RSS feed for Chris
  • 20,000 Days on Earth 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 10 Dec, 2014

    A semi-experimental documentary, 20,000 Days on Earth is a glossy look into the mind and music of Nick Cave. Instead of conventional interviews there are scenes with Cave talking with a therapist, musicians, and actors while he drives. We see bits of his life and work process as well as him performing with The Bad Seeds. It's great for fans of Cave and interesting for others as well I would suspect and I enjoyed the approach and the music as well as seeing glimpses of Cave in the past and those he collaborated with.

  • The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz 2014

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 08 Dec, 2014

    Heartbreaking, infuriating, and powerful, The Internet's Own Boy tells the story of Aaron Swartz who was gifted as a programmer and activist. Tracing his life from the early years of learning to program through helping implement RSS and the technical infrastructure for Creative Commons licenses through to the aggressive prosecution of him by the U.S. government for downloading public court records to his death by suicide, it's essential viewing. So many of the rights and privileges that we have have…

  • Broken Flowers 2005

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 29 Nov, 2014

    With each film Jim Jarmusch assembles a team of interesting people and constructs a story out of elements they bring and that he brings. It always feels very musical to me and as they ramble along I love soaking it all in. Often they are jumping off points for other explorations and discovering actors and music that I hadn't heard of before. With Broken Flowers Jarmusch has some fun with Bill Murray in one of his best performances as a…

  • Birdman 2014

    ★★★ Watched 29 Nov, 2014

    This year I think that I'll give the award for most acting to Birdman. A film about actors and acting and Art, it was one of the films I was looking forward to, but it didn't completely work. With a great cast and cinematographer, there are some very amazing technical scenes, but the screenplay and direction sap the life out of it all. In a film that could have a lot of fun with the whole idea of the role…

  • Blue Ruin 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 25 Nov, 2014

    Revenge is a theme often explored in films and in Blue Ruin it's a quieter and less emotional take on the genre. At first I was reminded of Blood Simple, but director (and writer and cinematographer) Jeremy Saulnier takes the film in a different direction with a quieter approach that doesn't fill in all the details and focusses firmly on Macon Blair as a broken man who is not well-equipped to carry out his planned revenge with skill. It's a great character study that deliberately moves towards an inevitable conclusion with moments of subtle dark humour that underscore the tragedy.

  • Beware of Mr. Baker 2012

    ★★★★½ Watched 21 Nov, 2014

    It's always good to discover new things and while I was vaguely familiar with Ginger Baker, I had no idea of how he was connected to so many people and bands. An interesting look at a challenging character, Beware of Mr. Baker shows us a man who doesn't fit in and seems to be singularly focussed on his obsessions which are primarily drumming. Filled with some great performance footage and some animation to provide some variety, it's a solid music documentary with a very compelling central character who remains enigmatic.

  • Listen Up Philip 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 17 Nov, 2014

    Listen Up Philip is a film that looks and feels as if was made in the 1970s. Working solidly within the genre of misanthrope writer in New York genre it manages to build a story around a completely unsympathetic character and to bring a dose of realism to the genre. There are some great performances in the film with Jason Swartzman at the centre and with a fantastic performance from Elisabeth Moss (including one of the most amazing reaction shots…

  • Mood Indigo 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 15 Nov, 2014

    Within the whimsy of Michel Gondry there is a melancholy sadness. It feels like he's been trying to find the right balance for years and with Mood Indigo it feels just right. In the beginning it's a rapid-fire surreal showcase that slowly becomes more emotional and real as the story progresses. Establishing a unique and strange logic the tone and look mirror the emotions of the characters to an extent that it looks like a completely different film by the…

  • The Zero Theorem 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 15 Nov, 2014

    Terry Gilliam is first of all of a visual stylist and The Zero Theorem explores his familiar themes again, updated into a more modern world. More evenly balanced and focussed than some of his work, but just as imaginative, I liked The Zero Theorem even more the second time I watched it. A simple story about a man trying to find the meaning of life (where the answer isn't 42, but 0), it's deeply cynical but also fun. Great for Gilliam fans and others who like cinematic roads less travelled.

  • Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 01 Nov, 2014

    Nightcrawler is a very dark satire with a very great performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. Creepy and focused, he's like Rupert Pupkin if he was interested in TV news instead of comedy. Filled with ellipses in terms of the events occurring off-camera as the story progresses, it's an unsettling look at an unstable character on the margins of the news. Dan Gilroy makes his directorial debut with the film, but previously he had cowritten screenplays (and the story for Real Steel).…

  • Only Lovers Left Alive 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 28 Aug, 2014

    One of my favourite films of the last few years, Only Lovers Left Alive, is a beautiful and languorous take on the vampire genre, similar to Jarmusch's earlier Ghost Dog did for samurai and gangster films. Exploring the idea of what the lives of vampires would be like if they were really cool people works very well for me. Filled with quirky humour and lovely nuanced performances, it's a contemplative journey through the night accompanied by ambient music that washes over you. A pleasure to immerse yourself in.

  • Marwencol 2010

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 30 Oct, 2014

    A small and gentle film that features an intriguing subject and a fascinating story of recovery. The story of Mark Hogencamp is moving and the way that Jeff Malmberg constructs the story is part of the pleasure. Revealing information in a careful and gentle way, Marwencol is a portrait of a unique individual who is able to rebuild his life through constructing a miniature World War II town filled with characters.