Jennifer’s Body

Friday, September 11, 2009 

We saw Jennifer’s Body at TIFF09.  It is a fun fright fest, I mean how can you go wrong with a super hot high school girl turned human-flesh eating demon who seduces boys and then rips them to shreds.  Plus, as a bonus, there is the hottest lesbian kiss in mainstream media between Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried.

Alas, while Jennifer’s body (the physical corpus) is very much worth of the general public’s lust, there’s no gratuitous nudity, not even a single breast, despite many opportunities.  There’s a single distant shot of Fox swimming naked across a lake, but otherwise more about the blood than the boobies.

In the end, the omission of fleeting nudity is forgivable as the two stars more than make up for it with a light-hearted and funny screen presence and some very sexy moments.  It was an entirely enjoyable experience.  And it was nice to see Ash.

Posted at 09:47:53 GMT-0700

Category: filmsPositivereviews

Das weiße Band

Friday, September 11, 2009 

I saw The White Ribbon at the Telluride Film Festival.  It’s a well crafted film about some very problematic children in Germany just before the first world war.

The movie is intended to in some way illuminate a fertile ground that permits fascism to later grow.  While I found the characters interesting and the cinematography particularly beautiful in some scenes, I did not find anything in the story that seemed to suggest that these people were atypically prepared to turn fascist.

The premise seems to be that the children have committed some particularly brutal and random crimes (stringing a wire in the path of a horse and breaking the shoulder of the rider, tying another child up and caning him, tying yet another up and possibly blinding him) and that these “punishments” were “visited” on the children of sinners (except the first, visited on the sinner himself or perhaps on his horse), as justified in a letter left with the last.

That children would commit atrocious acts of brutality is hardly unique and certainly insufficient as an explanation for the rise of the Nazi party.   Further, the parent’s “sins” are not particularly shocking, though the doctor isn’t overwhelmingly sympathetic despite having a particularly funny sex scene.

It is a well-constructed character study, if a bit slow; a story of some complex and dramatic events, if lacking a strong conclusion; but not for me a revelatory view of the foundations of fascism.

Posted at 01:18:15 GMT-0700

Category: filmsNeutralreviews

Red Riding 1974, 1980, 1983

Friday, September 11, 2009 

I saw Red Riding at the Telluride Film Festival. It is a three part story of a corrupt police force in Yorkshire over three different eras, each marked by murders. As the series goes on, the weight of the unsolved crimes accumulates until it reaches a breaking point in the third, 1983.

Each movie was done by a different director, and the first, 1974, was the best.  It had the strongest story line and the best acting.  Andrew Garfield as a reporter was particularly good.  1980, about the yorkshire ripper, seemed to stand somewhat apart from the trilogy, though it did advance certain aspects of the story of police corruption.  The last, 1983, brought the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion and was certainly a powerful bit of storytelling, but I found it somewhat burdened by flashback references to the earlier movies that proved a little confusing given the complex story line.

The series was well received at Telluride and many people thought it was one of the best in the festival.  I enjoyed it very much, though I was glad I watched the whole series through in one sitting.

Posted at 00:46:40 GMT-0700

Category: filmsPositivereviews