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Stuff Seen, September 2015

Posted by StepTb su settembre 30, 2015

La promesse (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 1996) [7.5]
Rosetta (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 1999) [8]
True Detective s2 ep1 (Justin Lin, 2015) [6]
True Detective s2 ep2 (Justin Lin, 2015) [6]
True Detective s2 ep3 (Janus Metz Pedersen, 2015) [6]
True Detective s2 ep4 (Jeremy Podeswa, 2015) [7] [a very well directed+edited final part rescues the whole ep]
True Detective s2 ep5 (John Crowley, 2015) [7] [finally an ep with a decently written script, the characters act and talk like humans for the first time]
True Detective s2 ep6 (Miguel Sapochnik, 2015) [6.5]
True Detective s2 ep7 (Daniel Attias, 2015) [6.5]
True Detective s2 ep8 (John Crowley, 2015) [6.5] [whoa, what a letdown this second season was. the plot is messy and unbalanced (making no difference in the way important points and useless details are treated), dialogues are overly descriptive and lacking subtlety, characters’ dark aspects feel forced (and, mostly, just sketched) and their behaviour robotic (the underrated Colin Farrell is the only one who managed to translate the stiff, mechanic material into a human performance). in general, the writing takes the 1st season’s few flaws and multiplies them, without keeping any of its strengths. the direction is nothing special and lacks atmosphere – even if Crowley and Podeswa did a better job than the others. we can also see TV series fanboyism in action once again: audiences and critics hated “The Counselor” (2013), but both the direction and the script of that movie are better than most TD s2, which in certain aspects seems to imitate them (being Pizzolatto an obvious fan of McCarthy), especially in the way the story ends – but again, TD’s ending is the worst one of the two, given its smothering moralism (the lead male characters aren’t stupid and displayed both negative and positive traits, but they sinned, so they all must be punished in the end) and meek conventionality (the women remain alive and safe). anyway, is Pizzolatto a one-trick pony? were Fukunaga and Arkapaw the real driving forces behind s1? I guess the answer is positive in both cases.]
The IT Crowd, s1 ep1 (Graham Linehan & Ben Gosling Fuller, 2006) [7]
Le gamin au vélo (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2011) [6.5]
Deux jours, une nuit (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2014) [8] [it’s unbelievable how many missed the point of this film, and apparently stopped watching it before the last, unambiguous, 5 minutes. yes, cruel workplace politics, the contrast humanity vs. business economics, and the socially destructive power of financial problems are all recognizable themes, but most of anything else this is a movie about depression, and the hard journey to overcome it. after being pushed and forced by her husband to have a series of difficult face-to-face interactions, the protagonist discovers the true nature of a supposed ‘friend’ and, on the other hand, the existence of new, this time real, supportive friends too. at the end of her ordeal, she’s a better person (see the immediate negative answer to her boss’s offer), and she realizes that finding the strength to fight again and a human ‘safety net’ of support was what she needed to feel alive again, even if things didn’t turn out right. it’s, of course, also a political film; but there are enough subtleties and complexities to make it acceptable, and its heart is in the right place. all in all, one of the absolute 2-3 best works by the Dardenne brothers.]
The Emerald Forest (John Boorman, 1985) [7.5]
Long men kezhan / Dragon Inn (King Hu, 1967) [7]
Xia nü / A Touch of Zen (King Hu, 1971) [7.5]
Da zui xia / Come Drink with Me (King Hu, 1966) [6.5]
Dareka no Manazashi / Someone’s Gaze (Makoto Shinkai, 2013) [short] [6]
Kong shan ling yu / Raining in the Mountain (King Hu, 1979) [6.5]
Beyond Rangoon (John Boorman, 1995) [6]
The General (John Boorman, 1998) [7]
Les revenants, s1 ep1 (Fabrice Gobert, 2012) [6.5]
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, 1980) [8]
The Running Man (Paul Michael Glaser, 1987) [7]
Pitfall (André De Toth, 1948) [7.5]
American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, 2014) [7]
Hai shang hua / Flowers of Shanghai (Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 1998) [7]

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