Friday, May 25, 2007

May 25th Log

2007, Adrienne Shelly, United States
1st Viewing, Theater

If only life were as easy as pie.” Watching Waitress it is difficult not to think about the tragic death of director, writer, and actress Adrienne Shelly, who was murdered in November 2006. Shelly is most known as an actress, but Waitress is her third feature film as a director. I have not seen her other films, but this one was really enjoyable and quite moving. Shelly depicts most of the characters (most specifically the men) as exaggerated, but it effectively works with the tone and narrative of the film. Waitress is really a sweet and charming film, with moments of humor, inspiration, and compassion, notably for women in tough marriages or relationships. Kerri Russell shines in the lead as a waitress who uses her talented pie making as an escape and a dream away from her cruel husband, who she discovers has unexpectedly made her pregnant. Cheryl Hines and Shelly are also quite good as her coworkers, and Russell and Nathan Fillion (as the nervous doctor) have some strong chemistry together. Waitress is a charming and sweet film that easily wins over its audience.

1942, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

Repeat Viewing, DVD

There Was A Father is one of only two films Ozu made during the war, yet ironically this may be his most peaceful and quiet film. Just about every film Ozu has made is simplistic in approach, but this may actually be his most simplistic film. There is no direct reference to the war, but rather a deeply sympathetic father-son relationship (in contrast to his more traditional father-daughter relationship) which details the importance of the parent and the separation of family. More specifically the film deals with the duties of life, but this is handled in such a simplistic grace in the hands of Ozu, as much of the emotional core is hidden underneath the surface (as is the presence of war) I'm not sure if the camera ever even moves, and there are some definitive Ozu pillow shots. Ozu regular Chishu Ryu, who starred in almost all of his films, gives yet another brilliant subtle performance.

>>> More on There Was A Father @ A2P Cinema's Yasujiro Ozu website HERE

>>> Here is a clip from There Was A Father:


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