Movies

10.04.14 - 10.16.14 - The List

It's been a busy couple weeks, and unfortunately, the preoccupied knife sliced through those extra fatty hours, which were then tossed to the ravenous dogs. That time, reserved for strategic enjoyment, better known as, MOVIE WATCHING, chowed down upon by life.

What does this all mean man!  It means I could only get through a few films.

1. Yakuza Papers - Deadly Fight in Hiroshima - Kinji Fukasaku
2. Yakuza Papers - Proxy War - Kinji Fukasaku
3. Yakuza Papers - Police Tactics - Kinji Fukasaku
4. Yakuza Papers -  Final Episode - Kinji Fukasaku

Boy oh boy, what a goddamn cool experience this is. I had seen Battles Without Honor and Humanity several years ago, and then re-watched(yes, this is a word) it a couple weeks back. But I had never gone through the whole series.

This is filmmaking so cool, that no matter how fucking hard Western cinema tries to appropriate it's style, the real thing is always, always better, more interesting and certainly, original. Straight from the source baby. I don't give a goddamn what your budget is, or how many VFX you can stuff in a scene, this shit is just straight up cooler. The end. Argument over.

Although, I am well aware that "cool" was not the intention as this is not a glorification piece, but a social critique. Unfortunately, that is an absolute impossibility as far as cinema and gangsters are concerned. Crime always pays.

Also, as it's an unbending, pure piece of genre work, you can be critical of many elements of it if you are a bore, but what's the purpose of that? You are a bore. Let it go. I'm done debating.

Go see this series. This is the definitive Yakuza set and a testament to how modern Japanese cinema was.

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a thank you to Roger Ebert.

I'm pretty sure everybody that has had, at the very least, a sliver of interest in the movies and the language of cinema has a story to share about Roger Ebert.  

Whether it was about influence, or insight, or passion, or disagreement, Roger Ebert was big time.  

He loved movies so much, that it's inconceivable to think of any figure in these modern times, to exhibit the same anti-cynicism and commitment to cinema.  Almost all of us are in a sort of ambivalent love affair with movies these days.  For all the never ending enthusiasm and commitment to reach higher, there is always the death knell, the Holy Motors sign off.  Which was quite convincing by the way (btw ya’lls).

Somehow, both views fit.  But, it is fitting and sad, that Ebert, along with the rest of the classicist have now passed.  These were figures of what can be now called, "the good old days".  And we can cherish that, because its history has been written.  A place exists for the past.  It has happened, and it was witnessed.  The future however, is always a place of uncertainty.  Anxiety is birthed from the unknown.  And humans, given a dose of evolutionary psychology, always feel mixed about that which cannot be controlled.

The beauty of Ebert was that the man always committed to passionate thinking.  He was not afraid.  Nor was he afraid to change his mind.  

At his older age, he became a king of new media. With twitter, he could troll with the best of them.  His stance against video games as art was legendary.  Here was a man, not afraid of the consequences of thought, nor its expression.  Nor was he scared of being bullied for thinking.

Bombarded by children angered by an opinion, he pressed forward with what I can only assume was a grin.  Remember is beef with Vincent Gallo.  The man didn't back down from insults.  A classic game of "yo momma".  And he did this with a smile.  That's respectable. That’s heart.  

And no other critic could circumnavigate the mainstream all the while, championing the independent quite like Ebert. Who will ever have that leverage?  Who will ever care enough?

What a sincere love of something.  It was poetic to witness.  RIP Roger Ebert and thank you.  My mother thanks you.  She loved you.  

See you at the movies; home theater actually, because we all know that's where this is all leading, right?

35 YEAR OLD MAN plays at IFF

Just got back from a short trip to SF to catch 35 YEAR OLD MAN screening at the 5th annual Iranian Film Festival.  I did miss my screening as usual, but catch the tail end of the program.   I meet Saeed Shafa, the festival director (he also runs a few other festivals), whom was a very cordial and nice man, from my brief estimation.  This has become a very literal update.  And, here is an obligatory picture from the Bay Area.

A nice picture, with a nice filter.

A nice picture, with a nice filter.

Yahoo Movies Profile on "35 Year Old Man"

From Yahoo Movies -

"The 12th Annual deadCenter Film Festival boasts a list of short film programs that each explore little slices of life audiences are usually afraid to talk about: loneliness, aging, and disappointment. Director Amir Motlagh captured a glimpse of all of these experiences through the eyes of the sole character in his narrative short "35 Year Old Man." The film is about a guy named Greg whose birthday just passed and, as the synopsis explains, "Yesterday, he bought a toaster and cleaned the fridge."

Read the full interview here: