Archive for December, 2011

Ho… Ho… Home Alone?

Posted: December 25, 2011 by antoniobunt in Angry Man, Neglected Sundays

Please, don’t freak out! I am by no means refering to the hideous Macaulay Culkin’s horrible films. I am indeed home alone enjoying myself after a bike ride in my empty neighbourhood. I wish everyday was Christmas!

Not because I love the holidays, au contraire, I hate them! Not because my father dressed up as Santa died in the chimney (Remember Gremlins?). It’s just I don’t like holidays. OK, I must confess I don’t like people very much and I’m not a festive man.

For me, the best celebration is going to the cinema, even if it’s by myself. (Believe it of not, I DO have friends who like me!!!) Yesterday I went to see Susanne Bier’s Hævnen and at night, three ghosts visited me: the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present & Future and they all were full of nostalgic memories.

I didn’t want to review all those corny Christmas movies. C’mon!!! It’s a Wonderful Life again????? So I remembered the end scenes of two very different films and I decided to share them with you. The first is from Fellini’s La Strada (a beautiful film filled with very tender and human moments) and the second from Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (do I need to say more?)

For me both represent loneliness but at the same time, that loneliness is needed to be felt in order to improve yourself and think profoundly to achieve freedom and be good to oneself. Both endings are at the sea shore so it’s interesting how, for me,  the sea represents that freedom but at the same time the uncertainty of the limitless possibilites of the future. Humankind is facing this uncertainty.

It’s indeed thrilling to think about what will happen, what fate has for us now that a new year is around the corner. Indeed the calendar is still a random measurement for us humans but it’s a pretext to evalute what happened in the past.

Next week will be the dawn of a new year and I’ll make a small tribute to the year in review in cinematic terms.

For all of you cinephiles, I wish you have a great 2012 with great films in your life that uplift your spirits and for all filmmakers I wish you a year filled with creativity and the guts to make interesting projects. Bear in mind that cinema is life and to film is to live!!!

Have a great week and remember: in the cinema, the guy who has the final word is always the one who sells the pop-corn!

Indeed these last two Sundays were really neglected but even partially neglected since I was helping a friend shoot a documentary about one of the most traditional neighbourhoods in Mexico City called Colonia Doctores. The shooting was exhausting and we are merely in the beginning. The documentary is of course still in production but you can have a look at my friend Andrés Villela’s previous work and yours truly’s behind the camera at: http://vimeo.com/nod

I couldn’t even tell my readers I was out since the schedule was really tight but I’m here!

I had the chance to see several other movies in the Cineteca showcase and here is a brief review of them.

Aleksandr Sokurov‘s version of Faust is indeed interesting although a little bit heavy. Considering that the source text by Johann Wolfgang Goethe can no longer be understood even by German-speakers, this film is another version, this time by the Russian filmmaker. The camera work is excellent since it looks like an enormous tableau vivant, the choice of using a 4:3 frame creates a more claustrophobic environment and the deformed eerie images in certain takes also gives the film and interesting look. This is a fine interpretation of Goethe’s text that becomes at times overwhelming.

I was not familiar with Tony Kaye‘s work. He is indeed a very interesting character by himself. By doing research to write this collaboration I found out he directed American History X, a film I didn’t get to see, but this time he made one of the best films I’ve seen in ages. Detachment is a film about the education system. It hasn’t been released in the States and I am not really surprised. It is a great film but it shows another America: the Amercia of the shattered dreams where people are just average and ordinary. Adrien Brody is a fine actor, one of the best, and in this film he gives one of his best performances as Mr. Barthes, an enigmatic substitute teacher who inspires his students but in the anti-Dead Poets Society dimension (and of course without the obnoxious presence of Robin Williams) where it questions if it’s worth the effort teachers do. It really moved me since I’m a teacher myself, it made me writhe in my seat, I felt this film in my guts as a good film should do to viewers. Apart from certain predictability in one of the characters and a little over-the-top madness of Marcia Gay Harden’s character, several great performers appear as they’ve never been seen before: CSI‘s William Petersen, James Caan, Blythe Danner and even Lucy Liu (an actress I’m not particularly keen on) and joined by a non-pro cast who give a great retort to their famous and experienced counterparts. Magnificent acting, magnificent script, a film that every teacher must see since it gets to be a universal topic.

Another Russian filmmaker present in this showcase is Andrei Zvyaginstev whose 2003 debut film The Return is a remarkable piece. This time, Elena is a film about a middle aged couple and their dynamics: Elena is the house wife, Vladimir a welthy man. They come from different backgrounds and have offsprings from their previous marriages. The relationship starts to crumble until it gets to an abrupt end. This film echoes Fiodor Dostoievsky and Robert Bresson. The mise-en-scène tends to the latter’s minimalism.

What is there to be said about a legendary band like The Doors? Aparently not much. Tom DiCillo is responsible for great 1990’s films like Living in Oblivion or The Real Blonde, banners for the American independent cinema. That’s why a film like When You’re Strange: The Doors is a bit of a disappointment since it doesn’t offer new insights or even a new documentary language. In short, it doesn’t contribute with something new to the genre. Johnny Depp is the narrator and it has great stock footage but it’s all the same. A film I could have watched on The History Channel, VH1 or something like that. Indeed it is a film with great intentions but remember what they say: the path to Hell is paved with good intentions. The good thing about it is that I got to see it with my 12-year old son, the Angry Young Man, who is also keen on great music and wants to be a filmmaker. To sum it all up, this is a film for the die-hard fans and whoever wants to be introduced to The Doors’ music.

And that’s it, those were the films I got to see during this great cinematic feast in Mexico City. December is a good month to be in the cinemas with a fistful of interesting releases and the fact that it’s cold out there makes me want to be in the safest haven of them all: the movie theatre.

Even the omnipresent new Muppets movie gives an interesting message: no matter what you do, what you love to do eventually will get you, so I am a filmmaker, I’m no longer in the filmmaking closet so I’m out!

Hanukkah is just around the corner and my best present will be to continue making films. I really wish that. To film is to live!

If you have no idea what to get your friends and relatives a great Hanukkah present just remember a sweater is a lousy gift. Give people the best present of the all: a film or better yet, a gift that will pass the test of time: a book!

Besides, let’s all cheer up for the Bald Guy since his birthday is also around the corner! I’ll have a cold one in his honour and hopefully you will too!

Have a great week and remember: in the cinema, the guy who has the final word is always the one who sells the pop-corn!

Zach Braff is coming to Israel

Posted: December 14, 2011 by Two Dope Boyz in 2 Dope Botz, Videos
Tags: , , , ,

Ok, not yet, but hey, he might. And if he will, we’ll make a video together.

Here’s the story – a while back I made two videos for Zach Braff’s competition. For those of you who don’t know Zach Braff, he’s the actor of Scrubs and director/writer/actor of Garden State. I am a big fan of both, and I decided to apply for the competition.

While one of them got great feedback, but didn’t make it, the other made it to the finals, with 9 other videos. It’s the only one from Israel, and it’s out of hundreds of videos.

Please do me a favor, go on this link: https://apps.facebook.com/zachbraffmillionfan/show/10150920480120576 and like it. Then share it with everyone you know, and ask them to like it and share it and so on. If Zach will come here we’ll do a video of our day together and I’ll try to do another video with him as well. We’ll see.

We have till December 18th, midnight- LA time.

Thank you!!!