Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Double-bill of the day:

Excerpt from The Stendhal Syndrome (Dario Argento, 1996), with Asia Argento.

La déraison du Louvre (Ange Leccia, 2006), with Laetitia Casta.

(These past two weeks have been busy catching up with some 'auteur cinema' from the past year at the Auckland International Film Festival, where I finally saw Rivette's Ne touchez pas la hache (2007). I'll wait till I see it again before I say much about it but, to me, this looks, sounds, feels like a masterpiece. Others I saw for the first time and liked include, among others, Night and Day (Hong, 2008); La France (Bozon, 2007), with elements of Rohmer's Perceval ('78) and Monteiro's Silvestre ('82) converging in a very concrete presence of light and shadow; Christopher Columbus, the Enigma (Oliveira, 2007); all the Edward Yang films I saw in the retrospective programme, especially Taipei Story (1985), and the mysteriously underrated, A Confucius Confusion (1994), both new to me, along with the previously-seen The Terrorizer (1986) and A Brighter Summer Day (1991); Blue Tide, Black Water (Eve Gordon, Sam Hamilton, 2008), and the magnificent films of Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, but more on them later, perhaps...)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i envy you for the Yang films, damn! Love Rivette's and Monteiro's masterpieces, but Oliveira's Colombo is one of his worst ones, if not his worst ever. But the Yang's... damn!


3:57 PM  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I returned the favor, and linked back to you. What a wonderful blog.

Argento is best of his genre.

The only movie I saw this year Academy Award worthy, is The Visitor, for its acting.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Mubarak Ali said...

José, I would hardly rank Christopher Columbus among the best Oliveira's I've seen, but I was taken with its eccentric dubiousness and unfiltered nostalgia, its sensitive regard of objects of the past, monuments of exploration. This seems to be a more melancholic side to his A Talking Picture...

Yeah, the Yang's... there're posthumous retrospectives of his work being held in many places so may get to see these eventually. I missed his first one, That Day, on the Beach, though, which I'm quite annoyed about.

Renegade Eye - thank you for reading!

4:09 AM  
Anonymous roke said...

one thing i liked about "brighter summer day" is the narrative structure (along with the underlying implications of the plot.) We get to know about the stories of the supporting cast only with the protagonist (except for the "prologue" and "epilogue"). we are as much in confusion as the protagonist himself.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous roke said...

is there a retrospective of Yang in the US in the upcoming days that you are aware of?

3:47 PM  
Blogger Mubarak Ali said...

roke - I have no idea of any planned American retrospectives of Yang's films. (I do know, however, that his films have already screened at the Cinematheque Ontario in the beginning of the year.)

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvard Film Archive will host Yang's retrospective in September:

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