Category Archives: Movie Movie

Pig after pig, cow after cow: Listen to Me Marlon ***

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on August 22, 2015)

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There are a lot of actors who have tried to be Marlon Brando over the years. God knows, they’ve tried (not that James Dean, Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Richard Gere, Mickey Rourke, Sean Penn, Tom Berenger, Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Benicio Del Toro or Russell Crowe were/are slouches). In fact, since 1947, which is when a 23 year-old Brando exploded onto the American stage (and into eternal iconography) with his primal performance as Stanley Kolwalski in the original 2-year Broadway run of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, it’s likely the only young actor who hasn’t been influenced by Brando was…Marlon Brando.

He wasn’t “trying” to be anything. That’s because Brando simply “was”. You know the type. He was one of the casually gifted, who takes to acting (or music, writing, poetry, art, dance) like a fish to water, seemingly bereft of studiousness or discipline. And more often than not, they are bored (or at best, bemused) by any inquiry regarding, or any contemplation of…their “process”. Plying genius to craft holds equal import to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Why, it’s enough to turn any of us into Antonio Salieri:

From now, we are enemies, you and I. Because You chose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and gave me reward to only recognize the incarnation.

-Salieri addressing God, from Peter Shaffer’s screenplay for the 1984 film, Amadeus

So what did make Brando tick? How does one get a definitive portrait of an artist astutely encapsulated by Camille Paglia (in her 1991 New York Times Book Review critique of Richard Schickel’s Brando biography) as “arrogant and manipulative, seething with raw sensitivities and burning rage, alternately harsh and kind, selfish and generous…a monumental personality of profound complexities and contradictions”? Not an easy task.

Don’t ask me…I’m just an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill. That’s why I leave it to the professionals, like documentary film maker Stevan Riley, who gives it a shot with Listen to Me Marlon (in limited release and eventually headed for Showtime). Using a gimmick similar to The Beatles Anthology (my review) or Kurt Cobain: About a Son (my review), Riley gives Morgan Freeman and Peter Coyote a breather and lets his subject do all of the talking, via carefully assembled sound bites culled from hours of archival interviews and private audio recordings (some of the latter surprisingly frank and intimate). Brando (in a matter of speaking) takes us on a tour of his life, from childhood, to fledgling days in New York as a stage actor, Method study under Stella Adler and through the (somewhat generalized) ups and downs of his movie career.

What’s glaringly absent are references to his tumultuous personal and family life; the various divorces, public custody battles and such (although there is a brief segment dealing with Brando’s testimony during the trial of his son Christian, who shot his half-sister’s boyfriend to death in 1990). There is a quick sound bite or two alluding to the legendary philandering, but if there were any extensive taped confessionals from Brando on that particular aspect of his personality, they remain on the cutting room floor (not surprising, given that this project was produced with the full blessing of Brando’s estate).

Where the film works best is when Brando talks about the craft (which he was famously loath to do). In a fascinating and perplexing segment, he recounts his experience working with Bernardo Bertolucci on Last Tango in Paris. A palpably embittered Brando claims that he was appalled to realize (only after seeing the final cut) that he had “let” the director dupe him into revealing an uncomfortable portion of his “true” self on screen, by incorporating events from his life that he allegedly shared in confidence (Brando was aware that he was making a movie, what with all the cameras and crew and stuff, right?).

Despite all of the “previously unseen” or “unheard” audio and video incorporated into the film, I didn’t find anything here necessarily revelatory; I would not call this a “definitive” portrait. Then again, is it possible to produce a “definitive” portrait of any person who makes their living pretending to be anybody but who they really are? Still, casual fans and film buffs should find this particular “version” of Mr. Brando perfectly serviceable.

I like to watch: The Wolfpack **1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 11, 2015)

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So what do you get when you cross Being There with The Gods Must Be Crazy? Something along the lines of this unique (if not particularly groundbreaking) documentary from director Crystal Moselle. The film is a portrait of the 9-member Angulo family, who live in a cramped apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Susanne Angulo is an American woman who met her Peruvian husband Oscar while travelling through South America. They married and settled in New York City, where they proceeded to raise six sons and one daughter. So far, a typical family story…right?

Here’s where it gets a little…odd. Apparently, Oscar never quite got over the culture shock of moving from the jungles of Peru to the concrete canyons of Manhattan (or something to that effect; the director doesn’t really clarify, which is one of the film’s flaws). At any rate, at some point he arbitrarily decided that all their children would be home-schooled by his wife, and essentially confined to the apartment. And as time went on, Oscar began spending more and more time locked up in his bedroom, making no effort to socialize (or seek employment)…and day drinking (that’s rarely a good sign).

So you don’t start to worry, let me assure you that this doesn’t end in a murder-suicide (even though the enabling pathology seems to be in place). In fact, here’s the real shocker: The kids are normal. OK, maybe not “normal” normal, but not they are not as fucked up as you would expect. They’re all sharp, friendly, engaging. That’s what’s weird. The secret to their success is watching movies. Lots of movies. Oscar amassed a sizable collection, and gave his kids unlimited access. It’s this tear in the matrix, Oscar’s one concession of (relative) “freedom” that most likely kept the family from imploding (I feel validated, as I have been preaching the gospel of “movie therapy” for years on end).

Do the kids ever break out of their prison? I won’t spoil it, though you’ve likely already figured out where it’s headed. Therein lies the problem with the film; fascinating subject, a documentarian’s dream setup…and the director squanders the opportunity, leaving us with something that (stylistically, at least) adds up to little more than a glorified episode of The Osbournes or 19 Kids and Counting. That aside, still worth a peek for the curious.

SIFF 2015: The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor **1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 30, 2015)

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If you’ve seen Roland Joffe’s 1984 war drama The Killing Fields, you’ll likely never forget the extraordinarily moving Oscar-winning performance by “non-actor” Dr. Haing S. Ngor. Ngor didn’t need to call on any Actor’s Studio “sense memory” tricks to deliver his utterly convincing turn as a man who somehow survived and escaped from captivity during Cambodian dictator Pol Pot’s unspeakably bloody purge of his own people…he had lived the experience himself. Arthur Dong’s documentary fills us in on what led up to Ngor’s surreal moment in the Hollywood spotlight, and his subsequent second life as a political activist. Unfortunately, despite the late Dr. Ngor’s admirable achievements and Dong’s noble intentions, the workmanlike construct of the film makes it a bit of a slog; it loses focus and runs out of steam about halfway through. Still worth seeing for the simple fact that (Joffe’s film aside), few have expended time and energy to document the worst holocaust since WW2.

SIFF 2015: Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands ****

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 16, 2015)

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An oft-quoted ancient Chinese philosopher once proffered “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long”. He could have been prophesying the short yet incredibly productive life of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. By the time he died at age 37 in 1982, the iconoclastic German director-screenwriter-actor (and producer, editor, cameraman, composer, designer, etc.) had churned out 40 feature films, a couple dozen stage plays, 2 major television film series, and an assortment of video productions, radio plays and short films.

When you consider the fact that this prodigious output occurred over a mere 15 year period, it’s possible that the man actually died from sheer exhaustion (I got exhausted just reading through his credits and realizing I’ve barely taken in one-third of his oeuvre over the years). In just under 2 hours, Danish director Christian Braad Thomsen does an amazing job of tying together the prevalent themes in Fassbinder’s work with the personal and psychological motivations that fueled this indefatigable drive to create, to provoke, and to challenge the status quo.

Pre-Oscar marathon: Top 10 Movies about the Movies

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on February 21, 2015)

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I felt it apropos on this Oscar Eve to honor Hollywood’s annual declaration of its deep and abiding love for itself with my picks for the top 10 movies that are all about…the movies. As usual, in alphabetical order:

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Cinema Paradiso Writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1988 love letter to the cinema may be too sappy for some, but for those of us who (to quote Pauline Kael) “lost it at the movies” it’s chicken soup for the soul. A film director (Jacques Perrin) returns to his home town in Sicily for a funeral, triggering flashbacks from his youth. He reassesses the relationships with two key people in his life: his first love, and the person who instilled his life-long love of the movies. Beautifully acted and directed; keep the Kleenex handy!

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Day for Night– The late French film scholar and director Francois Truffaut was, first and foremost, a movie fan. And while one could argue that many of his own movies are rife with homage to the filmmakers who inspired him, this 1973 entry is his most unabashed and heartfelt declaration of love for the medium (as well as his most-imitated work). Truffaut casts himself as (wait for it) a director who is in the midst of a production with an international cast called Meet Pamela.

His “Pamela” is a beautiful but unstable young British actress (Jacqueline Bisset) who is gingerly stepping back into the spotlight after recovering from a highly publicized nervous breakdown. His petulant, emotionally immature leading man (Jean-Pierre Leaud) is a fool for love, which constantly distracts him from his work. He also has to coddle an aging Italian movie queen (Valentia Cortese) who is showing up on set three sheets to the wind and flubbing her scenes.

Truffaut cleverly mirrors the backstage travails of his cast and crew with those of the characters in the “film-within-the-film”. Somehow, it all manages to fall together…but getting there is half the fun. Truffaut gives us a genuine sense of what a director “does” (in case you were wondering) and how a good one can coax magic from seemingly inextricable chaos.

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Ed Wood– Director Tim Burton and his favorite leading man Johnny Depp have worked together on so many films over the last 20-odd years that they must be joined at the hip. For my money, this affectionate 1994 biopic about the man who directed “the worst film of all time” remains their best collaboration. It’s also unique in Burton’s canon in that it is somewhat grounded in reality (while I wish his legion of fiercely loyal fans all the best, Burton’s predilection for creating overly-precious phantasmagorical and macabre fare is an acquired taste that I’ve yet to acquire).

Depp gives a brilliant performance as Edward D. Wood, Jr., who unleashed the infamously inept yet 100% certified camp classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space on an unsuspecting movie-going public back in the late 1950s. While there are lots of belly laughs, none of them are at the expense of the off-beat characters. There’s no mean-spirited intent here; that’s what makes the film so endearing. Martin Landau delivers a droll Oscar-winning turn as Bela Lugosi. Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette and Jeffrey Jones also shine.

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8 1/2– Where does creative inspiration come from? It’s a simple question, but one of the most difficult to answer. Federico Fellini’s semi-autobiographical 1963 classic probably comes closest to “showing” us…in his inimitable fashion. Marcello Mastroianni is fabulous as a successful director who wrestles with a creative block whilst being hounded by the press and various hangers-on. Like many Fellini films (all Fellini films?), the deeper you go, the less you comprehend. Yet (almost perversely), you can’t take your eyes off the screen; with Fellini, there is an implied contract between the director and the viewer that, no matter what ensues, if you’ve bought the ticket, you have to take the ride.

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Hearts of the West– Jeff Bridges stars as a Depression-era Iowan rube, a wannabe pulp western writer with the unlikely name of Lewis Tater (the scene where he asks the barber to cut his hair to make him look “just like Zane Grey” is priceless.) Tater gets fleeced by a mail-order scam promising enrollment in what turns out to be a bogus university “out West”. Serendipity lands him a job as a stuntman in Hollywood. The film also features one of Andy Griffith’s best performances. Veteran scene-stealer Alan Arkin is a riot as a perpetually apoplectic director. The breezy direction by Howard Zeiff (Private Benjamin), witty script by Rob Thompson and a great cast help make this one a winner.

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The Kid Stays in the Picture– Look in the dictionary under “raconteur” and you will likely see a picture of the subject of this winning 2002 documentary by co-directors Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen. While it is basically a 90-minute monologue from legendary producer Robert Evans (The Godfather, Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, Chinatown, etc.) talking about his life, loves and career, it adds up to a surprisingly intimate and fascinating “insider” purview of the Hollywood machine. Evans spins quite the tale of a powerful mogul’s rise and fall; by turns heartbreaking and hilarious. He’s so charming and entertaining that you won’t stop to ponder whether he’s making half this shit up. Visually inventive, thoroughly engaging, and required viewing for movie buffs.

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Living in Oblivion– This criminally under-appreciated 1995 sleeper from writer-director Tom DiCillo deserves a wider audience. Sort of the Day for Night of indie cinema, the film centers on a NYC-based filmmaker (a wonderful Steve Buscemi) directing a no-budget feature. Much to his escalating chagrin, the harried director seems to be stuck in a hellish loop chasing an ever-elusive “perfect take” for a couple of crucial scenes. DiCillo uses a clever construct that really keeps you on your toes (that’s all I’m prepared to say…no spoilers).

DiCillo’s smart screenplay is full of quotable lines, and quite funny. Fabulous performances from a cast that reads like a “Who’s Who” of indie filmdom: Catherine Keener, Dermot Mulroney, Kevin Corrigan, James Le Gros and Peter Dinklage (in his first billed film role!). Dinklage delivers a hilarious rant about the stereotypical casting of dwarves in dream sequences. It has been rumored that Le Gros’ character (an arrogant Hollywood hotshot who has deigned to grace the production with his presence) was based on the director’s experience working with Brad Pitt (who starred in DeCillo’s 1991 debut , Johnny Suede). If that is really true, all I can say is…ouch!

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The Story of Film: An Odyssey is one long-ass movie. Consider the title. It literally is the story of film, from the 1890s through last Tuesday. At 15 hours, it is nearly as epic an undertaking for the viewer as it must have been for director-writer-narrator Mark Cousins. Originally aired as a 15-part TV series in the UK, it made the rounds on the festival circuit as a five-part presentation. While the usual suspects are well-represented, Cousins’ choices for in-depth analysis are atypical (he has a predilection for African and Middle-Eastern cinema).

That quirkiness is what I found most endearing about this idiosyncratic opus; world cinema enjoys equal time with Hollywood. The film is not without tics. Cousins’ oddly cadenced Irish brogue requires steely acclimation, and he has a tendency to over-use the word “masterpiece”. Of course, he “left out” many directors and films I would have included. Nits aside, this is obviously a labor of love by someone passionate about film, and if you claim to be, you have an obligation to see this.

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The Stunt Man– “How tall was King Kong?” That’s the $64,000 question, posed by Eli Cross (Peter O’Toole), the larger-than-life director of the film-within-the-film in Richard Rush’s 1980 drama. Once you discover that King Kong was but “3 foot, six inches tall”, it becomes clear that the fictional director’s query is actually code for a much bigger question: “What is reality?”

That is the question to ponder as you take this wild ride through the Dream Factory. Because from the moment our protagonist, a fugitive on the run from the cops (Steve Railsback) tumbles ass over teakettle onto Mr. Cross’s set, where he is in the midst of filming an art-house flavored WW I action adventure, his (and the audience’s) concept of what is real and what isn’t becomes hazy, to say the least. O’Toole chews major scenery, ably supported by a cast that includes Barbara Hershey and Allen Garfield. Despite the lukewarm reviews from critics upon original release, it has since gained status as a cult classic. This is a movie for people who love the movies.

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Sunset Boulevard– Leave it to that great ironist Billy Wilder to direct a film that garnered a Best Picture nomination from the very Hollywood studio system it so mercilessly skewers (however, you’ll note that they didn’t let him win…did they?). Gloria Swanson’s turn as a fading, high-maintenance movie queen mesmerizes, William Holden embodies the quintessential noir sap, and veteran scene-stealer Erich von Stroheim redefines the meaning of “droll” in this tragicomic journey down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Out there, in the dark: Life Itself ****

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 5, 2014)

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When the long-running TV program At the Movies quietly packed its bags and closed the balcony for good back in 2010, I wrote a piece about the profound impact that the show had on me in its various incarnations over the years; first as a film buff and later on as a critic:

Back in the late 70s, I was living in Fairbanks, Alaska. This was not the ideal environment for an obsessive movie buff. At the time, there were only two single-screen movie theaters in town. And keep in mind, there was no cable service in the market, and the video stores were a still a few years down the road as well […] Consequently, due to the lack of venues, I was reading more about movies, than actually watching them. I remember poring over back issues of The New Yorker at the public library, soaking up Penelope Gilliat and Pauline Kael, and thinking they had a pretty cool gig; but it seemed like it was requisite to actually live in NYC (or L.A.) to be taken seriously as a film critic (most of the films they reviewed didn’t make it out to the sticks) […]

Then, in 1978, our local PBS affiliate began carrying a bi-weekly 30-minute program called Sneak Previews. Now here was something kind of interesting; a couple of guys (kind of scruffy lookin’) casually bantering about current films-who actually seemed to know their shit. You might even think they were professional movie critics […] In fact, they were professional rivals; Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel wrote for competing Chicago dailies […] This underlying tension between the pair was always bubbling just under the surface, but imbued the show with an interesting dynamic […]

 One thing these two did share was an obvious and genuine love and respect for the art of cinema; and long before the advent of the internet, I think they were instrumental in razing the ivory towers and demystifying the art of film criticism (especially for culturally starved yahoos like me, living on the frozen tundra).

 After Siskel died in 1999, Ebert kept the show going whilst essentially auditioning an interestingly diverse roster of guest critics for several months, with fellow Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Richard Roeper eventually winning the permanent seat across the aisle. Ebert remained a stalwart fixture until 2006, when treatment for his thyroid cancer began. Of course, Roger Ebert’s life journey didn’t end there, just as it had already taken many twists and turns before his fame as a TV personality. In fact, it is these bookends that provide the most compelling elements in Life Itself, a moving, compassionate and surprisingly frank portrait from acclaimed documentary film maker Steve James (Hoop Dreams).

The film covers the full breadth of Ebert’s professional life as a journalist; beginning with his fledgling days as a reporter and reviewer for The Daily Illini while attending the University of Illinois in the early 60s, to his embrace of new media during that personally challenging (and very public) final chapter of his life, wherein he was able to reinvent himself as a sociopolitical commentator (which he pursued with the same passion, candor and intelligence that defined his oeuvre as America’s most respected film critic).

Despite the fact that the film was made with the full blessing and cooperation of its subject (and his widow), this is not a hagiography. To be sure, Ebert was a gifted, amazingly prolific Pulitzer Prize winning writer, the premier film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013, an instantly relatable, beloved TV personality with a killer hook (“Thumbs up!” or “Thumbs down!”) and by most accounts an engaging raconteur and generally warm and empathetic human being…but he was, after all, a human being. He could also be arrogant, obstinate, and petty (James includes some eye-opening outtakes from At the Movies that are quite damning). He had a long-time battle with the bottle (which he freely admitted, in interviews and in his memoir).

Yet he also showed us, at the end of it all, how silly it is to sweat the small stuff, and how important it is to follow your bliss, in spite of circumstance. Ebert’s insistence that the director not shy his cameras away from the hellishness of his final months may seem morbid (and granted, the unblinking nature of that footage is difficult to watch and may even be a deal breaker for some viewers), but in hindsight I think it was his way of reminding us of the old proverb: “I cried because I had no shoes…until I met a man who had no feet.” Yes, he suffered terribly, and became physically unrecognizable as the same erudite, Falstaffian Everyman who sat across the aisle from Gene and bantered about the latest Scorsese film on my little 13 inch TV with rabbit ears and fuzzy reception all those years ago; but he never lost the muse, or his true voice, which came through in his prose.

I have to say it. I’m giving this film a thumbs up. Until next week…the balcony’s closed.

SIFF 2014: Abuse of Weakness **1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 31, 2014)

In this semi-autobiographical drama from writer-director Catherine Breillat, Isabelle Huppert plays a director who becomes partially paralyzed after a stroke. As she’s recovering, she brainstorms her next project. She is transfixed by (an allegedly) reformed con man (Kool Shen) appearing on a TV chat show. She decides he will star in her movie. The charismatic hustler happily ingratiates himself into Huppert’s life…with less than noble intentions. A psychological thriller recalling the films of Claude Chabrol.

SIFF 2012 – The Story of Film: an Odyssey ****

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 19, 2012)

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The Story of Film: an Odyssey is one long-ass movie. Consider the title. It literally is the story of film, from the 1890s through last Tuesday. At 15 hours, it is nearly as epic an undertaking for the viewer as it must have been for director-writer-narrator Mark Cousins. Originally aired as a 15-part TV series in the UK, it has been making the rounds on the festival circuit as a five-part presentation. While the usual suspects are well-represented, Cousins’ choices for in-depth analysis are atypical (e.g. he has a particular predilection for African and Middle-Eastern cinema). That quirkiness is what I found most endearing about this idiosyncratic opus; world cinema enjoys equal time with Hollywood. The film is not without tics. Cousins’ oddly cadenced Irish brogue requires steely acclimation, and he has a tendency to over-use the word “masterpiece”. Of course, he “left out” many directors and films I would have included. Nits aside, this is obviously a labor of love by someone passionate about film, and if you claim to be, you have an obligation to see this.

Blu-ray reissue: The Stunt Man ****

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 2, 2011)

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The Stunt Man – Severin Films Blu-ray

How tall was King Kong?” That’s the $64,000 question, posed several times by Eli Cross (Peter O’Toole), the larger-than-life director of the film-within-the-film in Richard Rush’s 1980 drama. Once you discover that King Kong was but “3 foot, six inches tall”, it becomes clear that the fictional director’s query is actually code for a much bigger question: “What is reality?”

That is the question to ponder as you take this wild ride through the Dream Factory. Because from the moment our protagonist, a fugitive on the run from the cops (Steve Railsback) tumbles ass over teakettle onto Mr. Cross’s set, where he is  filming an art-house flavored WW I drama, his (and our) concept of what is real and what isn’t becomes diffuse. O’Toole chews major scenery, ably supported by a cast that includes Barbara Hershey and Allen Garfield.

Despite lukewarm critical reception upon original release, it’s now considered a classic. A 43-week run at the Guild 45th Theater in Seattle (booked by Rush himself, out of his frustration with the releasing studio’s lackluster support) is credited for building the initial word of mouth with audiences and eventually assuring the film’s cult status. Truly  a movie for people who love the movies.

The Blu-ray transfer does reveal it to be a candidate for a full-blown restoration at some point-but you can’t have everything. Luckily, Severin Films has seen fit to include the full-length documentary, The Sinister Making of the Stuntman, because it makes for a fascinating tale in and of itself.

SIFF 2010: Visionaries ***

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 5, 2010)

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An old pal of mine dismissed “experimental” films as “movies that hurt your eyes”. As I was watching this documentary about avant-garde movie critic, filmmaker and curator Jonas Mekas, directed by legendary editing whiz Chuck Workman, I began to chuckle to myself. Viewing the parade of clips from the likes of movement pioneers like Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, Luis Bunuel and Kenneth Anger, I began to see what my old pal was driving at. Because, when viewed strictly as non-contextualized clip montage, it does strike one as a jumbled confusion of nonsensical jump cutting, herky-jerky camera movements, images that are under-exposed, over-exposed, fluctuating wildly in and out of focus…in short, a headache-inducing experience that kind of hurts your eyes.

But it was precisely this kind of “visionary” and free-form style of filmmaking that informed and inspired the work of more familiar contemporary directors like David Lynch (who appears in the film) and Guy Maddin (who, rather puzzlingly, does not). Now, just because a film might be labeled as “visionary”, does not necessarily equate that it is, in fact, “watchable”. Consider Andy Warhol’s infamous stationary camera epics, Sleep (5 hours, 20 minutes of real-time footage depicting a man catching his Zs) and Empire (8 hours observing the ever-static Empire State Building). Do you know anyone who has actually sat through them (while remaining completely awake and alert)?

I stayed awake and alert through Workman’s film; it’s certainly a startling assemblage of images (if anything). But it neglects to address the most important question (which was the impetus behind the excellent documentary My Kid Could Paint That)-Is it truly Art?