Fucky Film Review!

Archive for April, 2010

Dillinger is Dead

Posted by Web Manager on April 22, 2010

Marco Ferreri 1969

Marco is the fucking man. Special thanks to *** for suggesting I see more of his films (I’d only seen LE GRANDE BOUFFE, which I loved). This one takes place almost entirely in the protagonist’s apartment, over the course of one night, with precious little dialogue. The man cooks himself a late night dinner and finds an old gun that might have belonged to John Dillinger. What follows, for me at least, is a more fully developed understanding of insanity – by which I mean all that is completely necessary, all that would not be any other way. Chocolate Mousse!

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Posted in 1960's, Italian Films, Movies | 1 Comment »

District 9

Posted by Web Manager on April 21, 2010

Neill Blomkamp 2009

Solid scifi trilla. The action moves along swiftly and assuredly with a unique documentary filming style and very loose and natural performances from the actors (especially the likable lead). Why are the aliens of so many filmmakers’ imagination bug-like? Are they like Arthur Clarke’s overlords that we remembered in our collective memory of the future and after whom we modeled our depictions of the devil? Yes yes? Granted, these were supposed to be more like terrestrial crustaceans (prawns, to be exact) but really what are land crustaceans if not oversized insects?). I would like to see some aliens that look like grizzly bears, or lizards, or Kevin Costner.

Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Chaplin

Posted by Web Manager on April 21, 2010

Richard Attenborough 1992

Good effort at a portrayal of the great silent film star and director/producer Charlie Chaplin.  It suffers from the usual biopic limitations – that allegiance to accuracy that’s too often the death of interesting drama. I did not like that the story was a series of the aging Chaplin’s flashbacks in conversation with his ridiculously cardboard memoir editor played by Anthony Hopkins – I fucking hate that shit as much as I did in BENJAMIN BUTTON. I did like Kevin Kline’s portrayal of the swashbuckling actor Douglas Fairbanks and especially the line he delivers about America – suggesting that it’s not, as Chaplin said, a good country underneath the ugliness, but rather an ugly country underneath all the beauty.  DEEP.

Posted in 1990's, American Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Deserted Station

Posted by Web Manager on April 21, 2010

Alireza Raisian 2002

Very sparse and poetic, about a couple who get stranded in a remote town when their kickass late 80’s Chevy Blazer breaks down.  It’s hard to take your eyes off of Leila Hatami, who plays the wife. I rented this thinking I was getting an Abbas Kiarostami movie, but it was clear very early on that I’d been duped (it’s just based on a short story he wrote).  There’s nothing wrong with this film, but given how many fucking films there fucking are to watch sometimes I feel a little shortchanged when one as good looking and intelligent as this fails to land a punch.

Posted in 2000's, Iranian Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Medicine for Melancholy

Posted by Web Manager on April 12, 2010

Barry Jenkins 2008

I’d been wanting to see this one for a while.  At first I was like, whoa – I didn’t know this was filmed in black and white, and then I realized it wasn’t – they just drained almost all out of the color out of it in post.  It’s sort of like, artistic (SF, a super saturated city, shot with almost no saturation whatsoever), because the movie, like its protagonist, is very racially aware.  Like very racially aware.  Which I liked – much better than I liked the characters or their story.  And I liked the end – from the time they leave the club it all felt very true, especially their drunkenness.

Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ghost World

Posted by Web Manager on April 12, 2010

Terry Zwigoff 2001

An adaptation of the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes. Here at FFR, the waves of earnestness continue to pound at the shore. One of the things I like best about comics is that they inherently limit the amount of sophistry that the creators can engage in.  Everyone wears his or her heart on her or his sleeves (reversal of pronouns intentional).  This movie respects that convention without parodying it, but pays a price – don’t look for any surprises. This probably would have been great to see in the theater in 2001.

Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

They All Laughed

Posted by Web Manager on April 12, 2010

Peter Bogdanovich 1981

A sticky sweet masterpiece with a self conscious conceit well suited to Bogdanovich himself (it’s no surprise he says this is his most personal movie, his favorite movie, something like that).  Everyone’s charming and nothing bad happens. I could see myself actually hating this movie, but there’d be no point.

Posted in 1980's, American Films, Movies | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Barton Fink

Posted by Web Manager on April 7, 2010

Joel Coen 1991

I just saw this for the first time and I am very happy about it. How could I not have seen this, you might ask. I’ll tell you: I was saving it, much like Henry Miller saved some Dostoevsky to read in his old age. Why did I like it so much? Mainly because it was like finding a missing arch between my two unconscious columns of contemporary American cinema – I mean real American cinema.  I mean Deep Americana, cotton candy, tornados, big cars, art deco, and the tribal chiefs and medicine men who don’t show up on CAT scans. I mean the Coens and David Lynch. Also, John Goodman is so awesome in this movie it makes up for KING RALPH.

Posted in 1990's, American Films, Movies | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

* * Fucky Film Review Docu-fest 2010 * *

Posted by Web Manager on April 5, 2010

Screened at FFR HQ in Tel Aviv, March-April 2010:

DEAR ZACHARY – To say anything about the film kind of spoils the best and worst of it.  I think the story got away from the filmmaker, which is totally understandable given the actual events and his natural desire (need, really) to be optimistic and hopeful in light of the tragedy and evil that befell his friend.


KING OF KONG – A total crowd pleaser. I really liked the story of Walter Day, the founder of Twin Galaxies, which is the de facto governing body of competitive classic arcade video play. Reigning champion Billy Mitchell is like some Radio Shack mutant king, and it’s fascinating to observe the power he holds over the subjects of his little kingdom.




JOHNNY BERLIN – A down on his luck dude in his early fifties works on an old pullman car on the Northwest Coast and saves up for a trip to Cambodia where he plans to write a book about a guy who refuses to walk. No real filmmaking to speak of here, but Johnny lingers on you like a strange scent.


SICK – This one is pretty awesome, about Bob Flanagan, a man who defied medicine by livint with Cystic Fibrosis well into his 40’s, apparently by coming to terms with and taking ownership over his pain through sexual masochism and a long term submissive relationship. The film offers a very intimate look at Flanagan’s life and his art, which consisted of high-concept gallery and museum installations (less interesting) and Bob’s solo standup comedy acts and poetry readings, which are totally inspiring.


STEVIE – Made by the same guy who made HOOP DREAMS, which was one of my favorite documentaries going into Docu-fest. STEVIE is the filmmaker’s personal journey into his past to revisit a younger man with whom he had an “older brother” relationship while the filmmaker was in graduate school in Carbondale, Illinois.  Long story short, things haven’t gone so well for Stevie.


MR. DEATH – About a redneck engineer who built a better electric chair and then got hired to prove that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz.  Incredible footage of this shit-kicker clandestinely chipping away at the gas chamber walls (the “Holy of Holies”) in Poland in the 1970s.


GREY GARDENS – I didn’t love this as much as everyone else.  The women each started to annoy me and I didn’t feel particularly sympathetic to either of them. As a study in pathos, it is pretty good because you really see how both mother and daughter contribute equally to their dysfunctional relationship. Also it’s kind of incredible to see how beautiful each of them were when they were younger.


REVOLUTION – An accidental addition to Docu-fest 2010, this one came up on cable the other night while I was waiting for someone who ended up being so late that I watched this whole film about San Francisco in 1968. The subject is totally overplayed and I thought the film would be annoying, but it was really good, mostly because the filmmakers found some non-hippie San Franciscans to talk about the whole thing, all without any hindsight, and all of them are so fantastic and early sixties chic and smart it’s great.

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