A Review of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”

I finally got around to seeing it, last night, and felt compelled for some reason to record my impressions. Which lie, for you should you care, right after the jump.

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Announcing a New Big Other Series: “A D & Jeremy Talk about Movies”

Jeremy M. Davies, flexing en route to the cineplex

In two days, I’ll be posting the first installment of a new ongoing series at Big Other: conversations I’ve had with my good friend Jeremy M. Davies about movies, new and old, both popular and obscure. It will be called “A D & Jeremy Talk about Movies” (unless we can think of a better title).

This Monday, and on the following two Mondays (the posts will be in clusters of three), we’ll discuss Source Code, Thor, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and many other films (including Sucker Punch, The Man from London, Tron, Tron Legacy, Willow, and Zardoz). In the weeks after that we plan to talk about Captain America, Green Lantern, X-Men: First Class, as well as movies by lesser-known directors like Jacques Rivette, Eugène Green, Agnès Varda, and Jean-Marie Straub and Danièlle Huillet (Jeremy really likes foreign films). And the new Woody Allen film. We’ll also probably talk endlessly about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, because we both love it just so much. And throughout we’ll discuss the current state of the film industry. And comic books, which are synonymous with cinema these days.

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In Memory of William Lubtchansky

The miracle of empty hands (from Nouvelle Vague)

26 October 1937 – 4 May 2010.

William Lubtchansky was one of the greatest cinematographers of our time, and of any time. He shot films for Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Agnès Varda, Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, François Truffaut, Claude Lanzmann, Philippe Garrel, and many others. Among his many accomplishments was helping to “romanticize” the work of Godard and Rivette: he assisted them both in transitioning into their later, lusher styles.

I’ve assembled below clips from some of the 113 films he shot.

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Brevity, Part 2: Long Takes

Some of us have been discussing long takes in movies, and John mentioned that he’d like seeing a list of films that consist primarily of the beautiful things. So here is a start at such a list. (And here is another one, which like this list embeds many YouTube clips, such as the magnificent opening shot Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil (1958), the homage Robert Altman pays it in The Player (1992), and many others—including some overlap.)

But first: What’s the value in the long take?

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