ArizonaJim

I watch films and write a one paragraph review. I have been doing this for several years and have now started putting them on this site.

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  • Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace

    ★★★

    A record of the Aretha Franklin concert/recording session that resulted in the Amazing Grace album. The filming was supposed to lead to a T.V. special, but there were technical problems with the sound and it was shelved; then, almost 50 years later, with advances in technology, they were able to sort the problems and release the film. For anyone who loves Aretha Franklin or gospel it is pure joy: this is Franklin at a career peak. But is it a…

  • A Short Film About Love

    A Short Film About Love

    ★★★★½

    I have seen A Short Film About Killing a couple of times, but hadn’t previously seen A Short Film About Love. As we should expect, they are very similar in many ways, companion pieces. And I feel that Killing is a film that knows exactly what it is doing and has a certain perfection in the way it does it, but I am left wondering if it is a little sparse: it places coherence over complexity. I wondered the same…

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  • The Searchers

    The Searchers

    ★★★★★

    This film had a big impact on me when I was a teenager. My response to films was still largely intuitive, but I was trying to figure out what directors did and while I was swept away by the epic narrative of The Searchers, I also became aware of the film’s epic style, the imposing landscape and, more importantly, the figures within it. There was a time in my late teens that I would have placed this as my favourite…

  • Gunman's Walk

    Gunman's Walk

    ★★★★½

    In the 1960s the big controversy in English speaking film criticism was about the status of the Hollywood film industry: a new bunch of polemical critics had turned up claiming that many Hollywood directors who had previously been seen as professional hacks were ‘auteurs’, artists whose work should be treated with the same seriousness as the European masters. The older critics shook their heads in disbelief, despair and derision. The proof of the ludicrousness of these auteur critics was when…