Monthly Archives: February 2008

Lent: Part 10

Oscar-Nominated Films, Live-Action (2007)

  • Tanghi Argentini – This film does what a short film must do: end. It made its point–quite nicely–and ended. It was cute, funny, and short.
  • Om Natten (In the Night) – Everyone deserves to have a big fuss made about them, I suppose. Everyone ought to make friends with an emotional wealthy person who will ensure that a grand monument is erected upon their death.
  • Il Supplente (The Substitute) – I thought I made it pretty clear last year that Italians aren’t funny, and neither is flailing around like a jackass. A repeated line is only funny if it’s written and delivered in a humorous manner at humorous times. And everyone learns something goddamn important at the end.
  • The Tonto Woman – I recognized the name Elmore Leonord in the opening credits, and was sure to receive some mercy after what the previous overlong pieces had done to me. Yes, the characters spoke in a stilted writery kind of way that only exists in short stories, but it was a pretty film with a tangible plot. I want to thank the filmmakers for that.
  • Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets) – Oh, it’s this years Film about Unready Adults Who Find Themselves Suddenly and Hopelessly in Charge of a Child. Fuck you, France. I might expect this sort of thing from Americans, but you, France? Oh, who am I kidding. All the worst sit-com movies are adapted from French shit.

I need a nap.

Lent: Part 9

Oscar-Nominated Short Films, Animated (2007)

  • Même les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven) – It’s like something Pixar might have made, if Pixar had given up on clarity of plot and characters. It’s a fine concept with lots of potential, and plenty of cute, but there was a major failure here. In retrospect, however, it could have been much, much worse.
  • Моя любовь (My Love) – That this was painted in oil on glass painstakingly over the course of five years (so says the internet anyway) may be this short film’s greatest feat. The images are beautiful, if a bit disorienting. If nothing else, at least the ending was clear.
  • Madame Tutli-Putli – Stop-motion animation on a set dug up from a trunk in your grandmother’s attic. Many of the shorts, especially the animated ones, ended with a severe what-the-hell moment. This one, though stunningly beautiful–my favorite stop-motion animation ever–left me feeling bad for not being Artistic enough to understand it.
  • I Met the Walrus – Someday, the people who remember the Beatles will die, and things will change. Either we will forget the Beatles except as a page in a book on the history of music, or they will be canonized. I’m really hoping for the former. I’m waiting for the day when the people who caught John Lennon’s farts in a mayonnaise jar in 1969 will just die without heirs. Failing that, I hope the people who were discussing this film on the way out come to realize that the animation was not “like Monty Python” so much as “a tribute to the Beatles”. I don’t care about the Beatles, but I hate the people in that theater.
  • Peter & the Wolf – “Is that a bird?” “The cat’s going to come outside.” “Hunters are coming.” “Those are the guys who threw him in the dumpster.” Thank God the man sitting next to me provided a constant commentary to his wife on all the cartoons, or I might have heard the music. God forbid that should happen. Anyway, there was something creepy about this one. I really think I’d rather just get a recording of the original score and listen to that. No one looks at you with dead glass eyes from a record.

After West Bank Story won last year, I refuse to make any Oscar predictions. I’ll just content myself to fume and grumble about all of them and be displeased with the result no matter what.

Lent: Part 5

The Chipmunk Adventure (1987) – Every year, I swear that I’ll never take another recommendation from Jackie. I don’t think I’ll ever learn. It’s sad, really.

This movie was quite likely the most racist thing I’ve ever seen. Their earnest efforts to promote multi-culturalism are completely undermined by their lack of research into real-world cultures and balloon physics. If they had just come out and blatantly said “Foreigners are backwards canibals who can’t pronounce their Ls and Rs!” it might have been at least a shorter movie.

This time I swear I will never take another recommendation from Jackie!

The only thing that could possibly redeem this movie is a full-length version of this

Lent: Part 3

The Wizard (1989) – This movie was not awesome. I just don’t know what to say about it. It is remarkable only in that it had the least effect on me of any movie in as long as I can remember. Then again, if a movie had less of an effect on me, I wouldn’t remember it. So let’s just put this post up to remind me that I have indeed seen this movie.

Lent: Part 2

Once (2006) – When I learned that the main characters are credited only as “Guy” and “Girl”, I was furious. As if this movie wasn’t artsy enough, now the characters don’t have fuckin’ names? What’s worse, I came up with the idea two years ago of a story about two people who never learned each other’s names but live for years together. Not only did I watch my idea stolen and put up on the screen with a wobbly handheld camera, but I was forced to admit I had come up with an indie-hipster idea.

Lent: Part 1

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed, 1926) – Damn, that was pretty. The problem, however, with silent silhouette animation is that characters can start to become indistinguishable. We’re still not quite sure whether Achmed, Aladdin or the Witch said “Kill the magician and the lamp is yours!”

Still, very pretty, and the music was excellent. I strongly recommend The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello to anyone who enjoys this film, and vice versa.

This Friday, we will be watching The Wizard (1989). Join us if you like.