Aladdin (1992)

Sweet Arabian Skins This, to my mind, is a terrific concoction. It has no story to speak of. Oh, there’s some motion and noise but they are only there to give us something to look at while the three main notions unfurl, all of which are magically competent. There are the songs. Disney can do… Continue reading Aladdin (1992)

Ballerina (2006)

Control There are no films like dance films. Dance is one of the few things that is inherently cinematic, especially when the camera moves, perhaps with energy. Ballet on the other hand is not friendly to film, at least the classical Russian model. The choreography is designed to affect the patron sitting, watching from one… Continue reading Ballerina (2006)

Ayurveda – Art of Being (2001)

Cinematic Cosmologies I suppose there are an infinite number of coherent structures that pockets of people have invented to explain the world to themselves. All of these will be of deep sophistication. All will be constrained by the hard wiring in the human mind and what we can handle conceptually. Each will be further constrained… Continue reading Ayurveda – Art of Being (2001)

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)

The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

Good Three-way Storytelling I’m usually appalled at how vintage Disney (of about 1940-80) ignored the basics of good storytelling, relying instead on cinematic gimmicks. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not, but when you just simply don’t invest in good storytelling, you plant poison that somehow catches up with you. The primary reason that I remembered this… Continue reading The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

American Strays (1996)

Cutie Cleaner Quentin Tarantino gets under my skin, where Richard Rodriguez does not. It is a corner of myself I do not quite understand. If you have QT wonder, this could help. Tarantino places the viewer as a sort of museum visitor. He has this virtual video store of references, sometimes well arranged. You are… Continue reading American Strays (1996)

Jade (1995)

Sprung Rites I think this may have been successful in its day, simply because of the sex. There is the appearance of some sex acts on the screen presented in a couple voyuerist contexts, but I think the target was a much deeper appeal: a whole world driven by insatiable, conventionally deviant female sex drive.… Continue reading Jade (1995)