Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 5th - September 11th Log

The website was down for the past week due to several internal modifications. I will try to return to regular posting, but in the meantime here is a very brief recap of the past weeks log…

Most of this month I have been watching the entire Azumanga Daioh anime series. 26 episodes over a six disc set, this series is well worth the time invested. It is a quirky fun in the warmest and most honest of manners. I really loved the feeling this series left me with. The characters are the strength, but the visual animation and storytelling are also quite good... I watched was Luis Bunuel’s Milky Way, said to be the first of a thematic trilogy (with The Phantom of Liberty and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie). The Milky Way touches further on Bunuel’s fascination with religion (Catholicism). The result is a film that is uneven (perhaps intentionally so) but certainly interesting and well worth checking out as a companion to Bunuel’s late masterworks. I also watched acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s fifth film… A follow up to his bleakest film (Crimson Gold) Offside may be Panahi’s most accessible work, yet one that reexamines the role of the woman in Iran and it is made with his typical documentary-like style… Some other films I have been watching this month are those by David Gordon Green and Todd Haynes, two of my favorite filmmakers in current American cinema. Still awaiting the release of Green’s 4th film (which premiered at Sundance and should reach American theaters in 2008), I re-watched his third film Undertow, Green's most narrative-based film. He's working within genre, but rather then conveying cliches, Green takes a genre formula into a style very few can capture. Really, Green's films have such a unique and distinctive quality. While they obviously take place in the south, his films have a timeless and placeless-ness to it. Even though Undertow is his most conventional narrative film, story (as always with Green) is overshadowed by atmosphere and mood. I plan of viewing some more Haynes films later this month, but one I did recently rewatch was his brilliant 1987 masterpiece Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. Reinventing the boundaries of the biopicture, Haynes gives us a unique look into multiple genres without relying on the gimmick of the concept. Ultimately Haynes transcends the gimmick into artistic and ironic depths that make it truly a rare achievement…. Tow other films I saw, Georgia Rule, which I did not really enjoy, and a repeat viewing of Woody Allen’s Scoop, which can absolutely be enjoyed when not taken too seriously.


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