Saturday, May 16, 2009

Capturing The Friedmans

Documentaries have taken a boost this decade, especially cause of Michael Moore and his two raging bulls - Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Luc Jacquet's March Of The Penguins and Morgan Spurlock's popular Super Size Me. Now forget about those and think about the most hell blazing and incendiary piece of non fiction released this decade- you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Andrew Jarecki's Capturing The Friedman's is as good as 90% of the shit hollywood spews on us every year- it's hypnotic, haunting and edge of your seat stuff. Released 6 years ago, it recounts the horrific tale of one family and their ordeal with pedophilia and child pornography charges. Upper Middle Class and award winning professor Arnold Friedman is charged with carrying child pornography magazines, it gets worse, Police further their investigation and start to suspect he and his son Jesse might have teamed up to molest young students from Arnold's computer class. Is it all true ? or are the police as corrupt as they claim Arnold to be.

Oscar Wilde has said that 'The truth is rarely pure and never simple'- That can easily be implied for what this film tries to accomplish with its twists and puzzling structure. We-as the viewer-try to guess who is lying and who is telling the truth but it's far more complicated than that. There are hidden secrets that will likely never come to fruition and never see light of day. Jarecki plays with the meaning of 'truth' and never takes any sides- Something documentary filmmakers have forgotten to do this decade. He leaves it up to the viewer to come up with their own conclusions, he gives us the facts and some of the most astounding -and haunting- family home video I have ever seen- take that Bob Saget ! There isn't an inch of flaw in this baby. Jarecki -a former movie phone employee- crafts something meaningful and unforgettable with a thin string budget. I cannot believe how many people do not know this documentary- it's compulsively watchable- and is the ultimate portrait of family dysfunction. Forget about Michael Moore. Best documentary this decade ? Do I really need to answer that.

'Ne le dis à personne'

It's too risky to reveal Tell No One's delicious surprises. French Director Guillaume Canet has delivered a mysterious thriller that follows the Hitchcockian tradition, no wonder an American remake is set for 2011. Rent the film and do not let anyone reveal the plot to you- you'll thank me for it afterwards. It's one of last year's most undervalued pictures and has a great performance from french actor Francois Cluzet.

On a side note: I cannot tell you how happy I am to see Marie Joze Croze naked again on screen- she hasn't been this sexy since Denis Villeneuve's Maelstrom 9 years ago.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

'He is a head taller than me. That may change.'

From director Werner Herzog on Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1971) DVD

'Actor Klaus Kinski lost his temper when a hut full or extras was getting loud with card games and drinking--thereby disturbing his sleep. Kinski responded by firing into the extras hut three times with a Winchester rifle. By amazing luck or divine intervention, the only injury consisted of someone getting their finger blown off. Herzog confiscated the rifle and stil possesses it to this day.'

Never was a big fan of this film but all the back stories behind it are fascinating.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Image Of The Day 5/14/09

Dennis Hopper in David Lynch's twisted, surreal Blue Velvet. A film filled with terror and nightmarish visions of Suburbia America.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

'2009 Blues'

Here we are, close to the half way mark of this new year and nothing. nada. zip. No mainstream movie has come out and ran out the rest of the competition. I hear James Toback's Tyson is incredibly fascinating and Maurizio Braucci's Gomorrah is as good as any mob movie this decade but one's a documentary and the other's an Italian film originally intended for release last year. So, Where's the comptetition ? It's nowhere to be found. Hollywood has yet again given us a lame ass spring and a not so promising summer to come

There's one exception. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson's Up promises to be a prime movie event- there's a catch, it's an animated film from pixar. who cares. Pixar has given us some of the most breathtaking movies of the past decade- think The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Cars, Ratatouille and last year's incredible Wall-E- If it's not the best time to be a movie fan, it truly is the best era for animation. Animators have created visual miracles this decade and -judging by early word of mouth- Up could be the crowning achievement.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

'Fashion saves a lot more lives than doctors'

Is there a movie this summer that looks more promising than Bruno ? First off the movie gets slapped with an NC-17 rating and then you find out that the original title was supposed to be

Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt

I couldn't be happier that people like Sacha Baron Cohen are doing comedies and reinventing the genre. Borat proved there is much -albeit hidden- bigotry in our society and Bruno will likely have the same message. Were a long way from the kind of laughs Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon inflicted on us as drag queens in 1959- welcome to the next generation of smart, shocking mainstream comedies.

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