Monday, July 6, 2009

Short reviews

Films recently seen:

Man Bites Dog A totally overrated film. With barely a few interesting ideas, the film is laziness on the part of the filmmaker, who refuses to dig any deeper into the character. There is nothing innovative in the film apart from the default innovation that the mockumentary genre offers. That said, one can understand the response the film generated in 1996. Even though, this is way after the cult mockumentaries This is Spinal Tap, Woody Allen's Zelig, and Kiarostami's film Close-up blending documentary footage with staged recreation, it's still one of the few films using the genre to follow an interesting fictitious character. Also brimming in the European pot around the same time was the Dogme 95 movement. Handheld cameras and improvisational acting were in. The director was only 26 when he made the film, and this is the only film he made before he died at 40.

Dead Man The moody poetic Kafkaesque Western by Jim Jarmusch has been growing on me since I saw it two days ago. Beautiful cinematography by Robby Müller who also later shot Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves for Lars von Trier.

The Sea that Thinks A self reflexive, self conscious experiment in writing that at times manages to engage and stimulate, at others remains outright sophomoric. The optical illusions documented and alluded to are quite basic and highly popular. Though I'll always remember the film for the optical illusion of the opening scene. The the optical illusion of the house is brilliantly produced.