In New Release on February 23, 2012 at 8:47 am
I can’t be enthusiastic enough about this documentary. It’s like a non-stop action movie, but without the pitiful one-liners and floods of blood, and it’s real. The film presents Pina Bausch’s dance pieces in 3D, and you have to see it in 3D. Previously, I was highly skeptical of the gimmick of glasses and stuff coming straight at my face, but Pina changed that. Seeing the full depth of the dance sequences and the stunning locations Wenders found to film in was an euphoric experience. The dances are intense, spectacular, theatrical, and moving. The lesson to take away from Pina is that, yes, style can do wonders, but content is everything. Wenders work with the 3D camera is tremendous and subtle, submitting to Baush’s incredible body of work. The emotion and psychology of the dance pieces, which occupy a part-experimental,part-performance art, part-street performer genre, are extremely affective. The soundtrack is pitch-perfect, too. Wenders deserves much credit for using 3D as a tool, not a marketing campaign, and for offering Pina to excite us about the medium’s future. I walked out thinking that watching this film was the most rapturous cinematic experience I’ve had, and I still think so.
In New Release on February 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm
See what the reaction is when you tell your friends that you are thinking of seeing a film about an angry tire that uses telekinetic powers to make the heads of its human victims explode. They will consider hosting a cinematic intervention. Now, imagine how they will react when you say, though this is not the best film of the year, it is most certainty the most surprising. Rubber is made with the best of absurd glee by French film-maker Quentin Dupieux. Mr. Dupieux knows that a good time at the movies is all about being surprised and entertained. What a surprise it is to enjoy Robert the Tire roll his way through the film causing cranial detonations. Gore is not the focus here, but instead, it’s the reality that all films rely on suspended disbelief for survival. So naturally, the only way to stop Robert the Killer Tire is to rip away the forth wall of film-making to reveal a self-awareness of bad acting and absurd leaps of faith. This leaves the audience asking why? And Mr. Dupieux is quick to answer with “No reason.” Reason had a blowout and used logic to fill its puncture wounds.
In New Release on February 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm
This is heavy, embarrassing stuff; it’s history—the stuff we can’t deny because, well, it’s on film. It exposes all of the misconceptions of the film industry, when it comes to depicting Native Americans. The images that shaped and continue to shape the view of the Indians. And everyone else. John Wayne was a big honky white man who was never real smart but always doing the right thing. Hollywood has made over 4,000 films about native people—spanning over 100 years. Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond unpacks the misunderstanding of the Natives. The savage, the warrior, the stoic/silent one, the princess, the chief, the hippie, Geronimo, Cherokee nation, stereotypes, clichés, so many ways to come to terms with things that people ultimately wanted to deny. The big names are here: Clint Eastwood, Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell, Chris Eyre. And in the end, it’s comedy and acknowledgment that starts the process of understanding. Things now are becoming a little more informed. Slowly. In a cool way. Still skewed, of course, but with a bigger and bigger touch of actuality. This is a documentary of fiction and nonfiction—a coming to terms.