Sunday, July 29, 2007

July 29th Log

1969, Ken Loach, United Kingdom

1st Viewing, DVD

Ken Loach’s brilliant 1969 film Kes takes the viewer into the realism of it’s world, reflecting social and psychological meaning of life. The film centers around Billy Casper, a fifteen year old boy who is approaching adulthood and the conformity of a bleak working-class environment that consumes him. In Kes, young kestrel that he adopts and trains, Casper finds an individuality that gives him freedom and hope amongst the conformity and the authoritive figures of school and home (notably his older brother). Using mostly non-professional actors, and real locations, Loach fully absorbs us into the film with a documentary-like filmmaking style. Through this style we are view Casper emergence toward a depressing world of working-class conformity, contrasted by the openness and freedom of the natural landscapes shared in the moments he spends training Kes. Simplistic yet undeniably moving, Kes is a film of transcendent and philosophical emotional depths, made without an ounce of sentiment. This is Loach’s first theatrical film and it remains his most deservedly acclaimed film. Kes is an essential work. One of the truly great humanist films of British cinema.

2007, Joel Schumacher, United States

1st Viewing, DVD

Jim Carrey revises his animal protection role of Ace Ventura. Ok not really, but he does play a dog catcher in his second film with director Joel Schumacher (who directed Carrey in 1995’s Batman Forever). The film opens with a contrived sequence in which a dog supposedly creates the fate of Carrey’s connection to a Book called Number 23. Carry becomes obsessed with the book, believing it to be him, and the film blends reality with fiction all as Carrey’s character does voice-over throughout. Virginia Madsen again gets type-cast as the supportive wife dealing with Carrey’s obsession and paranoia of the number 23 and it’s connections to evil. The film has some fine points, but Carrey’s performance does not fit, and neither does the way the film handles the multiple narrative layers. It eventually becomes to much to handle and it seems as if there is no possible way the film can have a conclusive ending yet it poorly does tack one on.


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