Day: March 21, 2012

2012 in Film: #75 – 76 – Hotel Chevalier and The Darjeeling Limited

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2012 in Film: #75 – 76

Hotel Chevalier and The Darjeeling Limited (2007) | Directed by Wes Anderson

Grade: Both – B+

Thoughts: Yet again, we encounter Wes Anderson’s twee storylines about family dysfunction. The storyline itself isn’t very revolutionary – one person in a group or family forces the others to undergo spiritual cleansing etc. – but it is at least pulled off with Anderson’s cute humor and beautiful sense of visuality. The three leads, Brody, Wilson, and Schwartzman, are all very good. Granted, it’s not nearly as novel as The Royal Tenenbaums, but to expect that is a little unreasonable. Anderson’s prelude to the film, Hotel Chevalier, is surprisingly more nuanced than Darjeeling as a whole. With a 12 minute space to work in, both Schwartzman and Portman bring some emotional believability to their roles. Also, Portman looks good with short hair. As always, Anderson’s taste for music is impeccable, especiallywth the subject matters he tends to deal with.

2012 in Film: #74 – The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

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2012 in Film: #74

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) | Directed by Luis Buñuel

Grade: B

Thoughts: A film that viciously satirizes the upper class, it often feels like it’s about these self centered, self interested, corrupt, perverted aristocrats that do whatever the hell they want and never think of the consequences.  Buñuel’s surrealist style definitely takes a while to get used to, especially if you’re unfamiliar with his work. And if you’re not used to that style, it doesn’t really flow cohesively for you. His thesis is obvious at the start, and maybe it’s that self satisfied smirk he has when he knows he’s toying with logic and all the boundaries of coherency, but there are parts that are amusing and good, and others that just seem rather self indulgent.

2012 in Film: #73 – Dr. Dtrangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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2012 in Film: #73

Dr. Dtrangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) | Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Grade: A

Thoughts: The greatest political satire. Period.

2012 in Film: #72 – Sounds from the Town I Love

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2012 in Film: #72

Sounds from the Town I Love (2001) | Directed by Woody Allen

Grade: B+

Thoughts: Another short film I actually watched in early February but forgot to post about. Made very shortly after the 9/11 attacks and for a fundraiser, I believe, Woody Allen’s slice-of-life short film is made up of sound bites form conversations that New Yorkers have on their cell phones. tilizing his usual wit and wry sense of humor, it’s a lovely letter to the town loves. (Definitely, though, not as lovely as *another* love letter to that town he loves.)

2012 in Film: #71 – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

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2012 in Film: #71

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011) | Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

Grade: A+

Thoughts: I wasn’t really under the impression that short films were even allowed to make it seem like your tear ducts were experiencing monsoon season. Beautifully animated, flawlessly told, and completely engrossing. Oscar-winner for Best Animated Short Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. (I actually watched this in early February, but forgot to post about it.)