Sunday, January 8, 2012

DB's Sunday Nightcap 1/8/12

DB here.

It's late on Sunday, and I've been under the weather all day. As I get ready to head off its time to prattle on a few things.

First up a few reminders of things here in the New York.

The Jewish Film Festival starts Wednesday at Lincoln Center. It has a good number of good looking films. I'll be going to a couple of screenings over the two weeks it runs. Reports will follow. Details can be found here.

This is the final few days of the Ghibli retrospective at The IFC Center. It all ends Thursday. Details can be found here.

(And I won't go into details of the KCS screenings because I know you're sick of it)

I've been busy seeing some films some of which will be getting some write ups here and some which won't.

Yesterday I went to the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan to see The Prince of the Himalayas. It's a version of Hamlet set in ancient Tibet. It was filmed in Tibet and stars all Tibetan actors.

The pre-film talk said that the film got lost when it was released in 2006 because there were two Chinese versions of Hamlet released at the same time. I say the film got lost because outside of the music and photography it isn't very good.

The two major problems with the film come first from an editing style that is similar to Hong Kong action film. I was reminded of John Woo films or some of the fluid Johnnie To directed sequences. It seemed out of place here. The other more serious problem is that the film plays like an extended trailer for the story. Almost half way in I was kind of at a loss as to what I was seeing. Who was who and what was what? I couldn't tell from the film, rather I had to keep thinking back to Shakespeare to know which way was up.

Halfway in I walked out. Sorry, but it wasn't worth the effort. There was nothing to keep my interest, even the sex scene was making me giggle. I started to watch the lady sitting two tables over fighting to stay awake and not hit her head on the table.

The film looks great, I want the music, but its a crappy movie otherwise.

As an addendum, outside of the theater is the Tibet in Comics display. Not to mice words it's possibly one of the most useless exhibitions I've ever seen.Unless you know nothing about comics, it's utterly useless (and even then it's still not worth the effort).

Basically it's some displays of books like The Third Eye,Lost Horizon, The Secret Doctrine and the Morning of the Magicians, which are some fiction and non-fiction books which are tied to Tibet on one side of the room where the displays say they really didn't. One the other side of the room are some comic character figures in boxes (Yeti, Bugs Bunny,Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Doctor Strange, Tin Tin)with a note saying that these characters were in comics set in Tibet. Then there are some comics in bound books where the stories are in Tibet. There is little in the way of explanation, just the comics with a most cursory blurb at the front.

Its a waste. It told me nothing I didn't know. Odds are it wouldn't tell you anything either.

After walking out I saw, as did several other Unseen Film friends and writers, the Madhouse produced anime Redline. Its a wild and weird science fiction race film,that is just so wonderfully over the top I can't recommend it enough. At some point the film will be getting a write up.

Also getting a write up will be the Oscar front runner A Separation. This is a wonderful domestic drama that turns into a court room drama. It is the front runner for the Best Foreign Language film and while I may not think it's the best, I won't be unhappy if it wins. Truthfully it's so nice to have a film that everyone tells me is great actually turn out to be. A fuller review is coming tomorrow night.

Not likely to get a write up, by me at least, is The Descendants. This is the George Clooney film by Alexander Payne the director of About Schmidt and Sideways. The short review is that if you liked those films, you'll like this and if not you won't. I didn't and didn't.

Up coming here at Unseen will be a week of random films. I'm guessing that The week will be supplemented by reports on several other films such as A Separation, Flowers of War (The Chinese Oscar entry),the new Jet Li/Tsui Hark film, and a few others which I have lined up for viewing.

After that we have a week of Buster Keaton films, our Chinese New Year piece, a look a cinematic getaways and then who knows. I am working on a series of posts for March I'm calling Spaghetti West Weekends,which is the result of getting two sets of Spaghetti Westerns that had 64 films between them.

Keep reading 'cause we'll keep posting.

And remember we are on Twitter and we do take requests- just email me.

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