From Eric Kohn’s Indiewire review: “Albert Serra’s Liberté aims to shock and disturb viewers with a blend of graphic sex and S&M antics to spare, practically inviting some subset of its audience to walk out in the process. While Liberté is at times pornographic, nothing about it qualifies as porn in any traditional sense: The movie is a visual investigation into the roots of sexual liberation in societies steeped in repression. Watching it from start to finish is a means of engaging with the inquiry at its center.
“Serra, a cinematic character himself who parades around the festival circuit in dark shades making deadpan declarations, makes movies that dare you to operate on his wavelength — and then works overtime to make that investment worthwhile. The filmmaker once declared his movies ‘unfuckable’; now, he’s made the ultimate movie about fucking, and it’s fucking hilarious how well he pulls it off.”
Hotshot director Phillip Noyce (Above Suspicion, The Quiet American, Newsfront, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Clear and Present Danger, Dead Calm) and daughter Ayanda, taken relatively recently by Show Me What You Got director Svetlana Cvetko. Svetlana technically risked her life by snapping this and other shots, but I’m told she wore a head-to-toe Zamat suit the entire time.
The layout and graphics of the Criterion Channel are rather pleasing. Soothing even. Plus the film offerings are nicely curated (i.e., not too effete) and egalitarian. I’m still bothered that they won’t specify what format their films are being presented in — 4K, 1080p, 720p or 480p. They’re as forthcoming about formats as North Korea is about the actual health status of Kim Jong Un. (Who may unfortunately be alive, to go by today’s update.) I became a CC subscriber last night. Certainly worth it for $10 a month.
I’ve decided that the coolest sailing ship owned by a Hollywood hotshot was John Ford‘s USS Araner — 106 feet, 147 tons, a significant presence in Donovan’s Reef, now moored in Honolulu. (Ford bought her in 1934, sold her in ’71.) The second coolest is a tie between James Cagney‘s Swift of Ipswitch (bought in ’40, sold in ’58) and David Crosby‘s Mayan, which he owned for 45 years. The third coolest is Humphrey Bogart‘s 55-foot Santana (’45 to Bogart’s death in ’57).
Yes, I’d have trouble defining the differences between a schooner, yawl, sloop, sailboat, ketch and cutter. But I love the romance of the sea plus the idea of having enough time to sail away on one of these things, under whatever circumstance.
Weekends used to mean something. Now they mean nothing. Friday is like Monday or Tuesday or Sunday. I’ve even stopped caring what day it is.
Nonetheless with my so-called life caught in a faintly hellish state of suspension I’ve decided to try and slog my way through The Wire again. But God, I resent this. I feel the same way about watching this fucking show that I used to feel about certain homework assignments when I was in my early teens. It’s partly to do with the intense anti-allure of Baltimore. The pall of Barry Levinson and John Waters, etc.
If I was in Baltimore right now I’d be immediately be plotting my escape. I’m a tristate area guy — New Jersey, Connecticut, Manhattan/Brooklyn. I’m also attached to Boston, Hanoi, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, southern Vermont, Key West, Prague, London, Belize, southern Ireland, San Francisco and Livingston, Montana. Just don’t try and force Baltimore on me…Jesus.
Nobody would love to see Chris Nolan‘s Tenet (Warner Bros., 7.17) in a big, swanky theatre more than myself. But can someone explain what it means to “work overtime to ensure theaters can re-open and that movie exhibition business can come roaring back to life,” as IMAX honcho Richard Gelfond said earlier this week about Nolan? How does anyone “work” to make the pandemic go away?
By the way: In my mind Dunkirk is one of Nolan’s greatest films, right up there with Memento and The Dark Knight. I’ve never watched a 4K version of Dunkirk at home (and that in itself might tell you something) but it’s certainly gained upon reflection.
And yet after the curious plot gymnastics of Inception, the deliberately muddy sound design and infuriating storyline in Interstellar and the atrocious yellow and teal-tinted nostalgia version of 2001: A Space Odyssey that Nolan oversaw, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling a very slight trepidation about Tenet.
Consider what the trailer might amount to if you take away the reversed action sequences and one-two punches like “what happened here?” and “it hasn’t happened yet”. Seriously, it feels like a kind of cinematic three-card monte.
And don’t forget that aside from being a moderately engaging, good-looking actor, John David Washington lacks that tingly, charismatic “it” factor. Nolan hired him because his BlacKkKlansman performance had generated a certain amount of heat, but remember that old remark about Marilyn Monroe‘s star quality, about how “you can’t take your eyes off her when she enters in a scene”? This is precisely what JDW doesn’t have.
Joe Biden‘s campaign tried to starve the Tara Reade charge with a lack of oxygen. Despite inconsistencies and indications about Reade’s character, this strategy didn’t work. And so Joe went on Morning Joe this morning to try another tack. Joe to Mika: (a) “It never happened…period.” (b) “No, it is not true. I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened.” (c) “I assure you it did not happen. Period. Period.”
Berners and righties won’t back off, of course. So what’s next?