Michael Winterbottom‘s The Look of Love, which I saw last night, was/is an almost entirely flat thing to sit through and is enlivened only by Steve Coogan‘s droll (if one-note) performance as British adult magazine and sex-biz entrepeneur Paul Raymond. An impressive recreation of ’60s and ’70s styles and mores, it’s a film that basically says that (a) erotic indulgence has its downside, (b) cocaine tends to fuck your life up and (c) it’s not a good idea to treat your daughter like a fellow bacchanalian. Fascinating!
Lynn Shelton‘s Touchy Feely, which I caught yesterday at noon, is utterly devoid of narrative energy. I started to develop an idea that it’s meant to be a piece of sly self-criticism and as such is a parody of a Lynn Shelton film. (And I’m saying this as a big fan of Humpday and one who was mildly okay with Your Sister’s Sister.) I felt narcotized and worn down by Touchy Feely — it slowly vacuumed out my life force. It’s about what happens when somewhat ordinary Seattle types (i.e., people who resemble Shelton or her friends) are either suddenly gifted with exceptional powers or talents or are suddenly left without them. It tries to get by on a faintly quirky Seattle sensibility, and I just sat there and slowly counted the minutes and napped for five-minute stretches.
James Ponsoldt‘s The Spectacular Now may be, as I’ve been told, a mildly intriguing sit but, as mentioned, I was shut out of yesterday morning’s press-and-industry screening. I guess I’ll catch the Tuesday noon show at the Eccles.
Joseph Gordon Levitt‘s Don Jon’s Addiction is, as I’ve said a couple of times, a decent character piece about the evolution of a Guido type (played by JGL). He starts out with a major porn addiction and a reliance on the Catholic church, and he ends up in a slightly more sensitive and open place. DJA could be a play if it wanted to, and it ends well. Tony Danza and Julianne Moore give the best supporting performances.
I should have seen Blue Caprice yesterday morning at 11:30 am Library showing, but I had to make a choice and I decided to see Touchy Feely instead — bad call.
I saw and reviewed The Summit on Friday — here‘s the link.
Anne Fontaine‘s Two Mothers was a rank embarassment. It’s middle-aged female-fortified soft porn without the soft porn (which at least would have been something), and with atrocious dialogue. I think it might have worked better if it had been spoken in French (i.e., Fontaine’s native tongue), but that would be absurd for a film set in Australia. I walked out after…what, 35 or 40 minutes? Way too much smiling and good-vibing and tender sensitivity. I don’t want to hear another actor or actress say to their son or daughter “are you okay?” ever again.
I really wanted to see Jeff Nichols‘ Mud in Cannes last May, but I had left for Berlin by the time it screened at the very end of the festival. I begged and begged the distributor to let me attend two market screenings and the reps blew me off, and now that it’s viewable I’m not feeling the hunger. I’ll get to it when I get to it. Let them stew for a change.
Marc Silver and Gael Garcia Bernal‘s Who Is Dayani Cristal? is a doc-narrative hybrid that offers compassion and attempts to bestow dignity and heroism upon Mexican immigrants. For me it was almost a complete wash. Question #1: If you’re so dirt-poor you’re riding a freight train all the way through Mexico in order to scale a wall in Arizona, why do you have three kids? Doesn’t it make sense for you and your wife to jointly earn at least a half-decent wage before deciding to shoulder the burdens of parenthood? (Oh, I’m sorry — is that a politically incorrect thing to say?). Question #2: How is crudely tattooing your daughter’s name across your chest an expression of profound love? The tattoo-er might want to ponder the fact that his other two kids will probably feel a tad less loved if he does that…no? Question #3: If you’re using found footage of the dead body of your lead character, why the hell would you digitally erase his face? Show it or don’t show it, but never obscure anything through CG. That’s what cheap TV shows without clearances resort to.
Everyone has told me that Kill Your Darlings is a problem and to take my time seeing it.