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Showing posts from March, 2010

The Paranoids

It's a recurring, if minor artistic theme:   the talented fuck-up languishes in obscurity while the glad-handing hack, inspired by if not blatantly ripping off the more talented one, enjoys success.   It was the conflict at the center of the documentary Dig, wth Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols taking on versions of those respective roles.  The theme is picked up by Argentine director Gabriel Medina in The Paranoids, but this moody film tends to meander in all but expected directions.   


The ability to enjoy The Paranoids rests, probably, in one's willingness to spend 90 minutes in the company of its main character, Luciano Gauna.   He occasionally ventures out  as a lavender-furred monster to  entertain children by day and struggles to complete a long-belabored screenplay by his near-perpetual night.   When it comes to the travails of a seemingly talented but underachieving man-child, I think I know several people who might say, "No tha…

Ghost Writer

Now is the winter of our film-going discontent made glorious summer by...by whom exactly? Anybody? Anybody?  Really, I'd settle for a hint of spring at this point. Instead, what we get with Roman Polanski's latest, Ghost Writer, is lots of steely fall. And in the place of a would-be political thriller, there is this tepid offering from the 76-year-old director.
Starting as it does with a ferry that plies the waters between an island and the Massachusetts shore, I was reminded of Martin Scorcese's Shutter Island. But where Scorsese fails with a bang in his current money-maker, Polanski goes down with barely a whimper. Throughout much of it two-hour length, I found myself thinking, "What is a supsense movie without suspense?" "What is a thriller devoid of thrills?" The answer would be Ghost Writer.
Ewan McGregor, generally as colorless as the muted landscape and leaden skies of the island on which most of the film is set, is the second "ghost" …