January 5th, 2014


Resolutions, and such

Anyone around?...

Happy New Year!

And it's off to a fine start (much better than last year).

Seen so far:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: I wasn't expecting much - in fact, nothing; I'd really meant to see Inside Llewyn Davis and had ended up at the wrong theater - but this was fine for a quiet showing over the holidays. In fact, it almost slipped out of its Hollywood trope bounds. Almost.

Inside Llewyn Davis: I'm a big fan of the Coen Brothers. This is not major Coen Bros, and maybe it's not meant to be, but something was missing. Perhaps it was the subject matter; don't know much about the folk scene. But the spark - didn't for me.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: Took Mama Wakasa to see this (and very narrowly escaped A Madea Christmas, *someone* was smiling down at me). I'm not sure how factual this was, and how much was heroic myth recounting; but, based on my memories / surface knowledge of events, this was very well done and fairly complete. The Sharpeville Massacre is there, and Winnie Mandela's actions are not glossed over (although the explanation for them may have been softened a bit). Definitely worthwhile. Mama Wakasa had wanted to see a comedy, but was very happy that we ended up seeing this inside.

Pitfall: Two roustabout miners in 1960s Japan are skipping out from job to job. Until they sign up for what seems a sure thing at a large mine, and one is sent off to a second mine. He's murdered for no apparent reason, and his ghost tries to make sense of the why behind the white-suited, briefcase-carrying man who stabbed him with such skill.

This is Hiroshi Teshigahara's first film, and what a film. It turns in totally unexpected directions, around the harsh politics and business practices of the time, while combining a touch of the supernatural and murder mystery. What a great surprise. This was in the Three Films By Hiroshi Teshigahara box (from Criterion); can't wait to see what else is in there.