2015 log (10)

(1 Oct) Commando (1985, Mark L. Lester) 100
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(2 Oct) The Martian (2015, Ridley Scott) 92
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(5 Oct) Room (2015, Lenny Abrahamson) 59
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(6 Oct) Knock Knock (2015, Eli Roth) 69
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(7 Oct) Le Rang du lion (2015, Stéphan Beaudoin) 67
(7 Oct) Sleeping Giant (2015, Andrew Cividino) 73
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(8 Oct) Bridge of Spies (2015, Steven Spielberg) 62
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(8 Oct) Love (2015, Gaspar Noé) 93
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(9 Oct) Cocksucker Blues (1972, Robert Frank)
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(10 Oct) The Randy & Evi Quaid Compilation (2015, Mathieu Grondin)
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(11 Oct) The Assassin (2015, Hou Hsiao-Hsien) 44
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(13 Oct) Anna (2015, Charles-Olivier Michaud) 78
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(13 Oct) Blue Ruin (2013, Jeremy Saulnier) 81
[ This Kickstarter production premiered at the 2013 Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize. But don’t expect either a low-rent, artsy-fartsy indie: this is a sharply shot and cut revenge thriller. We meet Dwight (Macon Blair), a beardo who lives in his car and survives by collecting empties and dumpster diving. Then we quickly learn that someone who did something to “them” will be released from prison, and we see Dwight hit the road and attempt to get his hands on a weapon… I won’t further summarize the plot, because part of the pleasure here is the taut way writer-director-cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier disperses bits of information during the first act, through minimal dialogue and mostly visual storytelling, up to a startingly violent early climax. And then he further ups the ante with a series of other suspenseful scenes and bloody twists. Kind of like a cross between “Shotgun Stories” and “No Country for Old Men” which, somehow, I think I liked even more than those, maybe because it’s so lean and mean. ]

(14 Oct) The Forbidden Room (2015, Guy Maddin) 72
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(15 Oct) un crabe dans la tête (2001, André Turpin) 19
[ I love current Quebec cinema, but in the late 1990s, early 2000s, local filmmakers generally turned me off. Fairly or not, I saw them as pretentious and self-indulgent. But some of those I hated back then, like Denis Villeneuve, I now adore. So today, before going to see the premiere of his comeback feature “Endorphine”, I decided to watch André Turpin’s previous directorial effort from 14 years ago, making an effort to keep my mind as open as possible. But good grief, it wasn’t easy! It opens with a long, dull diving sequence, followed by a long, dull scene in the hospital where underwater photographer Alex (David La Haye) wakes up. Cut to him in an airport, where he runs into an employee who’s reading a Kierkegaard book, which Alex remarks upon. What was I saying about these films coming off as pretentious and self-indulgent? Unsuprisingly, there’s some pretty great cinematography on display, so at least the movie is nice to look at… And I was certainly happy to see my beloved Isabelle Blais show up, though her character, like La Haye’s, is an insufferable poseur and the dialogue often sounds contrived. Blais plays Marie, a critic who says early on about a film she just watched with Alex: “De beaux personnages vides dans de belles images vides dans un beau scénario vide et convenu”, and it’s crazy how much that seems to describe “un crabe dans la tête” itself. Was that intentional? This film just kept rubbing me the wrong way, as Turpin threw in a deaf girl, various junkies, a not-quite-ex-wife, a pseudo controversial art exhibition and so on, in what felt to me like pointless scene after pointless scene. The kicker: this won a ton of Jutra Awards, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. I don’t get it. At all. Hopefully, “Endorphine” is nothing like this… ]

(15 Oct) Endorphine (2015, André Turpin) 82
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(16 Oct) Beasts of No Nation (2015, Cary Fukunaga) 87
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(16 Oct) Green Room (2015, Jeremy Saulnier) 63
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(17 Oct) Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014, James Keach)
[ This documentary follows country legend Glen Campbell, former member of The Wrecking Crew, one-time Beach Boys player and singer of such hits as “Gentle On My Mind” and “Rhinestone Cowboy”, during his farewell tour, after he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, as he plays shows across the United States and appears on The Tonight Show and at the Grammys, among other things. Throughout, there’s this growing tension because we’re afraid that he’s going to mess up on stage and eventually, he does and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. It climaxes with the recording of Campbell’s incredibly moving final song, the Oscar-nominated “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” ]

(18 Oct) Endorphine (2015, André Turpin) 82 94
[ After a second viewing, I definitely consider it to be a masterpiece and the best film I saw at FNC. ENDORPHINE is a psychotic thriller about fear and desire, traumas and dreams, death and memory, the nature of time and of cinema itself… Really, it’s about cinema most of all, as everything is conveyed mainly through cinematography, editing, sound design, etc., much more than through words. I must also mention Sophie Nélisse and Mylène Mackay, who deliver brilliantly offbeat performances. ]

(19 Oct) Steve Jobs (2015, Danny Boyle) 91
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(22 Oct) Crimson Peak (2015, Guillermo del Toro) 53
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(25 Oct) Back In Time (2015, Jason Aron)
[ Great Scott! A new “Back to the Future” documentary on Netflix just as Marty McFly has arrived in the future! It’s nothing particularly artsy or unconventional, it’s more like a DVD extra than a film-film, but who wouldn’t want to hear Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, Steven Spielberg, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, etc. talk about what is undeniabley one of the greatest movies of all time? ]

(27 Oct) Dheepan (2015, Jacques Audiard) 85
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(28 Oct) Victoria (2015, Sebastian Schipper) 68
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(29 Oct) Halloween (1978, John Carpenter) 83
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(31 Oct) Fatima (2015, Philippe Faucon) 60

(31 Oct) Truman (2015, Cesc Gay) 71
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

September / November