Thursday, July 12, 2007

July 12th Log

1964, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japan
Repeat Viewing, DVD

Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes is one of the most unique films ever made. It's a poetic, beautifully shot, erotic, haunting examination of existence and identity. Really the film is unlike any other. The photography is absolutely stunning. Deep, deep focus (the sand!!), rich details, and elegant eroticism create an atmosphere of claustrophobia and sexual undertone. Woman in the Dunes looks, feels, and moves like a strange and beautiful dream. The questionof existence and it's meaning or what's needed to truly "exist" are oddly and eerily questioned throughout. Simply put, The Woman in the Dunes is a stunning film of curiosity. It's poetic power and mysteries will captivate and intrigue. This is as unique as artistic cinema gets, and remains a must see for anyone interested in the art form.

>>> Here is a clip from Woman in the Dunes:

2007, Michael and Mark Polish, United States
1st Viewing, DVD

The Astronaut Farmer is a film with well-intended inspirational storytelling about believing in yourself and in your dreams. However the script is a complete mess that moves along at a feverish pace trying to give us every possible cliché imaginable. The messages are obvious and forceful, but the biggest problem is that the film just tries to do much in so little amount of time, resulting in a film that is uneven and sloppy. This is the fourth feature form twin brothers Michael and Mark Polish. I liked their previous work and this is their first attempt at mainstream filmmaking and I guess they were aiming for a Frank Capra-esque inspirational type of film. Unfortunately I do not think they succeed. The performances are pretty good for roles the have become the typical type for the actors (both Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen as well as the character actors play the similar type of roles they have before). I guess if you can take this film lightly as a story about dreams it can have some qualities, but it never really worked for me.


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