2004 log (9)

(1 Sept) Predstava Hamleta u Selu Mrdusi Donjoj (1974, Krsto Papic) 62
[ Part of our FFM coverage ]

(1 Sept) Schizopolis (1997, Steven Soderbergh) 85
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

(2 Sept) The Passion of the Jew (2004, Trey Parker) 77
[ After seeing “The Passion of the Christ”, Kyle realizes that Cartman was right all these years when he badmouthed Jews, and after seeing the film 34 times, Cartman now wants to go further than that and begin “the cleansing”. Achtung! Meanwhile, Stan and Kenny think the movie sucks ass and try to get Mel Gibson himself to given them their money back, but the Hollywood star won’t cough up the cash unless they torture him. “Mel Gibson is fucking crazy, dude!” I actually thought “The Passion” was a great picture, but give it to South Park to spoof it and the ridiculous controversy that surrounded its release so shamelessly and hilariously! ]

(3 Sept) Purple Rain (1984, Albert Magnoli) 83
[ The quintessential ‘80s musical, jam-packed with synth-pop, guitar solos, puffy hair, ridiculous clothes and at the center of it all, that most flaming funkmaster rock star, Prince! The story is somewhat inconsequential and the acting isn’t great, but the song and dance numbers will make you want to jump out of your seat and go crazy. All the Revolution tracks (Let’s Go Crazy, The Beautiful Ones, Darling Nikki, I Would Die 4 U, When Doves Cry, the all-time great title song…) are killer, of course, but Morris Day and the Time also deliver tasty grooves and while I wouldn’t call Apollonia talented, she’s as slutty a performer as any Britney or Christina. And ultimately, as cheesy as it can be, “Purple Rain” ends up being oddly moving. ]

(3 Sept) Underneath (1995, Steven Soderbergh) 71
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

(6 Sept) Les choristes (2004, Christophe Barratier) 56
[ Part of our FFM coverage ]

(6 Sept) Son frère (2003, Patrice Chéreau) 80
[ This naturalistic, quasi-Dogme drama deals with the difficult relationship between a homosexual man and his brother, who suffers from a severe blood disease. Most of the film is devoted to the back and forth between the two siblings, played with raw emotion and intensity by Bruno Todeschini and Eric Caravaca. Having a brother myself from whom I’ve grown distant, even though we were as close as it gets as kids, this story deeply moved me. Disease is also a sad and scary thing, all the more to make “Son frère” a wrenching experience. ]

(8 Sept) mon fils sera arménien (2004, Hagop Goudsouzian) 73
[ This powerful NFB documentary depicts filmmaker Hagop Goudsouzian’s journey back to Armenia, on the traces of the 1,5 million of his ancestors who were massacred or forced into exile by the Turkish between 1915 and 1923. This isn’t as well known as it should because many countries still won’t recognize this genocide. Goudsouzian takes with him a group of Montrealers of Armenian descent (including TV personality Patrick Masbourian) to the land of their forebears in search of the survivors of the genocide, whose number diminishes each year. They are all over 90 years old today, but they still feel the pain of fleeing Turkish assassins as kids and so do we listening to them. ]

(9 Sept) Kafka (1991, Steven Soderbergh) 68
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

(9 Sept) Alias 3.1-3.2 (2003) [ review ] 77

(10 Sept) King of the Hill (1993, Steven Soderbergh) 75
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

(10 Sept) Alias 3.3 (2003) [ review ] 72

(11 Sept) Alias 3.4-3.6 (2003) [ review ] 80

(12 Sept) Alias 3.7-3.8 (2003) [ review ] 84

(13 Sept) When Will I Be Loved (2004, James Toback) [ review ] 55

(14 Sept) Les Aimants (2004, Yves Pelletier) [ review ] 91

(14 Sept) Alias 3.9-3.11 (2003) [ review ] 85

(15 Sept) Alias 3.12 (2004) [ review ] 78

(16 Sept) A Dirty Shame (2004, John Waters) [ review ] 13

(16 Sept) Epidemic (1987, Lars von Trier) 67
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

(16 Sept) Alias 3.13-3.15 (2004) [ review ] 75

(17 Sept) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004, Kerry Conran) [ review ] 33

(17 Sept) Alias 3.16-3.18 (2004) [ review ] 71

(18 Sept) Alias 3.19-3.21 (2004) [ review ] 79

(19 Sept) Alias 3.22 (2004) [ review ] 85

(21 Sept) L’amour en pen / De mémoire de chats (2004, Manon Barbeau) 70
[ Manon Barbeau’s latest documentaries both display acute sensitivity, discovering truth and beauty in unlikely places. “L’amour en pen”, which has prisoners talking about the great love of their life, is surprisingly moving, maybe because it’s so rare to see men (convicts or not) open up and be vulnerable. “De mémoire de chats” explores Montreal’s countless back streets, taking in quiet beauty and sad decay, clothespins and heroin needles, gardens and dumpsters… Barbeau finds lyricism in the urban jungle, getting off the main roads and into the heart of the city. ]

(21 Sept) Tip of the Tongue (2003) 64
[ “It happened so quickly… One minute you can’t get laid, and the next minute there’s 3000 chicks throwing their panties at you!” Ah, the life of the rock star. Some actually manage to bitch about it, but not the Rolling Stones. They know they’re lucky, they know all these years of sex, drugs and r’n’r should have killed them. To still be going strong at 60 is extraordinary. You look at Mick and Keith and Charlie and Ron, they seem to genuinely like each other and enjoy playing together. Good for them. ]

(21 Sept) Magnolia (1999, Paul Thomas Anderson) [ review ] 100

(23 Sept) Coeur à bout (2004, Marcel Simard) 9
[ This Canal Vie-ready documentary takes a look at people who, after a heart attack, refuse to observe the doctor’s recommendations. What soon becomes apparent is that they don’t realize that this is a medical condition. Instead, they whine on and on about all their problems, convinced that their heart is in bad shape because of their sad experiences and not because they won’t stop smoking and eating junk-food. This makes for an obnoxious movie, mixing melodramatic navel-gazing with what feels like an educational infomercial. ]

(23 Sept) Licks Around the World – Live from Madison Square Garden (2003) 66
[ Sure, they’re old, arenas are impersonal, and rock and roll with a 12 piece band feels overblown. Mick isn’t very convincing anymore singing that he’s a “Street Fighting Man”, and he’s too busy doing silly “Monkey Man” dances to recapture the emotion of “Angie”. Then again, when the Stones are on, they’re ON! The 10 minute jams around “Midnight Rambler” and especially “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” blow the roof of the joint and Keith does manage to make the Garden feel intimate when he croons “Thru and Thru”. ]

(27 Sept) Les Aimants (2004, Yves Pelletier) [ review ] 91

(28 Sept) Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, Robert Zemeckis) 77
(28 Sept) Death Becomes Her (1992, Robert Zemeckis) 24
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

August / October