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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Deep Blue Sea

Terence Davies latest film, The Deep Blue Sea, is an adaptation of the Terence Rattigan play of the same name.  As I have contemplated Mr. Davies' film, both prior to and since attending a screening, I find myself thinking of yet another Terrence, America's great filmmaker of the same (if spelled slightly differently) first name.  This, of course, the redoubtable Mr. Malick.  Both filmmakers are visual poets, after a  fashion.  Both seem individualists, if not iconoclasts, uncompromising as to when and how they make films.  Most significantly, whatever each man might have to say about the human condition, he does so with stories very much removed from the present day.

The settings for the films for which each man are best know are superficially quite different.  The natural world has always figured prominently in Malick's films, from Badlands through The Tree of Life.  Davies most often has us in one English room or another.  And yet, with environments as different as Am…

The Hunger Games

The future, as imagined by Suzanne Collins and realized by director Gary Ross is a certainly a strange place.  For the likes of Katniss Evergreen (Jennifer Lawarence) it's a rather forbidding world.  The plucky Lawrence plays the heroine Katniss Evergreen.  It is apparently a necessary condition of any dystopian future, as is the case in The Hunger Games nation of Panem, that characters must trudge about with ridiculous nomenclature.  As if they didn't already have enough working against them.  Nary a Katy nor a Jenny to be found in this world, which exists some 75 years after a rebellion was squelched by those who rule in the Capitol.  The decadent, well-to-do Capitol is apparently somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, while Katniss resides in District 12, one of a dozen areas controlled by the mountainside metropolis.  The hand-to-mouth inhabitants of District 12 labor mainly in coal mines, when there are jobs to be had.  Despite the presumed fast forward into the future, Katnis…

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

What's to become of rich if exacting traditions as generations pass?  More importantly, what's going to happen to the sushi?  David Gelb's documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi touches upon questions both philosophical and quite tangible in presenting 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono to the world, or at least those few who might see this film in one art house or another.  Mr. Ono has long enjoyed a measure of fame in his native Japan, where he has been dubbed a national treasure.  He's also gotten the attention of discriminating diners from around the world.  His small, 10-seat restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, operating from the unlikely location of a Toyko subway station, was given a 3-star rating by the Michelin Guide.  Such a rating is apparently meant to imply, among other things, that an establishment thus rated would justify travel to a country for no other reason than to sample it's fare.  All who partake of Jiro's sushi-only menu would seem to agree without r…