Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More on "The Silence Before Bach" (2007)

"Pere Portabella’s The Silence Before Bach is one of the most exciting and unprecedented musical films in recent years and conveys more understanding of music than a dozen Walk the Lines could ever hope to."

Read my full review of The Silence Before Bach here at The L Magazine online.

Don't Look Back (1967)

'From its indelible opening scene, in which a neo-statuesque Dylan stands in an alley holding up cue cards with words from “Subterranean Homesick Blues” while the song plays over the soundtrack, Pennebaker’s cinema verite-styled film challenges traditional music documentaries... [The] fractured relationship between “the artist” and society is Pennebaker’s central theme: accessible enough to make the film appeal even to non-Dylan fans, yet crucial enough to make the film resonate loudly forty-one years later.'

Read my full review of Don't Look Back here at The L Magazine online.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille vor Bach) (2007)

"Perhaps only the person seated at the piano is privy to such an intimate look at the dance of the piano keys, and perhaps even he isn’t allowed as bare and stripped-down an examination as Portabella has filmed. Creating exciting, new contexts for Bach’s work is at the heart of The Silence Before Bach: not so much reinvigorating the music, but placing it in unfamiliar territory so as to emphasize its deep and varied nuances."

Read my entire review of The Silence Before Bach online here at Not Coming Soon To a Theater Near You.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Midwinter's Night Dream (2004)

"Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic prefaced a screening of Midwinter Night’s Dream by saying that it is “perhaps my only film without humor.” A modest statement, if also accurate considering its dismal subject of post-war, post-Milosevic Serbia, but so much of Paskaljevic’s humor comes from his humanism, something Midwinter Night’s Dream is severely not lacking in."

Read my entire review of Midwinter Night's Dream online here at Not Coming Soon To a Theater Near You.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Best of 2007

Note: Originally I had ten movies in numerical order. Then, after realizing I had left Waitress off the list, I decided to make it number eleven and, in not wanting to go back and re-think the order, just alphabetize them.

Theatrical Releases

Billy the Kid (Venditti)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Schnabel)
Flanders (Dumont)
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (Tsai)
Offside (Panahi)
Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Rohmer)
Shotgun Stories (Nicholas)
Summer '04 (Krohmer)
Syndromes and a Century (Weerasethakul)
There Will Be Blood (Anderson)
Waitress (Shelly)

Repertory Picks
1. Killer of Sheep (Burnett, 1977, IFC)
2. The Tender Enemy (Ophüls, 1936, BAM)
3. Let’s Get Lost (Weber, 1988, Film Forum)
4. Reveille With Beverly (Barton, 1943, Film Forum)
5. Bad Santa (Director’s Cut) (Zwigoff, 2003, IFC)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Looking for Otto Preminger

If there’s anything to be learned from Preminger’s movies, it is that nothing is as it seems: from his early tour de force Laura (1944) to the late masterpiece Bunny Lake is Missing (1965), Preminger’s films are preoccupied with illusory truths and shifting façades. The premises of both these films — a murdered woman in the former and a missing child in the latter— are shattered midway through, challenging everything the audience has learned up to that point.

Read my entire review of Film Forum's Otto Preminger retrospective here at The L Magazine online.