Saturday, September 22, 2007

September 22nd Log

2005, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Japan
Repeat Viewing, DVD

Linda Linda Linda is a joy of a film. One that is irresistibly sweet and silly and inspiring. Simple and full of energy, the film is driven by it’s moments between the narrative. The setting is a high school and the story centers around an all-girl rock band that wants to perform at the schools local rock festival. When the lead singer leaves the band, they get a shy Korean exchange student as a replacement. Predictable or simple as the story is, it is an absolute gem. You know where it’s going, but the pleasure is the moments within. You connect with these characters and the awkward gestures and conversations they share. The performances are wonderful, but it is Bae Doo-Na that is the standout. One of the very best actresses of her generation, Bae always commands attention on screen the way she boldly captures the essence of her characters. Here she is so warmly loveable as the Korean exchange student. The other character of the film is the music. Linda Linda Linda finds the core of music as a function of spirit and soul and of togetherness. Here it defines the punk-rock inspirations and speaks of individuality. When the ending arrives, it connects on a universal level. It takes over the human soul and encourages you to jump up and sing along: “Linda Linda … Linda Linda Lindaaaaddddaaaaa!!!” It’s irresistible and you will be unable to get it out of your head long afterwards. Linda Linda Linda is funny and quirky. It is a film that you watch and admire for it’s humanity and energy.

1959, Otto Preminger, United States
Repeat Viewing, Turner Classic Movies

Anatomy of a Murder is not only one of (if not the!) greatest courtroom films ever made, it's also among the truly greatest films of all-time, period! There's just so much to love about this film. It's a film that was years ahead of it's time and remains fresh, and exciting today. Otto Preminger's direction is simply put, flawless. Even at 160 minutes, there is not a moment wasted (from the legendary Saul Bass' wonderful opening title design sequence through the "poetic justice for everyone", final shot of the high heel). There are many factors that Anatomy of a Murder such an engaging film, but none more then the jazz score of the genius Duke Ellington. Ellington is, to me, the greatest musical composer/songwriter of the 20th Century, and here he makes his landmark statement in cinema, with one of the most absorbingly beautiful scores in film history. The always brilliant James Stewart gives yet another memorable performance, as does George C Scott in the role of the prosecuting attorney. Together they display a fascinating display of intelligence, depth, chemistry, and alot of humor. There are some unforgettable, fast, and witty verbal exchanges that capture a comedic, an authentic, and a dramatic emotional response. Anatomy of a Murder often gets forgotten among the greatest films in American cinema, however it's timelessness and brilliance has proven it's certainly worthy of such recognition!


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