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Friday, September 09, 2011


Come and See. A russian movie from the mid 80's.

Zhang Yimou's best film "To Live," 1994. Caught it for the first time in over a decade last night and it's still mesmerizing.

"Memento," the first three-quarters anyway.

"To Live" is seconded here. An incredible film built around the rule of irony and how everything planned eventually results in unintended consequences. We begin with the dice game of capitalism and end with a sad resigned rejection of communism. I show it to my students every year during our unit on Chinese culture. Never gets old.

More recent artsy films that deserve a viewing as well: Win Win, A Better Life, Everything Must Go.

Thanks for recommending Keith. It was excellent. Reminded me a bit of Tully from a few years ago, though Tully had a bit more plot. My one quibble was the casting of the exchange student boyfriend who looked about 25. But as a high school teacher, I thought they caught the environment just right, especially the pressures put upon those over-achieving Honors kids. And without the cynicism of Election, though I still love that film for many other reasons.

Glad you liked it. I also thought it had a spirit similar to Tully (and it's funny you should mention that, since I was just recommending Tully a few months ago as well).

Along those same lines, if you haven't seen Saved! you might want to try it out; it has the same good heart as the rest of these and it's also funny as hell.

I'll definitely check out some of these recommendations when I get a chance.

Yes, Saved is very sharp and subversively funny. If you haven't seen In The Loop, the British scatalogical satire of an Iraq-like crisis, you are missing scathingly bitter political humor at its best.

Deep Water (2006). A first rate documentary. Compares favorably to Herzog's best efforts.

"Irradiated olive trees..."

The next post reminded me. There is a French movie about a little girl whose parents are Communists, set round about the time of the coup in Chile. It's great but I forgot the title; does anyone know it?

Blame it on Fidel. Great flick

Winter's Bone; a well-done independent film

Second Winter's Bone which hit me as the best film of that year.

Here're some underseen films that pleasantly surprised me:

1. Straight Time. Dustin Hoffman gives a great performance as an ex-con struggling to go straight.
2. Who'll Stop the Rain. A thriller about amateur Vietnam vet drug dealers in over their heads has a great performance from Nick Nolte and some good social commentary.
3. Therese Raquin. The best noir you've never heard of starring the wonderful Simone Signoret
4. Red Riding Trilogy. Bleak, 3-part BBC TV movie about serial killings in Yorkshire, would be a terrifying horror film were the monsters not corrupt humans.

I keep meaning to see Keith but forget about it at movie-watching time.

I really enjoyed Keith, thanks for the recommendation. A film I'd recommend is "The Diving Bell & The Butterfly" and "Greenberg"

Loved "Winter's Bone," and "Who'll Stop the Rain." I also recommend from a few years back, "Ten" (a superb and funny Iranian flick, not the Bo Derek vehicle), "Lars and the Real Girl" (the sweetest, most heart-stopping film about a vinyl love doll you'll ever see), and the Italian love story "Light of My Eyes."

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