Feels at its very core like groundwork, but it isn’t especially surprising to me considering the fact it was only James Gray’s debut film. Considering his own tendencies were still in growth here, it was only fitting that Little Odessa was in fact his own debut but it shares a common trait that has always bothered me so greatly about his work. They aren’t badly made films at all, but I try my best and no matter what, I just can’t find myself getting into them. Little Odessa is yet another one of those cases but the fact it’s only his debut feels very clear because right next to his other films, it still feels just like he’s working to form his trademarks on the spot. It hints only at what would be a promising filmmaker but on its own it doesn’t really stand out or do anything fairly remarkable. This won’t be the last James Gray film I watch after my fondness of The Lost City of Z, but I’m not sold in on his work yet.
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I’m not so sure how to describe the sort of mood I felt watching The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on the spot – but if there were one that always struck my mind, just happiness in how free it felt. Something I only wish I had felt more of because I’m not an overly confident person with my own orientation. Yet as I was watching Priscilla it only came clear to me why I was finding so much pleasure with what I was seeing from the first scene all the way to the last. Films like Priscilla seem so rare in terms of what they are standing for, given as it’s a film that obviously feels so good about whom it’s representing, and seeing how lovingly it embraces that only makes me happier inside.
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Oliver Stone’s films have been loud about whatever subjects they wish to carry and in some cases they have been beneficial but me not being a fan of his generally speaking, there’s a level to which they just come off as meaningless shouting. One of the most evident cases of such is Natural Born Killers which quite evidently wants to be something more clever deep down (Quentin Tarantino developed the story) but everything soon enough just goes nowhere. I understand already it’s supposed to play as a satire upon media’s fascination with serial killers but even on that count it never works well enough and instead it takes comfort in an ugly aesthetic.
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I should vehemently despise this film on all counts because it destroys practically everything that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre had stood for in the beginning, and yet there’s so much about it that’s so enjoyable in such a stupid manner. It’s so easy to note where Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is messing everything up so horribly and yet it’s all just so fascinating to watch while it’s running. With Tobe Hooper out of the franchise and now with Kim Henkel taking full responsibility, it is just baffling to see how one of the original creators of one of the most terrifying pictures to have graced the screen is destroying what he had created to begin with, all right before one’s eyes. And on all counts possible, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is just a disaster. Continue reading →
Abbas Kiarostami passed away on July 4, 2016. When the news came by, I could not have felt any more devastated upon the knowledge that one of the greatest artists of his kind has passed. May he rest in peace, and I would like to thank him for his wonderful contributions to such a wondrous art form.
Kiarostami’s films provide mystifying experiences that pay tribute to life as much as they do with the art form which they are a part of – if it were not already evident through his masterful Close-Up, the nature of Through the Olive Trees can already hint at what defines his work so perfectly. It’s one thing to grab the eyes of someone like myself when we are to talk of Kiarostami’s intention of blurring the lines between fiction and reality, but they present a statement about how art and life may not be so different after all. Although Close-Up still remains my favourite of Kiarostami’s films, the wonders that flowed as Through the Olive Trees went on were always prominent and the results are at their very best, beautiful. Continue reading →