MOVIE JOURNAL: J. Hoberman on movies and movie-related things
Archive for the ‘Foreign Film’ Category
Musicians brandishing bazookas on stage, cops masked like El Santo, a posh Sinaloa necropolis in which the tombs have bullet proof glass, mutilated corpses in the streets of Ciudad Juárez: Mexican photographer Shaul Schwarz’s “Narco Cultura” is the most scarific doc I’ve seen since “The Act of Killing.”
With one-week Oscar qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles, anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” is getting an extremely careful roll-out from distributor Walt Disney—as well it might. The animated feature that the 72-year-old Miyazaki has said will be his last, is a fanciful bio-pic of the aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, introduced as a boy who dreams of designing airplanes that somehow become Japan’s most feared World War II weapon, the Mitsubishi Zero fighter.
An exotic and elegant meta movie, “Golden Slumbers” shores the fragments of a ruined cinema—namely the 400 or so films made in Cambodia between 1960, when an indigenous movie industry was inspired by king and sometime filmmaker Norodom Sihanouk, and 1975, when that industry was destroyed in the Khmer Rouge bloodbath that murdered over a million people.
One is the loneliest number in “Blue is the Warmest Color,” Adellatif Kechiche’s inflated but not inconsequential lesbian love story. The French-Tunisian filmmaker’s fifth feature caused a sensation last May at Cannes. The conclusion of the long, explicit sex scene that is the movie’s set piece was reportedly greeted with applause at its press screening and received maximum ink in the ensuing coverage. The jury headed by Steven Spielberg gave “Blue” the Palme d’Or with a special ooh-la-la twist, honoring a threesome with the movie’s intrepid co-stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos laureled as equal creators alongside its writer-director.
Image: IFC Films
Titled and opening like a spaghetti western, Jia Zhangke’s new movie opens with a tomato-ladden truck toppled to block a two-lane highway. Three young toughs waylay a passing motorcyclist. He takes out a gun and mows them down. Something explodes: “A Touch of Sin”.
The 51st New York Film Festival opens Friday night with the yet to preview action flick “Captain Phillips”; it yesterday press screened the fourth of its four-hour marathons, Agnieszka Holland’s “Burning Bush.”
Great cinema may require great fortitude. “Welcome to the no potty breaks film festival,” Lincoln Center Film Society publicist John Wildman joked, introducing the morning press screening of Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz’s 250-minute riff on “Crime and Punishment,” “Norte, the End of History.”