January 28th, 2011


Moving pictures

The nice thing about movies is that they happen in front of your eyes without you needing to do anything but keep the eyes open. Since the cold has me too braindead to concentrate on text, much less art, I've been watching many more movies than usual in the past week:

"Man on Wire": Documentary on Philippe Petit and his wire-walking at the World Trade Center. Amazing footage. Rather fascinating interpersonal dynamics among the team members.

"Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock": Documentary on the work put into Burning Man 2004, what's needed to set up a city of 30,000 people for a week (hey, that's even more than Pennsic) and what the artists do to get their pieces there and up. And, yes, some scenes of the actual event.

"Iron Man": You've probably heard about this one. Robert Downey Jr. is really very good at playing a total dork.

"James and the Giant Peach": Cute. Not as cute as it thinks it is, or at least not so to me.

"The Crow: City of Angels": Okay, I admit it, I haven't seen the first Crow movie, which is supposedly a thousand times better. But without the comparison, I was blown away by the cinematography on this one. Perfect scene-by-scene images off a dystopian graphic novel, no extraneous characters, no extraneous dialogue. Therefore, yes, simplistic (and I've since read about the cut and reworked scenes that made it even more simplistic), but the art of it was enough to keep me spellbound through the very short film (85 minutes? something like that).

"Gods and Monsters": A very, very depressing piece about the (fictional) last days of James Whale, director of Frankenstein, Showboat, etc. Great acting by Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser. Still depressing.