2015 log (12)

(4 Dec) Le coeur de madame Sabali (2015, Ryan McKenna) 63
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(5 Dec) Tangerine (2015, Sean Baker) 90
[ December is often catch-up time for me, a period during which I finally watch some of the best reviewed films of the year that I missed before I finalize my Top 10. First up: this Sundance selection, which is notable for having been shot with iPhone 5s and for starring two Black transgender actresses. Now, a neat technical gimmick or an admirable display of diversity don’t necessarily make a great movie. But breathless storytelling, electrifying direction and awesome performances do! Set in unglamorous corners of L.A. on Christmas Eve (it’s a Christmas movie, bitch!), “Tangerine” follows Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) et Alexandra (Mya Taylor), a pair of hilariously brash trans whores, as they look for the former’s boyfriend/pimp (James Ransone) and the “white fish” (Mickey O’Hagan) he’s been cheating with. Sean Baker’s film made me think of one of my favorites from a couple of years ago, “Tangerine”, which offered a somewhat similar mix of in-your-face attitude, sleaziness and loud music. As for the bits set in an Armenian driver (Karren Karagulia)’s cab, as various passengers sit in the back, they have sort of a “Slacker” quality that I liked a lot. It’s all really funny, lively, nasty, weird and wonderful, one damn thing after another, until the absolutely hysterical Donut Time climax and the sobering, oddly touching epilogue. This is guerilla filmmaking, with all the urgency and unpredictability that implies, much of the movie feeling like it’s actually happening spontaneously in front of you. I don’t know yet if it’ll make my Top 10, but it’s certainly a contender. ]

(5 Dec) The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner) 94
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(8 Dec) Carol (2015, Todd Haynes) 68
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(11 Dec) Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand) 90
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(14 Dec) The Hateful Eight (2015, Quentin Tarantino) 93
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(15 Dec) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, J.J. Abrams) 94
(17 Dec) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, J.J. Abrams) 94
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(21 Dec) The Revenant (2015, Alejandro González Iñárritu) 93
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(25 Dec) Making a Murderer – Season One (2015, Laura Ricciardi & Moira Demos)
[ I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. If this was fiction, you wouldn’t believe any of it. I’m not going to get into any specifics because part of what’s so riveting about this documentary series is having no idea what the true story is all about. It’s just twist after twist after twist… And it’s all so sad and shocking and frustrating and insane… A veritable roller coaster of emotions. It’s like “Gone Girl” (the novel, one of the best I read the last few years) crossed with the first season of the “Serial” podcast crossed with Quebec film “L’affaire Dumont”, but that doesn’t nearly cover the spectrum of unbelievable evil shit that makes up the events of this series. This is America at its worst. ]

(26 Dec) The Big Short (2015, Adam McKay) 84
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(26 Dec) Les Aimants (2004, Yves Pelletier) [ review ] 91