Art Opinions

Posts tagged Cinema

I thought I would supply my answers to the following questions:

Chabrol photographed by Pierre-Olivier

What is your all-time favorite movie?
It would have to come down to the following films:
Belle de Jour
Breathless (1960)
The Exorcist/Rosemary’s Baby

Belle de Jour

The Exorcist

Robert Altman’s NASHVILLE

Rosemary’s Baby

Jean-Luc Goddard’s Breathless

Woody Allen’s MANHATTAN

Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet

In The Mood For Love/2046
OldBoy (Korean Version)
The Big Lebowski
3 Iron




In The Mood For Love


Kim Ki-duk’s 3 Iron

What is your all-time top best movies list?

Belle de Jour
Blue Velvet

The Wizard of Oz

Harold and Maude

The Godfather

Don’t Look Now

The Wizard of Oz

Harold and Maude

The Godfather Parts I and II
Don’t Look Now
In The Mood For Love
O Brother Where Art Thou?

O Brother Where Art Thou?

Fellini’s 8½
3 Iron

3 Iron — weightless love…

Rosemary’s Baby
The Exorcist

Fellini’s 8½

What is your personal favorite movie?
Only ONE?!?!?  I could never limit to only one:
Tommy/OldBoy/A Star Is Born (1976)/The Wizard of Oz/Ma Mere/3 Iron/Wild At Heart/For Pete’s Sake/Survive Style 5+

Ken Russell’s TOMMY



David Lynch’s WILD AT HEART

Diane Ladd in WILD AT HEART

Laura Dern as Lula in David Lynch’s WILD AT HEART

Who are the 5 top most important film makers thus far?

A virtually impossible question to answer as art is so subjective. I am unable to limit it to only five filmmakers
Claude Chabrol
Jean-Luc Goddard
Luis Buñuel
Orson Welles
John Huston
Kim Ki-duk

Kim Ki-duk’s DREAM

Federico Fellini
Robert Altman
Hal Ashby
Roman Polanski
The Coen Bros
Bernardo Bertolucci
Alfred Hitchcock
Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire

Woody Allen
Pedro Almodóvar
David Lynch
Wong Kar-Wai
Paul Thomas Anderson

PT Anderson’s Magnolia – this sometimes happens…

Steven Spielberg
Martin Scorsese
Park Chan-Wook
Lynne Ramsay
Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums
Takashi Miike
Lars von Trier
David Fincher
And, although I am not a fan of his work I think one must list George Lucas as a key film director

Star Wars

Who are the 6 most interesting/talented film actors – male and female?
Male: Brando/Fassbender/DeNiro/Newman/Hardy/Choi Min-sik/Asano
Female: Streep/Theron/Morton/M Williams/Huppert/B. Davis/Hepburn
Which emerging filmmakers interest you?
Evan Glodell
Yorgos Lanthimos
Lena Dunham
Andrew Haigh
Spencer Susser

Evan Glodell’s BELLFLOWER

Which actors gave the most powerful film performances?
Brando: Last Tango
Huppert: The Piano Teacher/Merci Pour le Chocolate/Ma Mere

Isabelle Huppert in Ma Mere

Theron: Monster/Young Adult
Ryan Gosling/Michelle Williams: Blue Valentine
Fassbender: Hunger/Shame
Jean-Paul Belmondo: Breathless

Jean Belmondo in Breathless

Hepburn: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
Julianne Moore: Safe
DeNiro: Taxi Driver/The King of Comedy
Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver
Bette Davis: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?/Now Voyager/The Little Foxes
Ruth Gordon: Rosemary’s Baby
Choi Min-sik: OldBoy
Shelley Duvall: 3 Women

Shelley Duvall as one of Robert Altman’s 3 Women

Malcom MacDowell: A Clock Work Orange
Tom Hardy: Bronson

Tom Hardy as Bronson

Dennis Hopper: Blue Velvet
Vivien Leigh: A Streetcar Named Desire
Jeff Bridges: The Big Lebowski
Laura Dern: Wild At Heart/Citizen Ruth/Inland Empire

Laura Dern transforms – this time in David Lynch’s INLAND EMPIRE

Jessica Lange: Real Men Don’t Leave
Peter Sellers: Being There
Jennifer Jason-Leigh: Georgia
Gary Oldman/Chloe Webb: Sid & Nancy

Chloe Webb & Gary Oldman as SID & NANCY

Madeline Kahn: What’s Up Doc?/Young Frankenstein
Tony Leung: In The Mood For Love/2046
What is the most important factor regarding the making of a movie?
Do you read film reviews prior to seeing a movie or after seeing it?
Only the first and last two lines of a film review — and, only then if I am on the fence about whether or not I want to see it. Those 4 lines from a solid film critic will either make me want to pay to see it or skip it.
What are the biggest omissions by the Oscars?
A rather stupid question and there are far too many to list, but…
Gary Oldman/Chloe Webb: Sid & Nancy
Jack Nicholson/Shelley Duvall: The Shining

Jack Nicholson with too much work in Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING

Holly Hunter: Raising Arizona/Broadcast News/Crash
Tom Hardy: Bronson
Michael Fassbender: Shame

Fassbender/Mulligan: SHAME

Charlize Theron: Young Adult
Ryan Gosling/Michelle Williams: Blue Valentine
Piper Laurie: The Hustler/Carrie/Hesher
Jared Leto/Marlon Wayans: Requiem for a Dream
Ellen Burstyn: The Exorcist/Requiem for a Dream

Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream

Jim Carrey: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Julianne Moore: Safe/Magnolia
Mickey Rourke: Barfly/The Wrestler
Ruth Gordon: Harold and Maude
Vanessa Redgrave: The Devils

Vanessa Redgrave in Ken Russell’s THE DEVILS

Bette Davis: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Peter Sellers: Being There/Glenn Close: Fatal Attraction
Faye Dunaway: Momie Dearest/Sandy Dennis: Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean
Elizabeth Olsen: Martha Macy May Marlen
Laura Dern: Citizen Ruth
Jeff Bridges: The Big Lebowski

The dude abides. Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski

Klaus Kinski: Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Kathleen Turner: Crimes of Passion
Jessica Lange: Men Don’t Leave/Titus
Bill Murray: Lost In Translation

Bill Murray in Lost In Translation

Kim Cattrall: Meet Monica Velour
Tony Leung: In The Mood For Love
Angie Dickinson: Dressed To Kill
Ewan McGregor: Trainspotting


Chris New: Weekend
Tilda Swinton: We Need to Talk About Kevin
Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Mysterious Skin
Michael Fassbender: Hunger/Shame
Nicolas Cage: Wild At Heart
Carrie Mulligan: Never Let Me Go/Shame
Burt Reynolds: Starting Over/Semi-Tough/The Longest Yard
Jennifer Jason-Leigh: Georgia

Jennifer Jason-Leigh in Georgia

Is there any movie you’ve not seen that you would like to see more than any other?
There are two:
Health by Robert Altman

Robert Altman’s H.E.A.L.T.H.

Welcome to LA by Alan Rudolph

Welcome to LA

What are the most interesting cinematic mistakes?
Valley of the Dolls
Mommie Dearest
Moment by Moment

Lily Tomlin and John Travolta are passionate lovers in Moment By Moment. Viewers are still in recovery…

Blade Runner (brilliantly filmed and hypnotic, but ultimately it never quite works)
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Synecdoche New York

Ken Russell’s Lisztomania

The Tenant
La Luna

Bertolucci’s Luna …fascinating cinematic mistake.

Fellini Cassanova
Diana Ross as MAHOGANY...
Roller Boogie
Crash (1996)
Funky Forest: First Contact

Funky Forrest: First Contact

What movie most surprised you in 2012 and which movie most disappointed you?
Surprised: THE Paperboy
Disappointed: The Master

Lee Daniel’s The Paperboy

Macy Gray in Lee Daniel’s THE PAPERBOY

A Film By Lynne Ramsay


Lynne Ramsay, 2011

Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller

Musical Score: Jonny Greenwood

“…In the wake of a tragedy like the Colorado shooting, the families of victims must navigate a complicated emotional landscape. But so, too, must the families of those charged with the crimes, as they suddenly face all kinds of deeply disturbing questions…”

, NPR – All Things considered, August 1.2012

Tilda Swinton and John C. Riley in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

With the most recent senseless tragedy, it reminds me of how everyone gets tied up in all the wrong questions — the biggest error in thinking is to ask “why” —

Something that both the book and the film by Lynne Ramsay address is that beyond that insanely simple question lies the more important concern: “how does this end up happening?” 

As a society we are so quick to blame the parents, but in truth the problem goes much deeper. The “signs” and “messages” sent by a child/young person/adult sends are sometimes quiet and disarming to those closest to them. Objectively, there are always “signs” and “messages” but we as a society fail to take notice. We fail to address. We fail to actually listen to the people around us. 

A parent going it alone in her concerns…

When a spouse/parent/sibling/lover/teacher/doctor/fellow student/co-worker/friend/supervisor notices something and brings it to the attention of another – the knee jerk reaction is to comfort and question. This knee jerk reaction is a more comfortable way to respond to someone saying things like:

“I’m concerned about the way Kevin is acting.” 

“Kevin acts one way with you but another with me.”

“Something Kevin did really worries me.”

“Why does Kevin never come out of his room?”

…is to say something like: 

“Oh, I’m sure Kevin will be fine.”

“Don’t worry so much. Kevin is just going through a phase.”

“I think you’re exaggerating.”

“Oh, well, look it – Kevin’s under a lot of pressure. He’ll work through it.” 

This is a mistake. Not only do we fail to provide an individual to express their concerns and treat them as possibly valid as have many relatives, friends, co-workers, teachers, students and even doctors. This was certainly the case for the families of the two students who committed the unspeakable crimes in Columbine. The parents did seek help and it is clear that the parents of the young man who premeditated a horror beyond imagination at a cinema in Colorado. 

If someone in your life expresses a concern about anything — you need to listen and talk about Kevin. 

The self-defensive and easy way is to avoid discussion. The important thing is to actually push to discuss and address.  Otherwise, the caring people closest to the criminals are left alone. Isolated and blamed. Ignored, Alone and Ultimately Blamed...

We learn this from every family that goes through the horror of discovering that their child or their husband or lover or friend or brother or sister or relative is a mass murderer.  And, most often, we as a society/culture place the blame on those closest to the criminal. They then become the ultimate criminal in our minds. Which is so wrong.

No parent sets out to raise a cold-blooded killer. 

A mother worries. A father rolls his eyes. And, a doctor hurries through and pays no attention…

We need not ask “why” — we need to ask “how” and to start listening to the people we care about and with whom we share and spend our time. 

“Why” is the easy way out….

Recently, the father of the man who is The Unabomber stated that he and his wife plan to write the parents of the man who took so many innocent lives in a Colorado cinema to let them know that they are not alone and that they are available to talk with them if they need to do so.
Imagine the enormous feeling of guilt and absolute failure to discover that your child has committed such an evil act.
My love and positive thoughts for healing go out to all the people who lost so much but also to the family of the man who caused these loses.
Matty Stanfield

Amarcord by Federico Fellini, 1973

Amarcord is a neologism Fellini contrived from, which comes closest to the Emiliano-Romagnolo dialect phrase mi ricordo (I remember). Fellini, a great liar, denied this origin, claiming instead that it was a mysterious, cabalistic word, linked to invention rather than memory. 

Amarcord by Federico Fellini, 1973

Amarcord embodies this equivocation between memory and invention, between a world represented (remembered) and a world created (imagined). 

Amarcord, Fellini, 1973

Amarcord is not memory — or if it is, it is a false memory – not fragments of what once was but fragments of what is imagined to have been…”

Sam Rohdie, from his essay on Fellini’s AMARCORD –

Federico Of The Spirits, 2011

Amarcord, the boat of dreams. Federico Fellini, 1973


Federico Fellini, 1973

Cinematography: Guiseppe Rotunno

Fellini’s AMARCORD, 1973


Lust Re-Rememberd by Fellini in AMARCORD, 1973

“You begin to shoot an action, and suddenly you are taken with the shimmering of light on a crystal of glass”

Federico Fellini, 1972

“…Such processes, essentially irrational, unconscious, almost impossible to plan (the vagaries of light, a sudden glimmer of recognition), were for Fellini (impressed by Jungian psychology and  its notion of archetypes) signs of creativity and artistry. They were the I, the Me, of Fellini…”

Sam Rhodie, Federico Of The Spirits, 2011

Federico Fellini’s 1973 cinematic master piece is now available completely restored to its original glory on Blu-Ray and DVD by Criterion.