Archive for the ‘ray carney’ Category
No matter what their flaws, the main characters in mainstream movies are almost always appealing in some way. If they are nebbishes, their klutziness is endearing. (Look at the work of Woody Allen.) If they are lonely, their alienation is grand and alluring. (Look at the work of Orson Welles.) If they are evil, their villainy is sexy and rakish. (Look at the work of Christopher Walken.) Ronald Bronstein strips away the Hollywood idealizations and asks us to spend time with genuinely unromantic characters leading genuinely unromantic lives. He creates characters we don’t want to see ourselves as, characters we refuse to identify with. There is much lip service paid to the importance of depictions of “otherness” in film; Frownland reveals that the concept of otherness as redemptive and transformative is a romantic myth. He gives us otherness we want to cross the street to avoid; otherness without sentimentality. Or is he just giving us ourselves with our self–deluded idealizations removed? – Ray Carney
There’s a certain type of person out there…one that we’re all familiar with…who provokes a kind of instant instinctive repulsion in nearly everyone they cross paths with. You run into these ‘off’ people now and again and it’s the social equivalent of pushing two magnets towards one another. By way of example, it’s the kind of person who might stop you on the street and ask you for directions and before you know it you’re claiming that you don’t know the way…even though you do….just to end the exchange as quickly as possible. In life, it’s just so easy to dismiss people like this. They don’t occupy enough real estate in your brain to force you to confront and reasonably gauge whether this instinctive aversion is justified. You simply go about your business and push them out of your mind as quickly as they entered into it. I guess i figured a movie theatre, where people are willing to be held captive for a few hours, is a good environment to make audiences spend time with someone like this, chew em over, swallow em, regurgitate em, chew some more, etc…and hopefully arrive at a more layered response. – Ronald Bronstein
Fractionally better than spending the evening watching crappy French tele in a Nantes hotel-room… Yes – last night, I had the choice of “Frownland” at Nantes’ Katorza art cinema or an evening of the direness that is currently being dished up for the TV-audience of France… I think “Frownland” was just worth leaving the hotel for. But, really, it is a car-crash of a film… Every character repelled and bored me, nothing happened, there was far too much snot, it looked so dated [despite apparently only having been made last year], etc., etc… I think the acting was OK – as far as it went – and I’m more than happy to turn a blind eye to a slightly grainy picture and an obviously low budget if the film-maker has got something genuinely interesting to say. [In fact, I'd encourage such film-makers, as we really do need an alternative to Hollywood.] But, a film needs to engage me much better than “Frownland” managed to. – badgerking10, imdb comment
At 106 minutes, it is at least 95 minutes too long. You get to watch the main character’s failed and drawn out attempts to communicate, in extended real time. The same grimaces, hand over mouth motions, kinetic and frantically repeated words and syllables over and over and over again – WE GET THE POINT.
One site actually compares this work to early Mike Leigh. What drugs would you have to be on to make that statement? – NJtoTX, imdb comment
USA, 6.5 min
Mr. Brack6 has called Stalker his favorite film on this site, and I must follow suit and call this Tarkovsky mine. I was able to see it in the cinema tonight, and it was one of the most spiritually significant experiences of my life.
I’ve seen it before on dvd, and it’s always been something special and moving, but seeing it projected like this was something else entirely. See it if you can… no guarantees you’ll feel the same way (another viewer overheard walking out of the theater seemed to have only gotten out of it that Tarkovsky is a proponent of patriarchy and russian nationalism[?]) but if you can go into it with an open souleye and you’re a human being who isn’t completely overcome by fashionable ironic amoralism… it might really work.
For me it’s one of the grandest achievements of art, all art… it encapsulates and makes timeless what it is to be a being possessed of consciousness. Breathtaking (or rather breath-holding) moments of sublime stillness, small movements (wind or the breath of god?), tearing tears out of my eyes, all of them earned, all paid for. And if you lost your soul, you can still appreciate it on a purely technical, film school level; in this realm its achievements are vast… and still but a fraction of its riches.
Jon Jost’s ninth feature focuses rather elliptically on the everyday lives of a group of friends in San Francisco–chiefly Claire (Barbara Hammes), who works in an architect’s office, two of her former lovers (Jon A. English and Nathaniel Dorsky), who are close friends, and a recent boyfriend (Jim Nisbet). Masterfully shot and for the most part very persuasively acted, mainly by nonprofessionals (the film’s use of locals is one reason it captures the San Francisco milieu so perfectly), Rembrandt Laughing is a good deal more ambitious than it might first appear. A sense of the timeless and the cosmic hovers over the seemingly casual scenes, and the uses of a Rembrandt self-portrait and Beethoven’s opus 132 string quartet are integral to the film’s overall project–to discover the universe in a bowl of miso soup. Part of Jost’s method, like Godard’s in A Married Woman, is to convert the dramatic into the graphic, and his various means of carrying that out are unexpected and frequently beautiful (1988).
The third in Paul Morrissey’s sublime “Flesh/Trash/Heat” triptych. Perhaps the least adventurous of the three in terms of editing style and plot construction, Heat makes up for it with more lulz per capita and a surreal proto John Waters feel.
Its visual style is pure California, and very consistent; the muted blues, red-oranges and beiges, and the omnipresent flesh tones by the poolside make the feeling of sleazy malaise nearly palpable.
The plot is loosely modeled on Sunset Blvd, with Lil’ Joe inheriting the mantel of young-stud-macking-fading-cougar-lady from the incomparable William Holden.
As funny and entertaining as it is “arty”(ugh), maybe start here and go backwards if you aren’t ready for the extended takes of Trash and Flesh. You pussy.
There are versions of various length [imdb says: 110 min | Denmark:96 min | France:88 min (1952 re-release) | USA:114 min | 82 min (restored DVD version) (24 fps)]; my screening was advertised as being 98 minutes long, which places it closest to the Danish version.
35mm, b&w, silent
Fr, 165 min
Released in 1963, Chris Marker’s Le joli Mai was one of the first and finest examples of cinema vérité to come out of France. Poetic, witty, complex, the film uses as its initial focus the spring of 1962, the first spring of peace for France since 1939. With rooftop shots of Paris on the screen, the narrator in the opening commentary tells us: “For two centuries happiness has been a new idea in Europe, and people are not used to it.” In the very political film which follows, Marker examines that idea of happiness on the small, private scale and on a larger, societal scale.
Photographs shot with a camera very similar to the one above. (“a Pentax 24×36″)http://www.thejetty.org/- interactive stills/sound sitehttp://www.cyberpunkreview.com/the-acorn-and-the-oak-tree-a-complimentary-pairing/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Jet%C3%A9ehttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056119/ – watch it:
awkward caveh pining for
aloof art tripper
“‘A Little Stiff’ was conceived during an acid trip as a film about reality, about accepting it and about seeing the higher order at work behind it. The premise behind the film was simple: that the problem is not with reality but with perception.”