Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Night Cap 2/24/13: Catching up with the Oscars plus All Clues, Links and other things

It's been a few weeks since I've done a Nightcap and with the Oscars going down tonight I figured I'd start by filling in the gaps with what I've thought of the two Best Picture nominees I haven't mentioned  up to this point.

Silver Linings Playbook is one of the better films nominated for this year’s best picture Oscar (sorry Dor). Charting the course of a man released from a mental hospital, he had a breakdown after discovering his wife having an affair, the film follows as he tries to find a self promised silver lining. This involves taking up with a young widow and dealing with compulsive Eagles fan father. Nominated for a boat load of Oscars I wouldn’t be surprised if it took home a few.

As much as I like the film my one reservation concerning the film is its advertising. Billed as a feel good romantic comedy, this is a much more complex film dealing with a group of severely damaged people. Everyone is deeply wounded and dealing with dysfunctions on the order of large economy sizes. Yes it’s funny often romantic film, but at the same time its troubling and disturbing since it’s like being dropped into someone else’s family. I, like several other people I know, went into the film expecting a romantic comedy not a drama.

Recommended but go in expecting heaviness as well as laughs.

Surprisingly I really like Lincoln. I say surprisingly because the trailers and TV commercials made it look stodgie and stiff.

I really like Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln who manages to be more than a stiff recreation of the photographs. I’m less enamored of Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln who is very good at showing her flakiness but not the reason that Abe stayed with her.

I do like that the film seems completely anti Spielberg. Given a list of directors I don’t think I would ever have guessed he made the film.

I think that for the most part the film is super, the problem for me is that the script by playwright Tony Kushner is effectively a stage play. If you watch the construction of the script you have speeches and pronouncements and characters acting as Greek Chorus. As good as it is, and I do think it’s very good, the trouble is it never completely feels real. I feel like I’m watching a performance and not “life”.

It’s a minor quibble, but at the same time it’s one that makes me place it under the top Oscar contenders for best picture.

The discovery of Michael Little’s All Clues No Solutions was kind of like getting manna from heaven. For someone who is forever looking for the obscure, off beat or things that have fallen by the wayside Little's store proved to be a one stop shop that damn near broke my bank in the first couple of orders I placed. I went nuts and picked up a good number of films one night before bed then placed a second order the next morning…and a third a few days later. The only reason I haven’t ordered more is that I want to go through what I have before I completely bury myself on the next order.

There is a good chance that if you’ve been looking for something for ages that you once saw on VHS or somewhere once but never again, he’ll have it. He also carries a ton of foreign titles that I had been looking for ages. I wanted to try Kiyoshi Kurosowa’s Revenge films once more but I could never find them in on DVD in English- guess what he has them- as well as a ton of other Kurosowa films you probably only read about but never could find.

I’ve loved everything I’ve gotten from him so far.

If you are looking for off the beaten track stuff- and if you read Unseen with any regularity I know you are- check out his website- and don’t worry this is one time where I won’t mind you clicking away from Unseen.

(And just to sweeten the pot, he does have bulk discounts)

As if the last fewdays haven't been enough some reminders from the festival front---

Film Comment Selects is winding down. It has just a few more days left so if you want to see some really good films I'd take a stab at getting over to Lincoln Center.

Thursday starts Rendezvous With French Cinema. across Manhattan and Brooklyn. They are showing a good number of great looking films, however this year our coverage is going to be limited. I simply can not and could not unknot my schedule enough to get to more than a few films. Reviews will start this week
The Japan Society is running Into the Shintoho Mind Warp:Girls, Guns & Ghosts from the Second Golden Age of Japanese Film This incredible series is running a bunch of films from Shintoho studios. I have not seen any of these films but their reputation is incredible and I want to see them all. The trouble is that the conflict, like the French Cinema series above, with some of life's other plans.

Speaking of which Friday is the start of the New York International Children's Film Festival. If you want to know what is conflicting with the above series, this is at least for next weekend. Some screenings are sold out some are not, but there is always a wait line in many cases they can squeeze you in.  I'll be there with most of my films coming the first day and the last day. We at Unseen have seen several of the films already and I'll be posting a more detailed listing of films coming up.

Lastly It's still two months away, but we've been invited back to Tribeca so things to be like last year- three solid weeks of coverage.

And now some links

Oliver Stone talking in relation to his Showtime TV series
The legendary Valencia Theater in NYC
PaulWilliams at the Museum of the Moving Image
15 Photos of NYC
Soderbergh in conversation
Star TrekSound Effects
Cinephilia and Beyond
Coming Soon... for pay
The Totoro House

What's up coming at Unseen? A very heavy week of reviews. Not only will the week be filled with some random titles from across the film spectrum, tomorrow night I'm posting my thoughts on the ABC's of Death and after that I'll be unleashing some of my reviews from Rendez-vous with French Cinema. 

Next weekend will be a couple of reviews from my Animation on DVD days and thats followed by all but one of the George Nader Jerry Cotton films which then leads into a week of animated films including my Poppy Hill one. Add into the mix NYICFF reviews plus things we've been seeing at press screenings and you have a busy couple of weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Been buying from Michael at AllClues for years now, and yes, he does have terrific stuff. I can let you know about some other sites if you're interested.