Sunday, December 31, 2017

Patricia van der Vliet

A day in the life, Dec 28

A day in the life, Dec 28, objet trouvé

Ksenia Komleva

New Stuff: The Adventures of Phoebe-Zeitgeist

Alewya Demmisse

Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

A captured architect designs an ingenious plan to ensure the impregnability of tomb of a self-absorbed Pharaoh, obsessed with the security of his next life.

Nicely assembled large-scale production has lots to show and is fairly entertaining, but is highly marred by wooden performances and dialogue to match. 

Halliwell*: "Unexpected, interesting excursion into Ancient Egypt, distended by Cinemascope, basically a macabre melodrama with a final spectacular twist. The engineering details would make a fascinating documentary."

Maltin**1/2: "Entertaining, if fruity spectacle...filmed on an epic scale. Hawks claimed neither he nor his writers (including William Faulkner and Harry Kurnitz) "knew how a pharaoh talked"...and it shows. Still worth catching for great revenge ending and now-campy villainy by Collins."

Vera Nyström

New Stuff: War for the Planet of the Apes

Kath Pokrovskaya

Gone With the Wind (1939)

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

An epic Hollywood masterpiece showing excellence in all departments (production, casting, storytelling, cinematography) - complete with a disquietening intrinsic and unabashed racism.

Halliwell****: "The only film in history which could be profitably revived for forty years: 'still pure gold', said the Daily Mirror in 1975. Whole books have been written about it: its essential appeal is that of a romantic story with strong characters and an impeccable production. The widescreen version produced in the late sixties ruined its composition and colour, but it is to be hoped that the original negative still survives."

Maltin****: "If not the greatest movie ever made, certainly one of the greatest examples of storytelling on film, maintaining interest for nearly four hours."

Friday, December 29, 2017

Bryana Holly

A day in the life, Dec 27

A day in the life, Dec 27, objet trouvé

Ava McAvoy

ph: Sarah Moon

New York

30 Rockefeller Plaza and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, circa 1939

Xiao Wen Ju

ph: Tim Walker

First Lines: Agatha Christie - N or M?

Tommy Beresford removed his overcoat in the hall of the flat.

Marike Le Roux

A day in the life, Dec 26

A day in the life, Dec 26, a sign

Leila Goldkuhl

New Stuff: Richard Dawson

Isabelle Huppert

Twin Peaks (2017)

25 years after Laura Palmer's murder, Special Agent Dale Cooper, who investigated the case, heads out on an odyssey that returns him to the Washington town.

Ingenious continuation of the Twin Peaks surpasses the previous seasons by aesthetic cohesion, plot development and the sheer magic and mystery of its tale, a TV Gesamtkunstwerk. That said, episode 8, "Gotta Light?", is a work of art in itself.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Eugenia Volodina

New Stuff: Bill Orcutt

Aleece Wilson

The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

The lives of two struggling musicians, who happen to be brothers, inevitably change when they team up with a beautiful, up-and-coming singer.

Not particularly original and a bit slovenly paced, this movie comes alive by its star cast - Michelle Pfeiffer is especially convincing - and sure-handed direction.

Halliwell*: "Enjoyable excursion into the lower depths of show business."

Maltin**1/2: "Writer Kloves' directing debut is stylish and self-assured, but it skimps on story - and never really fleshes out Jeff Bridges' sullen character. The real-life Bridges brothers are perfectly cast, Pfeiffer is ideal. Her steamy rendition of "Makin' Whoopee" atop piano considered a minor classic."

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Siri Tollerød

New Stuff: Coil

Who's That Girl?

Photographer: Stephen Shore

Camille Rowe

A day in the life, Dec 25

A day in the life, Dec 25, Regensburg by night

Lara Stone

New York

Corner of Essex and Delancey Streets in Lower Manhattan, 1980

Keira Knightley

First Lines: Helen MacInnes - Above Suspicion

This June day seemed, to Frances Myles, very much like any other summer day in Oxford.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Ashika Pratt

A day in the life, Dec 24

A day in the life, Dec 24, door

Laura Jaraminaite

New Stuff: Bayerisches Wörterbuch

Charlee Fraser

ph: Nicole Bentley

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

Nicely assembled monster movie with a big budget; as so often: the creatures steal the show.

Maggie Cheung