Tag: Dramedy

2022

The Cold War Part 1 (part of The Village of Small Huts) Live at Video Cabaret on May 13, 2022

This was my third Village of Small Huts/Video Cabaret experience and it was a reminder of how distinct their performances are and how much underknown I think the whole thing is. As a reminder: Video Cabaret is a theatre troupe that incorporates audio and visual elements into their productions. The Village of Small Huts is …

2008, Movies

Synecdoche, New York (2008, Charlie Kaufman)

I’ve finally gotten around to watching the film that temporarily killed Charlie Kaufman’s career as a director. If you don’t know Charlie kaufman was one of the most acclaimed American screenwriters of his era, and then he made this film. Though it is now regarded by some of one of the best movies of that …

1937, Movies

Make Way For Tomorrow (1937, Leo McCarey)

This film is maddening and all the more maddening given its reputation. I suspect its reputation is earned in part from the Americans who had not seen films like this and decided that this must be some kind of masterpiece. Why did Orson Welles like this movie so much? Had he never seen anything like …

1957, Movies

Nights of Cabiria [Le notti di Cabiria] (1957, Federico Fellini)

Some people say, I prefer the “early, funny” Woody Allen, in preference to his more ambitious and serious films of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Well, I have similar feelings about Fellini; I prefer the “early, realist” Fellini, or what I might less charitably call the “early, good” Fellini. I find Fellini’s later films incomprehensible …

2015, Movies

High-Rise (2015, Ben Wheatley)

I have read only one J.G. Ballard novel though I have seen a couple of films adapted from his books. I thought I had seen more than one of Ben Wheatley’s movies, but it turns out I’ve just seen one. On paper, I think I can probably see the Ballard-Wheatley pairing as a match made …

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.

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 …

1989, Movies

Steel Magnolias (1989, directed by Herbert Ross)

This is one of those “women’s movies” that I avoided like the plague when I was younger. (Not entirely true – when I was in my teens I would catch 10 minutes of one on TV and rate it without watching it, inevitably giving it a ridiculously low rating.) One of the many things I …

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.

2019, Movies

Hustlers (2019, Lorene Scafaria)

This is a pretty heavily stylized dramatization of a true story of strippers ripping off rich men in post crash New York City. I somehow never read the infamous article – though I’m going to now – so I can’t comment onto how accurate the depiction is. (Though that is not something I usually care …

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, TV

BoJack Horseman (2014)

There’s something about animation that gives TV shows (and some movies) a freedom of tone which is not accessible to live action movies and TV. Something about animated characters lets us humans be more accepting of tonal shifts and sight gags. At least I think so. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered another show more …

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 …

2019, TV

Russian Doll (2019)

So let me try to tell you as little as possible: this is a funny show with lots of pathos that deftly balances dark comedy with strong performances of people with metal health problems. If any of that interests you, see this without learning anything else about it. Ideally, if you can even avoid knowing …

1965, Movies

Chimes at Midnight aka Falstaff (1965, Orson Welles)

Like many of Welles’ later films, the strange history of this film is almost as interesting as the movie itself. It’s the kind of saga that makes me want to read a biography of Welles though I think there’s a documentary that just came out, isn’t there? Anyway…

2015, Movies

Chevalier (2015, Athina Rachel Tsangari)

I am somewhere in the middle when it comes to “people being awful” or “people being dumb” movies. I generally find them amusing but my degree of amusement doesn’t just depend upon the quality of the film, it also regularly depends upon my mood and where I watch them – if I am in a …

2018, Movies

Support the Girls (2018, Andrew Bujalski)

This is one of those films which focuses on an eventful day in the lives of the employees of a small business. There are a bunch of these films but for some reason the film we both thought of afterwards was Empire Records, though this is a very different movie (it should go without saying). …

2008, Movies

C’est pas moi, je le jure! (2008, directed by Philippe Falardeau)

I have never enjoyed stories about little boy hellions. I remember watching Problem Child and its sequel and the Denis the Menace movie as a child and being bothered by them, even while I believe I did laugh at the slapstick. (I have always been a sucker for slapstick.) As an adult, these types of …

1994, Movies

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994, Mike Newell)

This film, which should really be called Threes Weddings, a Funeral and a Fourth Wedding, is one of the innumerable ’90s films I told myself I had seen as a teen, only to discover upon watching it now, that I’ve definitely never seen it before. (I probably watched five minutes of it when I was …

1995, Movies

Carrington (1995, Christopher Hampton)

This is an extremely episodic film about the painter Carrington and her highly unconventional personal life. The film is mostly about her personal relationships and not really about her work so if you’re looking for a biography of a painter, look elsewhere. The film won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 1995 but with …

2018, Movies

Museo (2018, Alonso Ruizpalacios)

This is a super hyper stylized, completely fantastical depiction of what is apparently the most notorious “art” heist in Mexican history. The movie makes no bones about how inaccurate it is – stating multiple times that it is not the true story – so do not go into this movie expecting a docudrama.

2017, Movies

Tiff 2017: The Death of Stalin (2017, Armando Iannucci)

Iannucci’s new film is, as I understand it, a bit of a left turn for him: it’s an adaptation of a graphic novel based upon the real event of the title. Though I had no such fears, one could be understandably trepidacious about Iannucci turning his satirical eye to something historically accurate.

2014, Movies

The Monuments Men (2014, George Clooney)

This is a reasonably entertaining, but oddly paced and very traditional film that dramatizes the efforts the US went to in order to rescue the art that the Nazis stole in World War II. As far as I can tell, it is very, very, very loosely based on the true story.

1988, 2017, Theatre

Confederation Part II: Canadian Pacific Scandal and The Saskatchewan Rebellion (part of The History of the Village of Small Huts) Live at Soulpepper Thursday July 27

We liked Part I of this section of The History of the Village of Small Huts so much that we went back for more.