Page 9 of 9

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 15th, 2021, 10:44 am
by matthewscott8
Just compiled a list of films I reviewed on this thread for insertion into the original post, and it turns out I reviewed 83 so far, didn't think it was that many!

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 15th, 2021, 11:06 am
by Onderhond
matthewscott8 wrote: November 15th, 2021, 10:43 am With the fantasy bits I admired the animation work, I just felt that the time the movie starts to major on those parts coincides with the start of my concerns about its politics, and the plot starts to get a bit ridiculous in terms of coincidences
Ridiculous plots are definitely an anime staple, so that's something that doesn't bother me as much. As for the politics, I should really watch the film again. I'm a bit surprised though as Hosoda is usually considered very mellow and not very political either.

Oh, and if you like the Japanese rural drama angle, a film like A Gentle Breeze in the Village comes well recommended (not 2009 though!)

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 15th, 2021, 11:36 am
by matthewscott8
Onderhond wrote: November 15th, 2021, 11:06 am
matthewscott8 wrote: November 15th, 2021, 10:43 am With the fantasy bits I admired the animation work, I just felt that the time the movie starts to major on those parts coincides with the start of my concerns about its politics, and the plot starts to get a bit ridiculous in terms of coincidences
Ridiculous plots are definitely an anime staple, so that's something that doesn't bother me as much. As for the politics, I should really watch the film again. I'm a bit surprised though as Hosoda is usually considered very mellow and not very political either.

Oh, and if you like the Japanese rural drama angle, a film like A Gentle Breeze in the Village comes well recommended (not 2009 though!)
There's a very thoughtful article about Hosoda's worldview on Cafe Marat, https://cafemarat.com/mamoru-hosoda-the ... -miyazaki/, written in 2015 so obviously missing references to newer movies. In it the author definitely picks up on Hosoda's conservatism
Hosoda's works obviously longs for the old Japan, and not only in a folklorical way: they also miss its values. So far, this conservatism is so deeply impregnated by melancholy that makes it politically unactive.
I just felt you can't have a song fondly remembering Zeroes and anti-American sentiments in a movie and not call it political. The idea that you have families of strong "breeding", who behind the scenes make everything tick, is also deeply worrying, although couched in saccharine sentiments about "granny". The author compares Hosoda to Miyazaki and finds Hosoda much more conservative. He raises the question of how does this fit with an energetic style, which is interesting.

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 15th, 2021, 11:51 am
by Onderhond
Myeah, not sure if I agree with that reading (especially not Western readings of Asian material), but again, I should really rewatch his films for more concrete arguments.

One thing though: it's a bit strange to consider TGWLTT a core Hosoda project when it's really just a pretty straight-forward adaptation.

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 20th, 2021, 8:45 pm
by matthewscott8
Image

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009 - Terry Gilliam)

A curious movie, it felt a lot like someone dusted off an escapist yarn of the 30s or 40s from the unused script pile. Doctor Parnassus is some sort of Lazarus type figure who has the ability to turn peoples' imaginations and internal struggles with good and evil into a real environment to put them in. The cast, particularly Plummer as Parnassus, don't seem to have the acting chops for the job, and the computer generated imagery generally feels tawdry. I found myself hankering for matte work. Implausibility, incoherence, and an unfamiliarity with the modern world seemed to abound. The manichaean predicaments seem out of step with a modern audience with no belief in absolutes or the supernatural. Even for myself, an old-fashioned absolutist, I did raise an eyebrow or two.

There was one random almost throwaway line in the script that caught my attention: "Aren't you running the risk to entrench the *need* for charity by increasingly institutionalizing it?", but though provocative it was also quite glib, you can't get a new malaria vaccine by relying on spontaneous kindness of strangers, you got to get together as an organized group.

I felt it could be better experienced as some sort of autobiographical cri de coeur, Gilliam as an old dreamweaver who finds himself broken, out of step, irrelevant and alone in the 21st century.

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 22nd, 2021, 9:27 pm
by matthewscott8
Image

L'affaire Farewell / Farewell (2009 - Christian Carion)

One of three notable films called Farewell from 2009, one of two about the spy codenamed Farewell, a key KGB officer who sits at the nexus of all incoming scientific intelligence. Farewell decides, for fairly obscure reasons, to compromise the entire Soviet covert intelligence network. Emir Kusturica acts well here, and maybe should have had a more notable acting career. The film is not particularly dramatic, nor visually appealing, the script has a bright spot where it produces an analogy to a piece of French poetry about wolves, but is quite bare. The main problem is that it's based on a true story, and sometimes the truth has its banalities.

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 23rd, 2021, 11:55 am
by matthewscott8
Image

Whatever Works (2009 - Woody Allen)

I feel a bit like sticking my fingers down my throat. Luck is important in life (no shit), and grab whatever love you can (duh), the big messages of this film, which it makes in an unbearable and saccharine way. A very obviously English actor is given the character name Randy, a move as tone deaf as his performance and the lines he's given to read. I felt a curl of anger at the "there's someone for everyone" type of bullshit wishful thinking that characterises the movie. Even its forays into despair are juvenile and complacent.

I guess it's time for another long hiatus for "romantic comedy" and me.

Anyways, that watch means I've now watched all of the top 50 from the recent ICM poll viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5659

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 24th, 2021, 5:59 pm
by matthewscott8
Image

Полторы комнаты, или Сентиментальное путешествие на родину / Poltory komnaty ili Sentimentalnoe puteshestvie na Rodinu / Room and a Half (2009 - Andrey Khrzhanovskiy)

So good I watched it twice in a row. Khrzhanovskiy's film biography of Joesph Brodsky is a privilege to watch, sentimental, intimate and full of wonderful surprises. Mostly live action but with some gorgeous animation climbing into bed from time to time.

Brodsky grows up and is nourished by St Petersburg but he is persecuted by Soviet anti-semitism and an official distrust of his love of western art. He is subject to internal exile, and then forced migration. The film focuses mostly on his family relations, the only child of two loving co-conspiratorial parents, and the roots of his artistic inspiration. Khrzhanovskiy must be his perfect fit as a biographer. If you wonder where you've heard Khrzhanovskiy's name before he was director of the famous short The Glass Harmonica, many years before Room and a Half.

It's a dense and rich movie, I had to do a fair bit of googling for context about Brodsky's work and various obscure (to Westerners) Russian references.

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 25th, 2021, 12:42 am
by Torgo
Soo .. are your Top 4 films of the year 2009, which you've seen more than 240 films from, all animated? :o
Cool!

Re: the 2009 project

Posted: November 25th, 2021, 9:43 am
by matthewscott8
Torgo wrote: November 25th, 2021, 12:42 am Soo .. are your Top 4 films of the year 2009, which you've seen more than 240 films from, all animated? :o
Cool!
Haha, you noticed I did a little rejig, it hadn't entered my mind that they were all animated until you mentioned it. So, yes! With the caveat that Room and a Half is only partially animated, however the animated sequences are very strong.