Beautiful Kate (2009)

Writer’s Blocks In the last year, I saw a film (“In My Father’s Den“) with much the same themes. In that New Zealand film, a man, a celebrated war correspondent returns to his rural home on the death of his father. There are significant unresolved frictions between father and son. The returning man had sex… Continue reading Beautiful Kate (2009)

Avatar (2009)

Pocahontas of the Southern Hemisphere This comment is on the IMAX 3d version. There aren’t many stories, are there? There are not many good storytellers either. Nor, it turns out, many filmmakers who can make even moderately big movies with a single governing imagination. That is the first quality I will report of this: that… Continue reading Avatar (2009)

Art & Copy (2009)

Capture I love it when the matter and the form align. This is a documentary about the top creative folks in (US) advertising. It traces an explosion of influence from either putting creatives in charge or allowing the graphic/cinema guys to be up front — depending on who is being interviewed. And it is primarily… Continue reading Art & Copy (2009)

3 Idiots (2009)

Five Lives and a Funeral The structure is a compelling nesting. We have the linear story of two school chums plus one who search for a lost third buddy. There are a number of twists in this that make it more than just a framing device. We get a lot of storytelling craft in how… Continue reading 3 Idiots (2009)

Knowing (2009)

The Cleansing Timing is everything. I saw this in a stressed state, looking for escape. I saw it in a grand old theatre with large, excellently tuned equipment. I saw it not knowing anything at all about it. And I loved it. Yes, I know people do not like Nic Cage. And I know many… Continue reading Knowing (2009)

Adam (2009)

Stuttered Beginnings I found this to be offensive in that mild way that occurs so often. Storytellers sometimes have to make decisions that cost the viewer something — the worst kind of cheat because it pushes the pain onto the unwitting. Is it a net good to show a newsphoto of a girl over her… Continue reading Adam (2009)

Kung Fu Chefs (2009)

Cabbage Soup Some time ago, I watched a mainstream trifle called “Kung Fu Panda.” The only appeal it had was the idea of discipline in ordinary things. The involvement of food was incidental and comic but it mattered. Food is not easy to film. But it is inherently cinematic stuff, and as powerful in my… Continue reading Kung Fu Chefs (2009)

Antichrist (2009)

Contagious Brokenness Down the road from me is a coven of Christian filmmakers. It is a school and the purpose is to make films that evangelise. This fascinates me; generally their stories are about fighting the devil, a narrative that encompasses both what is in the film and what surrounds the making of the film.… Continue reading Antichrist (2009)