretchen Somerfeld from gretchen somerfeld on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Top Films (June 2015)
Marie Heurtin/Marie's Story (2014, Jean-Pierre Améris)
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003, Judy Irving)
I'll Do Anything (1994, James L. Brooks)
Kobieta w kapeluszu/Woman in a Hat (1985, Stanislaw Rózewicz)

 Open House (2014, Marisha Mukerjee)
'A'  (1965, Jan Lenica)
Hunger (1974, Peter Foldes)
Picknick mit Weismann (1968, Jan Svankmajer)   
The Marina Experiment (2009, Marina Lutz) Video: