Sen Kimsin? [2012)

It’s been a long time since I “visited” Turkey.

Indeed, it’s been awhile since I reviewed an actual movie ūüôā

Film critics should review films, right?

Not sporting events. ¬†Not YouTube videos. ¬†Not the Double Windsor of Trump’s necktie.

Well, I am guilty as charged.

I like sports.

And occasionally a video on the Internet has immense impact on me.

And I like Trump.  Sometimes I disagree (strongly) with what he does.

But mostly I agree.

So far.

But as I was saying, I have not reviewed a Turkish film since my initial foray into the national cinema of Anatolia.

In retrospect, I actually reviewed two Turkish films long ago:  Hudutlarin Kanunu and Susuz Yaz.

What is really complex is the “i” with no dot. ¬†I don’t think I have this anywhere on my WordPress possibilities.

But we will forget about that for now.

[at least I can copy and paste]

ūüôā

Which is to say, it is hard to top¬†YńĪlmaz G√ľney. ¬†Hudutlarin¬†Kanunu is a really special film.

But we must move into the modern era…and see what the Turkish are doing now, right?

Well,¬†Sen Kimsin?¬†may not be a perfect film, but I really enjoyed it ūüôā

There is something about Turkish humor which I love!

So let me tell you about this motion picture.

First of all, it is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S. (!)…

Yes, Netflix seems to all-of-sudden be glutted with Turkish films (which is, for me, a good thing).

And we will get to geopolitics shortly (the strange case of U.S. forces “guarding” the Turkish border [to prevent attacks on the Kurds in Syria?!?]).

Actually, let’s get to that now.

Webster Tarpley (whom I stopped listening to quite awhile ago…when he started calling Trump a Nazi) was forever railing about closing the Jarabulus corridor.

Jarabulus is a Syrian city very near the Turkish border.

Tarpley maintained (if I remember correctly) that ISIS (which, like al-Qaeda, was created by the U.S. [according to Pieczenik]) was being supplied mainly from Turkey.

Tarpley continuously insisted that closing the “Jarabulus corridor” would starve the supply line(s) of ISIS.

And then today we have these headlines: ¬†“US troops patrol Turkey-Syria border after strikes on Kurds”.

That was CNN.

It required immense (and worthwhile) effort to not click on that article.

Fuck CNN!

They don’t even deserve italics…

“US troops deployed at Syrian border to prevent clashes between Turkish & Kurdish forces”.

That’s¬†RT.

[Russia Today]

Hmmm…

I thought Turkey was part of NATO?

I thought NATO was the greatest thing since sliced shawarma??

I thought the USA and Turkey were on the same side???

Well, maybe not.

Which brings us back to that “failed coup attempt” last year in Turkey.

July 15.

Now, if the U.S. is today (literally) protecting the Kurds from the Turkish (which even CNN and RT can agree upon).

And the U.S. has nuclear weapons at Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turkey as part of NATO’s “nuke sharing” program (which is well-known).

Then what the fuck is going on here?

Is Erdońüan such a dipshit that we have to work AGAINST him (while keeping nuclear weapons in his country)?

If that’s the case, then it would not be farfetched to think that the U.S. had some part to play in the failed coup attempt of last year.

Motive?  Check.  Means?  Check.  Opportunity?  Probably.

As for the U.S. forces on the Turkish border (inside Syria?), their location is not clear from the reportage I am seeing (whether Jarabulus or not).

In a moment of weakness, I clicked on CNN.

The gist there seems to be that the Turks and the Kurds hate each other, but that the Turks and the Kurds are the closest “anti-ISIS” allies of the U.S.. ūüôā

Boy, if that’s not generalizing things…

Which is why we need comedy.

And why this will seek to be a film review from here on out.

First, let’s translate¬†Sen Kimsin?: ¬†“who are you?”.

Who are you?

This phrase becomes very important during the course of Sen Kimsin?.

Tolga √áevik is the star of our film ūüôā

He’s very funny!

Truly, he has some great comedic talent!!

And so this whole film is a bit like The Pink Panther minus Peter Sellers.

But¬†Tolga √áevik does a very admirable job ūüôā

Actually, as you’ve noticed, I can’t stop smiling after this film.

There are so many wonderful parts to it.

Indeed, Çevik is the fumbling/bumbling detective (!) who gets made for a useful idiot.

But the ID was only half-right.

He’s an idiot, alright.

But he’s completely useless ūüôā

And I know the feeling.

I really related to¬†Tolga √áevik’s character Tekin.

Director¬†Ozan A√ßńĪktan did an excellent job of letting Tolga’s talents come to the fore!

But this comedy of errors just wouldn’t be the same without the priceless contribution of¬†K√∂ksal Eng√ľr.

You know, the Turks are a brave people.

And seeing the great humor of¬†K√∂ksal Eng√ľr reminded me of that ūüôā

But let us talk about the beautiful ladies of this film.

Zeynep¬†√Ėzder is really charming as Pelin ūüôā

But I must also give credit to the villainess¬†Pelin K√∂rm√ľk√ß√ľ.

Wow!  What a beautiful 46-year-old woman!!!

Anyhow, these ladies are distracting.

But this is just a plain fun film.

It is meant for enjoyment.

And there is some great dialogue (particularly between Tekin and Ismail).

I thoroughly recommend this film as a fun way to learn a little more about Turkish culture ūüôā

Thank you, my friends!

-PD

Tu dors Nicole [2014)

Here is filmic perfection.

God damn!

Fucking hell!

Excuse my Tourette’s outburst.

But it’s like a geyser.

Because this film really, really (REALLY) got me!

[the boy who cries wolf must get ever more creative]

Wolf!

A big, bad, beautiful wolf here…

I had no idea coming into this film–what I was getting into.

No idea about country of origin.

Or province.

No idea about actors or director.

No idea about language.

Or subtitles.

Just the least thumbnail sketch of plot.

But other than that.

Nothing.

Rien.

In French it’s shorter.

Nothing is even less of a thing in French.

By three letters.

An economy of means.

And that serves as as good a point as any (whew!) at which (yikes!) to start talking about this MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE.

Because I don’t have to get drunk.

I don’t drink.

I don’t have to get high.

I only take my boring medications.

As prescribed.

But you know what really lights my fuse?

Cinema.

And love.

And love when it is cinematic.

And hope.

Optimism.

The hope of love.

The promise of love (however distant the possibility) when it is expressed cinematically.

In a film I feel like I’m the only one watching.

So i must first [sic] thank the universe for¬†Julianne C√īt√©.

As Borat would say, wah-wah-way-woe!

For nerds like me.

That little in-between haircut.

But fuck it…

Hair doesn’t matter.

It’s soul.

It’s shining through.

Ms. C√īt√© is a very attractive girl.

But not in the meretricious sense.

That is left to the less-than-sterling character played by Catherine St-Laurent (who’s also great in this film).

Every film needs a villain.

Frenemies!

As the singularly-poetic Liam Gallagher once penned (and sang):

“You could be my enemy/I guess there’s still time”

Yeah…

But we need to get back to¬†Julianne C√īt√©.

Because she changed my DNA with this film.

She wrecked me (as Tom Petty might have said).

She took my soul and balled it up like dough and made gingerbread men out of it.

[ok, that’s stretching it…]

Because Catherine St-Laurent is the magazine cover girl.

It’s no accident we see her in a bikini…poolside.

But Ms.C√īt√© just floats on the foam spaghetti.

Submersed.

Weightless.

Her face as beautiful…as the moon.

I MUST STOP HERE TO SAY THAT A GOOD MANY OF MY MORE SUBLIME THOUGHTS JUST DISAPPEARED DUE TO SOME COMPUTER GLITCH

And it is only appropriate.

As Nicole’s life is a grand series of fuck-ups and almosts.

Yes, thanks a fucking lot, WordPress.

And Apple.

You jerks.

Ten minutes of writing down the drain.

Ok, so the milk is spilt.

How to get back on track?

I don’t know where I was.

I spun my loveliest sentences.

Turned my most gossamer phrases.

And hit “Save” ever fucking second.

But it didn’t matter.

So we will go to tech metaphor.

Always fall in love with the typewriter.

Even the electric typewriter (like Histoire(s) du cinéma).

And give Microsoft no quarter.

Granted.

They are, for once, innocent.

The answer is.

There is no getting back.

Not some Thomas Wolfe trip.

But simply to say that nothing I can write will sum up the brilliance of¬†St√©phane Lafleur’s direction.

I am exercising zero hyperbole when I say that THIS IS A PERFECT FILM.

And nothing will ever sum up my admiration (yes, love) for Julianne¬†C√īt√©’s performance.

Nay, for her.

Let’s quote Elton John…

“Someone saved my life tonight…”

Yeah!

Thank you, Julianne!

I will just say Julianne from now on…because my computer doesn’t like diacritical marks ūüôā

I’ll say it again a few times.

Tu dors Nicole has changed my perception of film.

Of cinema.

Of what a movie can be.

It’s that good!

It’s that important!

I can’t believe what I just saw… […]

-PD

El Crítico [2013)

Fucking masterpiece.

A fucking masterpiece.

God damn…

It’s not often that a movie strikes me this way.

I had every reason not to even WATCH this film.

The premise was too perfect.

Too good to be true.

In English (and on Netflix in the U.S.), it is listed as The Film Critic.

But we pay our respects to international films even if the template of our website goes haywire in so doing.

El Crítico is an Argentine-Chilean coproduction.

Sounds like a wine, right?

Well, this beats any Malbec I’ve ever tasted.

I cannot say enough good things about this picture!

First things first-Hern√°n Guerschuny is a goddamned genius.

From the very start of this film we get the Godard whisper…that voiceover which started (si je me souviens bien) circa 1967 with¬†2 ou 3 Choses¬†que je¬†sais¬†d’elle.

The majority (80%?) of El Crítico is in Spanish, but the remaining 20% (in French) makes all the difference.

We have an Argentine film critic, played masterfully by Rafael Spregelburd, who thinks in French.

We are thus privy to his internal monologue throughout the film.

For anyone who writes about motion pictures, El Crítico is indispensable.

Priceless.

Just right.

[not even a pinch of salt too much]

Dolores Fonzi is really good, but Se√Īor Spregelburd is outstanding.

Spregelburd plays a Godard-obsessed film critic (are you seeing why I like this?) whose fumbling attempts at romance stem from his total immersion in cinema.

Guerschuny deftly interpolates scenes which are “meta-” in the same sense that¬†Cinema Paradiso was essentially¬†a film ABOUT film.

And I am a fan of this approach.

It worked perfectly for the greatest artistic creation in the history of mankind (Histoire(s) du¬†cin√©ma) and it works exceptionally well for Guerschuny’s film [of which James Monaco and¬†la Nouvelle vague I think would be proud].

Guerschuny, like his main character Tellez [Spregelburd], wants to explode the genre of romcom.

Yes, you heard me right:  romcom.

And it thus places¬†El¬†Cr√≠tico in the same tradition as Truffaut’s¬†Tirez sur le pianiste and Godard’s¬†Une Femme¬†est¬†une femme.

But something happens to our protagonist Tellez.

And something, I suspect, is in the heart (!) of director Guerschuny.

This is, in fact, a film about appreciating¬†na√Įvet√©.

It is a postmodern idea.

And an idea dear to my heart.

It’s quite simple, really…

I can appreciate Arnold Schoenberg as much as AC/DC.

Abel Gance as much as Napoleon Dynamite.

The idea is that pretentious films (and film reviews) can become just as tiresome as trite, Entertainment Weekly boilerplate.

Does that magazine even still exist?

I don’t know.

It’s an honest question.

In fact, I wasn’t even sure I had the title correct.

It’s supermarket-checkout-lane film criticism.

But it’s not worthless.

Sometimes the most esteemed, erudite film critics become blind to the beauty around them.

They don’t give simple movies a chance.

On the other hand, there are a ton of crappy movies out there today.

But El Crítico is not one of them.

But let me tell you about the secret weapon of the film under consideration:

Telma Crisanti.

Without her, this movie fails.

Not miserably, but the fa√ßade falls apart. ¬†And then the superstructure…

Ms. Crisanti plays¬†√Āgatha, the 16-year-old niece of our film critic Tellez.

It is she who plants the seed within Tellez’ mind that romantic comedies can be sublime.

But the salient point is this:  the masses are not dumb.

I will stand by Thomas Jefferson on this point till the bitter end.

And so The Film Critic speaks to young and old.  And middle-aged.

It is about miracles.

But it is real.

Simply put, this is the Sistine Chapel of romcoms.

Or, what Michelangelo would have done with the genre.

Simply stunning!

-PD

Slow Learners [2015)

Megyn Kelly and James Alefantis.

Last night.

The worst interview in the history of journalism.

But to know why it was so bad, you must know the context.

#pizzagate

Yes, this is a film review.

Bear with me.

I would like to delineate some slow learners.

First, a group of fake news outlets:

ABC News

Salon

The Washington Post

The New York Times

The New Yorker

Forbes

Mother Jones

Second, a group of censors and their surrogates:

Wikipedia

Twitter

Media Matters *

Snopes

This suffices to give us a good start.

If you don’t want a heaping pile of BS for news on the subject of pizzagate, try

https://voat.co/v/pizzagate

or (for a great general overview)

https://dcpizzagate.wordpress.com

.

The U.S. news media are particularly slow learners.

They assured us that Donald Trump had no chance of being elected President.

Now, they are assuring us that the pedophile ring which has been uncovered by Internet researchers has no chance of being true.

And so Megyn Kelly did a very disgusting thing when she had on a very suspect person (James Alefantis) and verbally genuflected to this man for an entire segment of her vapid “news” show.

If you have an eye for detail, you will have noticed that one of the censorship groups named above (Media Matters) had an asterisk beside it.

That’s became Mr. Alefantis was the lover of David Brock: ¬†founder of¬†Media Matters.

Now…

Why did I single out the aforementioned slow learners (fake news & censors) and not other offending entities such as the completely worthless CNN?

Because, the biggest censor of all (Google) is telling us (by way of their search results) that the above-mentioned entities are the most popular in relation to the search term “pizzagate”.

But let us step back a bit.

We who voted for Donald Trump did not believe the vast majority of American media which told us he had no shot at winning.

Indeed, the more savvy among us understood our ostensible roles as targets in a social engineering operation.

That operation (to get Hillary elected) did not work.

And those of us who have been at this for awhile also know that the media shirked its duty on 9/11, Sandy Hook, and many other events which were sold to us as something other than what they were.

And so now the U.S. news media thinks we are dumb enough to not see through their transparent effort to cover up for very legitimate questions about the child trafficking pedophile network at the heart of the pizzagate story.

Furthermore, the U.S. news media thinks it still has power to memory-hole a giant scandal by way of a pathetic puff piece (like the one Megyn Kelly did on James Alefantis).

Two words:  slow learners.

Which brings us to our film.

[ahhh…]

The slow learners in this film have a personal rather than systemic problem.

They are dorks.

They self-identify as such.

Adam Pally does a nice job as Jeff.

But the real star (in my opinion) is Sarah Burns as Anne.

These two numbnuts are high school teachers.

Well, actually, one is a guidance counselor and the other is a librarian.

But they work at the same high school.

It is a cute story directed by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce.

It is a unique movie.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a masterpiece, but it’s real (unlike Megyn Kelly and James Alefantis).

Our principal players start off as hopeless rejects in the game of romance.

They start off as friends.

But they morph into monsters.

Examples?

Ars Technica

NBC News

NPR

CNN (finally)

FOX News¬†(can Megyn Kelly…pronto)

BBC

The Guardian

Politico

The Daily Beast

The Globe and Mail

Huffington Post

USA Today

Reddit

Those kinds of monsters.

Our protagonists (much like the pedo-protecting Reddit) proceed to censor their own lives.

They censor their old selves.

The world tells them they are not cool enough.

And so they blend in.

They don’t make trouble.

They buy the latest styles.

Pretty soon, there’s nothing left of their souls.

They become thoroughly bankrupt individuals.

As our film is a romantic comedy (albeit an extremely quirky one), I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to tell you that it has a happy ending.

But our parallel case (that of the fake news media and their censoring surrogates) may not have such a happy ending.

We’ve seen what was on James Alefantis’ Instagram account.

We know that Megyn Kelly’s softball questions were completely reprehensible considering what might be at stake.

And thus Slow Learners is a cautionary tale for the global news media.

The U.S. news media is the cutting edge of BS.

But the citizens have had enough.

We know about John Podesta (thanks to WikiLeaks).

We know about Tony Podesta (thanks to WikiLeaks).

We know about the code language in the WikiLeaks Podesta emails.

We know about Tamera Luzzatto.

We know about Obama and his $65,000 of “hot dogs and pizza” .

We know about "cheese pizza".

We know about "pasta".

We know about "dominos" (whatever the hell that encodes to).

We know it's a code.

We know about Comet Ping Pong (run by Mr. Alefantis).

We know about the pedophile symbols rampant on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C.

We know about Besta Pizza.

Maybe we got the wrong Andrew Kline (a mistake in one of my previous posts), but we are still researching.

Because we see the FBI doing nothing.

We see the news media covering up.

We know about Terasol Bistro and Artisan Gallery.

We know about Buck's Fishing and Camping.

Yes, jimmycomet, we know.

We know that Facebook, YouTube, and even 4chan are censoring.

This is unprecedented.

4chan!

We know about the Louise Bourgeois sculpture and its connection to Dahmer.

We know The Washington Post is pulling old, incriminating stories about Tony Podesta.

We know that WaPo's owner, Jeff Bezos, provides $600 million in cloud services to the CIA.

We know "the Russians did it" is BS.

We know about Biljana Djurdjevic.

We know about Kim Noble.

We know about Satanic ritual abuse.

[The Wikipedia article on that topic is truly comical in its assertion that every SRA case (seemingly) has been "proven" to be "fake".  Very convenient.]

We know about Marina Abramovic.

We know about Spirit Cooking.

We know about Lady Gaga. ['bout time for Bud Light to ditch her]

We know about "chickenlovers".

We know about #killroom.

Yes, little innocent Jimmy Alefantis commented on a very suspect looking freezer with "#murder".  Yes, little innocent Jimmy Alefantis that was on FOX News.  Because his establishment was supposedly terrorized by a man with a gun.

We know about false flags.

We know about crisis actors.

We know that real news (like the links I provided above) gets buried on Google when a zero casualty event is reported on by every mainstream news outlet in the country.

And we may be slow learners, but we are the ones who go to page 26 of the Google results to find something.

And if Google screws us (which they so often do), then we look elsewhere.

We are the dorks who read books.

And your story (Messrs. Alefantis, Podesta, and Podesta) does not add up.

I will end my litany here.

We are sick of fake news like what we saw from Megyn Kelly and James Alefantis tonight on FOX News.

And as BREXIT and the Trump victory have already proven, it is you [the news media] who are the true slow learners.

-PD

Playtime [1967)

This took a lot of watching.  Rewatching.

Last night…so tired.

Watched half.  Then rewind.  Dozed off.  Watch same half again.

First time I saw this (years ago) was on the big screen.

It really makes a difference.

That janitor at the beginning.  His strange pause and crouch.  His peering left and right.  His broom and dustpan.

Very little sweeping.  Just clanking.

Yes.  Sounds.  Sounds.  Sounds.  (Zounds!)

The vinyl chairs which return to their shape after you sit and dent.  The strange sound.  The strange quality.

“Quality”

Tradition of quality.

It might lead you to ask:  what was Jacques Tati trying to say with this film?

Answering that is no easy task.

Sure, this seems like a simple, lightweight film.  In some ways it is.

It’s enjoyable.¬† It’s lighthearted.¬† And yet…

There is more than a smidgen of Modern Times here.¬† And Tati, with his pipe…¬† More than a pipe-full of Sartre.¬† Sartre with his publication Les Temps modernes.¬† Even Sartre apparently thought highly enough of Chaplin to work under an homage headline.

And so, Tati…lost in the supermarket.¬† Lost in the buildings from 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle.¬† Same year.¬† 1967.¬† Paris.¬† In the banlieues.

And very few words.

As I said.

A movie of sounds.

Yes.

But images.

Reflections.

Illusions.

It appears.

Optical.

Illusion.

And its reflection.

Double.

Mirror image.

Flipped.

Paris.

It appears that the buttons have been switched.¬† Very nice, WordPress.¬† Now I am “publishing” every time I intend to merely “save” (and vice versa).

That is the theme of the film.

Thingamajigs.

No no no.¬† Take your time.¬† Uh uh uh…hold on.¬† [click click click click]¬† Ok, now rise.

We wait for the entire hallway to be traversed in an absurd observation of ritual.

And from above…the cubicles.

One needs must occupy higher ground to see the big picture.  All of these busy bees become lost in the fray.

Afraid.

True.

And so it is not farfetched to guess that Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards were influenced in their masterpiece The Party (1968) by Tati’s Playtime (1967).

But with Tati there is even more.  An industrial ballet.  The poise of the service industry (and its opposite).  [Both]

A constant counterpoint like a comic Górecki.

Perhaps I have been hitting the wrong button all along.

Have I been saying these things out loud?

Yes, we wonder.

Technology.

We grew up in a different time.

The chairs were different.

The doors were different.

And since we are quiet and meek we spend an eternity in the antechamber.  In the darkened hallway.

How do we get out?

Yes, Paris…even then, perhaps?¬† A drugstore?¬† Yes.¬† Too depressing for anyone to look each other in the eyes.

The hum.¬† The constant hum.¬† Like Alphaville.¬† Like Oskar Sala’s Trautonium.¬† The Birds.¬† Bernard Herrmann as musical consultant.¬† But those noises.¬† Mixtur.

And several waiters will salt the troutonium…and grind pepper…and spread the sauce…and the couple has moved.

The main course has stayed behind.

Heated.  Reheated.  Set on fire.  Jubilee.

Turbot.

And lobster boy just cares about his hair.

Nerval.  Hugo Ball.

But that humming…like Metal Machine Music way ahead of time.¬† But creepier.¬† Like Raymond Scott’s music for babies crossed with Erik Satie’s musique d’ameublement.

Waiting waiting.¬† That’s a theme.¬† And all the illustrious portraits of CEOs past.

Is it a job interview?

And that’s Orly?¬† It seems more like a hospital.¬† Little hummingbird nuns and swaddled kids.

But we shall always live in Barbara Dennek’s dimples.¬† It sounds weird to say.

But it is luck.  Bad luck.  And then good luck.

And random error.  Entropy.

Chaos.

Can anyone here play the piano?

Yes.  Yes I can!

And some half-rate Edith Piaf gets up to sing her long-forgotten hit.

Except no one has forgotten it.  Once a hit, always a hit.

More or less.

The new religion.

The hum of neon.

All the desserts look sickly.¬† Even to the “chef.”¬† Must hide his myst√®re.¬† An apple with some sputtery whip?¬† An upside-down coffee mug?

Mmmm…

William S. Burroughs would doubtless have approved.  The man in the gray flannel suit (book).  But taken to theatrical limits.  Choreography of male primping.  Like Cary Grant on hallucinogens.  A surreal ritual.

Ritual.

This is sociology.

Anthropology.

Paris.  The modern man.

See him in his natural habitat.

See her shop.  See her sell.

See him work.  See him drink.

If you travel, you will see the tourist side.

On a trip.

With a group.

Activities planned.

Like a cruise.

And God forbid you become separated from the group.

Yes.

That is our little romance.

And Tati is meek enough to barely suggest to suggest (x2).

That M. Hulot might find love.

It would be a random day.

He would get pulled this way and that.

And winding up in some crazy, unplanned situation he would become sweet on dimples.

See him in his fishbowl.

Before there was Mr. Bean, there was Monsieur Hulot.

Before there was Forrest Gump.

Tell me…where are the “fancy goods”?¬† Perhaps silk.¬† Herm√®s.

Always caught at the turnstiles of life…

-PD

Sauve qui peut /la vie/ [1980)

12 seconds.  5 minutes.  2 fortnights.  a jiffy.

Really, I shouldn’t have to comment on the commodification of time.¬† Is that not the essence of capitalism?

Into your busy lives cram another blog post.  Another sloppy film review.  A film.

A more professional critic would start by alluding to the copious literature which points to this film as Godard’s return to form.

A strange phrase.  Which form?

Because really, for me, Godard begins here.¬† The known Godard is Parisian Godard…la nouvelle vague.

The unknown Godard is everything else.  As an American consumer it is rather inconvenient to obtain all but the classic films from our auteur.  After Week-end (1967), the DVDs become exponentially harder to come by.

But, as a rule, I digress.  Liberally.  Often.  Without fail.

This, then, would seem to be Godard emerging from the black forest of political filmmaking and ethical soul-searching to find the inklings of his mature style.

It is not an original thought.  The English-language biographies cover this thoroughly.  The device in question is (for lack of a more exact term) slow-motion.

It is the playful wonder of a man who still has the curiosity of a boy.

Technology changing.  New idiosyncrasies to each bit of gear on the market.

It is the same now.  Stash your camera on the top shelf and soon you will not know how to make films.

Your equipment will be obsolete and your knowledge outdated.

But that is all tertiary (tertiary?) in importance.

To our film.

We have characters; plot.  A walk in the wilderness and Godard (with the indispensable Anne-Marie Miéville) returned to a somewhat recognizable form.  As always, however, the form is highly subverted.  One might even say perverted in this particular instance.  It is a strange beauty.  Incomparable.  A triumph.  A mere glimpse of things to come.

Always playing on archetypes, Godard casts singer Jacques Dutronc as Paul Godard.¬† There can be little doubt that this character is meant to represent the filmmaker himself.¬† Every marker is there:¬† the ubiquitous cigar, the glasses, the mannerisms, the disheveled college professor sartorial ensembles…

The stunning Nathalie Baye plays Denise Rimbaud.¬† Here is where the ark types.¬† Arc-en-ciel.¬† A panorama of wispy clouds.¬† Yes, Arthur is never far…nor Baudelaire…nor Sartre and Duras.¬† And Marguerite?¬† Faust.¬† Your soul for a job.

Yes, prostitution returns.  The grand Godardian theme.  Isabelle Huppert plays the role of the sex worker Isabelle Rivière.

The setting?¬† Switzerland.¬† We see the signs at the station.¬† Nyon.¬† Not Lyon, Nyon.¬† It brings us back to that area we visited in Godard’s second film (though it was banned and thus delayed in release) Le Petit Soldat.

The famous scenes are of Baye on a bicycle–of Dutronc in a classroom before a chalkboard reading “Cain et Abel” and “Film et video.”

Yes, the sexual aspects of this film are heavy.¬† This perhaps proves that Godard’s return to mainstream filmmaking was not the end of his rebellious period.

Though there is a plot and there are discernible characters, it is not always clear what is going on.¬† What cannot be disputed is the sadness which Godard brings to light with yet another expos√© of whoring.¬† Likewise, it might be gathered that the filmmaker is commenting on the perception of rural Switzerland as pristine and bucolic.¬† The perverse element of our film echoes previous erotic episodes of Pasolini and Bu√Īuel.

Finally, one can’t help wondering whether the film in question had a formative effect on the Iranian director Kiarostami.¬† As in the later Taste of Cherry, Godard has one last trick up his sleeve to end out Sauve qui peut (la vie).

Indeed, Jean-Luc Godard was starting to find his magic touch again with this film…and its traces attested to a talent which was richer and better than ever before.

-PD

To Write Love on Her Arms [2012)

This film goes beyond film.¬† Which is not to say it doesn’t have its problems.¬† Like the protagonist, it does.¬† But let me tell you why this film is worth it.¬† No…you know what?¬† This is fucking bullshit!¬† That’s not the way to review a film.¬† This is.

It’s gotta come from the heart and mind.¬† Depend too much on the mind and you miss the beauty.¬† Secrets make you sick.¬† Must be a whole lot of sick people in Langley, Virginia and Fort Meade, Maryland.¬† Go on, look it up.¬† It’ll do you good.¬† But for you lazy bums, that’s the CIA and NSA.

I read about the CIA all the time.¬† Why?¬† I’m only answering limited questions today.¬† But suffice it to say that both of these spy agencies are pretty interesting.¬† Don’t you think?

Well, so that’s one of my secrets.¬† It’s not really a secret.¬† It’s pretty transparent.¬† But maybe not.¬† So, there.¬† Like Robert Creeley said.¬† There you have it.

It’s very hard to not drop into John Berryman testimonial mode when talking about this film (oh yeah, this is a film review…duh!).

First things first:  you gotta love a film that premieres at the Omaha Film Festival (!)  Just knowing that Omaha has a film festival makes me feel a little less depressed about my life and the shitty town I live in (San Antonio).

And so…our setting:¬† Orlando.¬† It’s like an outtake from Mister Lonely–Cinderella smoking a cigarette at the bus stop.¬† Headed to the theme park presumably…¬† It’s certainly begging for a Harmony Korine touch, though director Nathan Frankowski does a nice job handling this priceless aside in more of a Terry Zwigoff way.

Wow.¬† Somebody needs to give the Wikipedia page for TWLOHA (the movie) some love.¬† I mean, Jesus!¬† A three-sentence plot summary???¬† There’s lost silent films which have more detailed¬†synopses on Wiki than this!

So I guess my first inclination was correct:  speak from the heart.

Well God damnit!¬† There are some priceless moments in this film.¬† The secret weapon is Rupert Friend.¬† I’ll be damned if he doesn’t strike a stake right to my heart…fondling that pocket watch…¬† It’s no jive-ass MC5 John Sinclair rave-up testifyin’ going on.¬† This is some real shit.

For all of the snobs (like me) in the audience:  you gotta give this film time.  Clear from your mind the unpleasant parallels to the CGI of What Dreams May Come and The Lovely Bones.  IT GETS BETTER.

That said.¬† How?¬† Well, once again Ms. Kat Dennings hits a home run. This is no easy role.¬† It’s a tough, tough, TAXING role to embody with anything even approaching Method Acting.¬† But I have a sneaking suspicion that Dennings felt this role naturally (to a certain extent).

How does this film go beyond film?¬† Because.¬† Ghost World was a masterpiece.¬† Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was perfection for its genre (young adult comedy romance).¬† Charlie Bartlett was a mini-masterpiece…a damn good film.¬† Hell!¬† Daydream Nation was pretty fucking good too.¬† But TWLOHA moves into the social realm…because it touches on depression and substance abuse (not to mention the cutting words of the haiku title) in a real, sobering way.¬† No pun intended.¬† At least not the sober one.

Yeah.¬† What does this mean for you, dear WordPress blogger…or for someone who stumbled across this article?¬† It means you are powerful beyond your wildest belief.

Every time you commit your precious thoughts to the page and share them with people (comma) you are saying the only stuff that people believe anymore.

It doesn’t mean you can talk about reptilians and be taken seriously (no offence to my reptilian theorist brothers…and sisters).¬† No, it means that the only people who have CAPITAL in SINCERITY are everyday people like me…and YOU.

We don’t believe the lies anymore.¬† We’ve swallowed so many damned secrets that we’re sick to death.¬† We can’t sleep.¬† But we are fucking powerful!¬† Hillary Clinton knows it.¬† Zbigniew Brzezinski knows it.¬† I’m not sure if David Rockefeller knows it.¬† Nor George H.W. Bush.

That’s ok.¬† They came from a different generation.¬† Hell…I’m not even a “digital native”…¬† Not a Millennial.¬† I guess I am part of that lamentable flannel fuzzed Generation X.¬† I hyphenate when I damn well please.

I make inside jokes that only I get.¬† I don’t have any friends.¬† Not anymore.¬† But I have family.¬† I have cats.¬† Some days I think my best friend is an extraterrestrial in Turkey.¬† Or a classmate from Iran.¬† But most days my best friend is an actor or an actress.

So to Kat Dennings (and Renee Yohe)…wherever you are.¬† Thank you.¬† It makes a big fucking difference.¬† That you exist.¬† My sentence fragments and idiosyncratic punctuation are yours.¬† Mi casa es su casa.

-PD

The Living Daylights [1987)

It has been famously noted that it took thinkers Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell 86 pages (not to mention the entire Volume I) of their three-volume Principia Mathematica to prove that 1+1=2.¬† The James Bond franchise is similarly long-winded due in part to its serial nature, yet some poignant geopolitical nuggets of knowledge do “explode within the spectacle” to quote Guy Debord.¬† However, we are best served for this Bond installment to remember those words of Ira Gershwin from George’s “Love Is Here To Stay” that “in time the Rockies may crumble/Gibraltar may tumble.”¬† George Gershwin wouldn’t live to see the fruit of his labors as he died from a brain tumor at the tender age of 38 before The Goldwyn Follies (1938) was released with Kenny Baker singing the classic melody which George had crafted…

Our film begins in the skies above Gibraltar.¬† Yes, that strange entrance to the Mediterranean which traces its present “ownership” back to a Hapsburg pretender and the Treaty of Utrecht (1713).¬† Though it is a picturesque start, it may seem rather inconsequential to the movie as a whole.¬† However, it is a germ–a microcosm of what the film proceeds to spin out.¬† Down on “the Rock,” an MI6/SAS drill is “flipped” by a Soviet infiltrator.¬† Flipping drills (going “live”) has been a noted hallmark of false flag terror attacks in the past 15 years, however the ones doing the flipping have almost certainly been the ones running the drills (military/intelligence).¬† Drills serve “nicely” to provide a net of plausible deniability…i.e., “Hey, we were just running a drill.”¬† In flipping a drill, simulated elements (such as a fake bomb) become real elements.¬† [“Real bullets” as they say in The Three Amigos.]¬† This sort of funny business has been going on at least as early as the 1993 WTC bombing.¬† Other, more sophisticated operations would follow.

The salient point for our film is false flag activities.

I must take pause a moment to note that my computer shut itself down as I was delineating a particularly pithy detail of false flag operations.¬† This gives me pause because it calls to mind all number of the dark arts…from Stuxnet to the obviously fake “North Korean” hacking of Sony.¬† Ah, yes…¬† We all walk a thin line.¬† Who am I to be preaching about scruples?

Ah, well…what we have here is a film.¬† I was apprehensive about Timothy Dalton, but he really was superb in this (thus my fears were unfounded).¬† Maryam d’Abo is so stunning and adorable in this flick.¬† The living daylights…fear.

Scare.¬† Bully.¬† Frighten.¬† Sometimes a good scare can me merciful.¬† Kyrie.¬† But take a look back at the “strategy of tension” in Italy.¬† Take a look back at those falsely-attributed bombings (false flags).¬† Look up Gianfranco Sanguinetti.¬† Learn how Aldo Moro was threatened by Henry Kissinger.¬† Learn how the Italian government found out that the bombings were actually carried out by NATO intelligence.¬† It was called Operation Gladio.

Yes, in the service of protecting “liberty,” many atrocities have been committed.¬† If you have never drawn even a momentary parallel between the state of Israel and the Nazis (that would be, to clarify, the Palestinians now in the role the Jews occupied circa WWII), then your imagination may not be operational.¬† This aspect of imagination is not one of fantasy, but rather conceptualization.¬† Abstraction.¬† Analogy.

But really, I’m just a bloke with a crappy laptop, so what do I know?¬† One person can’t change the world, right?¬† Every platform from Facebook to WordPress is infiltrated and screened…keywords which don’t make it through the digital sieves then mark a person or blogger as insurgent.

Ah, that word.

But what we have here is a film which goes from Gibraltar to Afghanistan.¬† We see the raw opium.¬† We hear the phrase mujahidin.¬† We see an Oxford-educated character leading a branch of resistance against the Soviets. We see Operation Cyclone in full effect.¬† And thus, we see what 9/11 was really about (as regards Afghanistan).¬† Of course some other details must be alluded to, such as when our Soviet defector is smuggled out of Czechoslovakia via the Trans-Siberian Pipeline into Austria.¬† And the cherry on top would be to read today’s front page news that according to some estimates the U.S. “war on terror” has cost $14 million an hour since its inception.¬† Where do you think all of that money is going?

Brad Whitaker.  The character played by Joe Don Baker.  That is the final detail.  Weapons.  Arms.  Planes.  Helicopters.  Any intelligent person incapable of drawing some startling conclusions based on the simplest of displays (a double feature of Wag The Dog and J.F.K. for instance) really has a problem with logic.

Ah, but it’s no use against normative/positive purists.¬† The battle lines have been drawn.¬† What you are reading is one of the closest things to what was formerly known as “the media.”¬† In deference to Ralph Waldo Emerson, I will be willing to admit I was wrong (in the strongest of language) should that prove to be the case.¬† My zeal from watching a rather vacuous-but-enjoyable adventure film stems from an urgency that something is exceedingly rotten in “Denmark.”

I could mention a dozen books which would make The Living Daylights more poignant viewing, but none of them are film criticism.¬† And so I shall leave you with but one…the best on the subject.¬† 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA by Webster Griffin Tarpley.

-PD