4 films for december

November 26, 2007

week of december 3:

the seventh seal by ingmar bergman

i really need to see more bergman. for someone as beloved as he is, i’ve seen a frighteningly low number of his films.

week of december 10:

chinatown by roman polanski

chinatown

just one of those classics that i’ve yet to see.

week of december 17:

the bicycle thief by vittorio de sica

bicycle thieves

i think i’m most excited about watching this film. i’ve heard nothing but phenomenal things about it and i cannot wait to see it.

week of december 24:

it’s a wonderful life by frank capra

wonderful life

is there a better way to spend the week of christmas than with this holiday classic? i don’t think there is.

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breathless

November 23, 2007

i like that godard isn’t afraid to use jump cuts. and not just use them, but blatantly use them. there’s no hiding them here. the long shot/long take with the hand held camera is great. i loved the contrast of those really extended scenes and long uncut scenes, with the hyper-edited dialogue scenes. when i think back to myself that there was a bedroom scene that lasted 20some minutes i wonder why i wasn’t bored to tears by the film, but i couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

it’s definitely not a definable film, genre speaking. i thought it was going to be a thriller at first, then a romance, then a comedy, and so on. through my readings and whatnot i’ve read that it was meant to subvert the classic hollywood film by taking a story that seems like a conventional hollywood tale (boy steals car, shoots cop, hides with girl…) but shot it in a real devil-may-care style. but it’s hard to see what was so revolutionary about it now that hand held camera and hyper-editing are fairly commonplace in today’s films, but it’s something that i can appreciate it for.

all in all a great film, and it seems like the perfect way to get into the french new wave.

2 films for november.

November 22, 2007

started midway through november so only 2 films this month.

week of november 19:

breathless by jean-luc godard

breathless

(from criterion)

There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, crackling personalities of rising stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, and anything-goes crime narrative, Jean-Luc Godard’s debut fashioned a simultaneous homage to and critique of the American film genres that influenced and rocked him as a film writer for Cahiers du cinema. Jazzy, free-form, and sexy, Breathless (A bout de souffle) helped launch the French new wave and ensured cinema would never be the same.

i’m pretty excited to get into godard. we’ve been studying bazin in my theory class and i’m interested in seeing a student of his at work.

week of november 26:

citizen kane by orson welles

citizen kane

what better way to start off than with a film commonly regarded as the greatest ever made? that’s probably why i’ve avoided it all these years. will it live up to the hype?