Tag: Drama

2012, Movies

Magic Mike (2012, Steven Soderbergh)

This is an entertaining and engaging comedy drama about male strippers during the financial crisis. It’s sort of an oblique comment on the consequences of the financial crisis and it’s fascinating that Channing Tatum wanting to star in a movie about his life as a stripper before he got famous turned into this film.

1959, 1961, Movies

The Human Condition (1959, 1961, Masaki Kobayashi)

This is an epic film, released as a series, that adapts an epic novel. Taken as a whole film, it is one of the longest narrative films ever – by my count the 8th or 9th longest ever, and probably the longest ever made at the time of its release. But it was released as …

1955, Movies

Pather Panchali (1955, Satyajit Ray)

Don’t ask me why I saw Aparajito first but I did. (It’s an A movie and I must not have known it was a sequel years ago when I saw it.) But it was long enough ago that I don’t really remember it (and long enough ago that I lost my review when Zip.ca died). …

1964, Movies

Woman in the Dunes [砂の女 or Suna no onna] (1964)

This is a really distinct and kind of crazy film that pairs a plot that could be in a horror film with a bit of a retelling of the story of Sisyphus. It is also, perhaps, the most incredible use of sand in a movie in film history. Very mild spoilers

1954, Movies

Sansho dayu [Sansho the Bailiff] (1954), directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

There’s a high standard to meet “The Greatest Film of All Time.” Though it’s sometimes not #1 on lists, Sansho the Bailiff has been called “The Greatest Film of All Time,” “Perfect” and many other things and when it’s not considered the single greatest, it’s often on a very short list. It’s even harder for …

2014, 2015, 2017, TV

The Leftovers (2014)

This is a well-made show with at least one fatal flaw. (And possibly two. I didn’t get that far.) Recommended as ideal for watching during the pandemic we found quite the opposite: that the pandemic actually made the whole thing seem far less believable than it might have seemed when it first aired.

2007, Movies

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007, Cristian Mungiu)

This is an extraordinarily bleak film. You probably know it as the “Romanian abortion movie”. It’s a pretty extraordinary film despite its bleakness and is very close to being a masterpiece, in my opinion. If you haven’t seen it yet – it took me nearly 14 years for some reason – I would recommend it …

2006, Movies

Private Fears in Public Places aka Coeurs (2006, Alain Renais)

This is an incredibly stagey French adaptation of a British play. I’m not familiar with the playwright but I can’t imagine getting excited about seeing one of his plays, if this is faithful.

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, TV

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

When I was younger and had recently fallen in love with serialized TV dramas, I had this idea that I was going to write a book about the antecedents of the Golden Age of Television. (At first this was going to be about the Golden Age of Television, but that book already exists.) This book …

2008, Movies

Entre les murs aka The Class (2008, Laurent Cantet)

This is a French version of the “How can I reach these kids?!?!” genre, a genre I really, really dislike. But, I must say, this is a pretty excellent variation in part because it avoids most of the pitfalls of the American style.

2017, Movies

La caméra de Claire (2017, Sang-soo Hong)

This is an extraordinarily slight film rendered sophisticated in the eyes of some by its unconventional narrative structure and the presence of Isabelle Huppert. Ever watch a critically acclaimed film where you wonder if the critics and you watched the same film? Well, it’s one of those.

2020, Movies

2020 Toronto International Film Festival

For what may be the third year in a row, I only saw 5 movies at TIFF. Every year I resolve to see more the next year but it never seems to happen. Now, this year is different, obviously. This year I watched TIFF films on my couch. And this year I only watched 5 …

2020, Movies

Nuevo orden aka New Order (2020, Michel Franco)

This is a very promising film about class conflict in Mexico that gets really confused and, for me, goes off the rails to the point where I am kind of astounded it won a Grand Jury Prize at a film festival. SPOILERS later in the review.

1988, Movies

Cinema Paradiso (1988, Giuseppe Tornatore)

There is a genre of film that is basically someone remembering their life growing up in a small town. (As opposed to the genre of going home to a small town.) For reasons beyond me, most of the movies I’ve seen in this genre have been Italian -maybe they are better reviewed? – so it’s …

1981, Movies

Die Fälschung aka Circle of Deceit (1981, Volker Schlöndorff)

This is an extraordinary movie, a little like a more cynical Killing Fields, or a less plot-driven Quiet American. A German journalist with marital problems is sent to cover the war in Lebanon. The film was shot primarily in Beirut, during the civil war, and the location shooting does a ton of the work.

2011, Movies

Moneyball (2011, Bennett Miller)

This is an enjoyable dramatization of the Oakland As’ 2002 season, from the perspective of their General Manager, who was trying to win games with the lowest budget in baseball. I say dramatization because there is a lot of poetic license here, and because the most important players on that team are barely even acknowledged.

2008, Movies

A Christmas Tale (2008, Arnaud Desplechin)

The way I watch older movies is I go through my ridiculously long 90-page list and see what I can watch on Netflix or borrow from the library. I rarely remember why I added them. That can lead to some pretty hilarious misunderstandings when I added something I really didn’t mean to. Or, as in …

1985, Movies

A Chorus Line (1985, directed by Richard Attenborough)

I don’t really know what to do here: I’ve never seen the stage show, as musicals aren’t really my thing, and there are lots of people who will tell you the movie is inferior to the show. On the other hand, I understand why the show was a big deal, because I watched this movie.