There are plenty of interesting documentaries that I’ve missed but thanks to DOC NYC I discovered “The Overnighters” and “Salt of the Earth” that will continue to haunt me for a while. It’s wonderful that “Citizenfour” can still be seen at IFC 2 months after its premiere and “Finding Vivian Maier” was a pleasant fixture at the same art cinema but otherwise… too often good documentaries have only a modest 1-2 weeks run in theaters. It feels like a never ending chase to watch them before they disappear. It’s unfair because frequently filmmakers invest several years of their life to shoot and edit their documentaries.
1. The Overnighters
2. The Salt of the Earth
4. Finding Vivian Maier
5. Waiting for August
6. Jodorowsky’s Dune
7. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
8. The Green Prince
9. National Gallery
10. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
11. 20.000 Days on Earth
13. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
14. Inequality for All
15. Pulp: A Film about Life, Death& Supermarkets
18. Waiting for the Elephant
19. Evolution of a Criminal
This top 30 consists of films that managed to differentiate themselves in 2014 through a very unique and consistent vision, a high level of overall quality, impeccable writing, choices that showcased courage and assumed creative risks, emotion, surprising choices and an interesting structure/concept. The order is not that relevant. I tried not to include titles that are predictable or emulate overused formulas created to please at all costs/artistic compromises. And I’ve left aside films like “Theory of Everything” and “The Imitation Game” because the screenwriting is often mediocre, boring, playing safe all the time. Both of them were made after the “awards (Academy) snatching recipe” and for me are forgettable and disappointing. An earlier version of this top was published in filmreporter.ro among other lists made by Romanian film critics.
- Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
- Starred Up
- Force Majeure
- Hide Your Smiling Faces
- Winter Sleep
- Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
- Two Days, One Night
- Abuse of Weakness
- The Double
- La Danza dela realidad
- Goodbye to Language 3D
- Love is Strange
- Under the Skin
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her
- Mood Indigo
- Clouds of Sils Maria
- QED (Quot Erat Demonstrandum)
January 18th,2015 Art
, Film recomendations in New York
, Film review
| tags: best films of 2015
, Force Majeure
, One Night
, oscar nominations 2015
, Two Days
Time can’t be changed. Regrets can be felt as mountains on our shoulders. If we can’t forgive or let it go. And mysteriously it runs faster or slower for us as a kid playing tricks while laughing loud. At Governor’s Jazz Lawn at the end of this summer time was controlled and moved back to the 20s to a beautiful era. This lady looks like she’s praying while observing her son and in time she will remember this moment.
You don’t love somebody expecting or asking to be loved back in the same way. It’s not a market transaction when the quantity it’s placed on scale and reduced to a fixed value with interest like a heart loan. The sacrifices and feelings you pour in front of your partner shouldn’t be used as a currency and pressure to get the same thing back. The moment when you ask to be loved because of what you did and went through for somebody breaks an untouchable magic and makes God angry. All that purity and beauty of love turns rotten and poisonous. Dark clouds are rushing over the relationship and that special connection is gone. The hell begins to build itself with confidence.
Ryan Gosling ‘s character in Blue Valentine expects to be showered with warm affection from his busy stressed wife and demands it as if it’s the easiest thing to do. But love comes and go. When it starts to step back you have to dig hard to discover why and then to work building its main structure again. But not all of us have reached maturity and wisdom in love matters. Experience helps you understand things but the lack of it might doom your love. How should two people communicate and find a common ground. By avoiding to be too selfish, listen well your half and find a common talking channel.
Love is crazy, foolish and it’s not directed by mind and ruled by intellect. You can’t control it choose the time it comes and who’s the person that the arrow will find. But context and timing can affect it in a difficult way and that’s the case with our couple from “Blue Valentine”. They’re both lost and in denial and they start to really see and understand each other in the last scene of the film in the kitchen. The ending can be perceived in two ways: either they’ ll start to respect each other more and reshape their marriage or just get a divorce. But there’s hope… and you can smell that perfume.
I’m not what some would call an avid fashion consumer and I refuse to follow the latest fashion trend just for the sake of being up to date or “cool”. I’m choosing what represents me whether it’s 2011, 60s or 90s and I believe a well cut black dress can be timeless. Different materials, patterns with transparencies or intricate elements can win me over because it involves an attention to details and a vision about how to transform/present/change women’ bodies. Nevertheless I’m fascinated with art and people who seek to be original and inventive.
Staying at the line to get tickets for “Savage Beauty” Alexander McQueen‘s exhibition at MET I was telling this old lady near me how it’s sad that people get really enamored with an artist after its death and how come we don’t see a similar crazy interest over a painting exhibition for instance. At that point I was a little bit familiar with McQueen’s work but looking back it was just a quick glimpse into his world.
McQueen was not just a huge talented fashion designer he was a complex artist and innovator, a smart cultivated creature and a sensitive and humble human being. Reading some of his quotes it feels like you attend an intense class swallowing essential things that sometimes are skipped even in prestigious art colleges or an entire existence on Earth. McQueen poured his love, interest and knowledge of history, nationalism, various cultures, soul, fear, poetry, film into his garments making them unique in every way. Each collection has a name that represents a theme that it’s explored with passion exposing the roots and combining it with surprising elements and personal interpretation. It’s like a poem but actually you’re driving through “100 years of Solitude” …
What McQueen created is art at its best and some of his dresses are so surreal and perfect you can’t stop staring at them. It’s a celebration of beauty in all forms and actually he teaches us to discover beauty in the most unexpected places. What we usually perceive as mundane or repulsive can be stripped to core and shown in a way that’s truly beautiful. But a great quality of McQueen art is its blunt honesty and extreme personal touch whether that means diving into dark demons or embrace playfulness or usual taboos.
McQueen forces us to open our minds, expand our horizon, swim inside our heart, accept our nightmares, use our imagination and take risks. His broad knowledge added complexity to his craft and while you admire mesmerized his creations you wanna read all those books that had a relevant impact on him, refining his approach on art. His art is full of emotion, originality, wisdom and inspires one greatly. Experiencing it enriched me in such a deep way and the hours I’ve waited in line were totally worth it. “Savage Beauty” it’s one of the best art exhibitions I’ve seen in my life.
Before daring to change anything significant in clothes McQueen learned to be a perfect and inventive tailor adapting to any situation. Once he mastered that he jumped from using leather or balsa wood to velvet with complicate manual embroidery to organza silk, tulle, lace. McQueen made dresses out of dead flowers, shells, exotic feathers playing with a dress from XIV century and expressing his own political views&opinions and then transporting us in the dark Victorian goth period and then into a fusion of Japanese art and Western consumption culture. His accessories are mind blowing they feel like contemporary magic props/sculptures that make you push yourself outside the usual barriers. Step out of the box now.
1. “Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest”
2. “The Future”
3. “The Double Hour”
6. “Bill Cunningham New York”
Wood, glass, cement, paint in different colors, elongated light bulbs all mixed together so well that Nunu cafe becomes your house for a few hours. Even more it’s your oasis. You’ve escaped the familiar things and somehow you feel liberated. That’s why you can’t stop taking pictures, writing or just…day dreaming.
The majority of romantic comedies manufactured in recent years are so contrived and forced, swimming in layers of sweet words that it feels you get a diabetes just by being a passive witness. The happy ending stories have been stripped of any trace of humanity while logic has left the room ages ago too. It’s almost an insult at least for your wallet.
After watching a disaster for 90 minutes you’re certain you’re boyfriend doesn’t love you enough, do the right things or in case you’re single you just wanna hide in a corner and turn off the light. Instead of eating a slice of good entertainment you feel miserable and after half an hour most of the film is erased from your head.
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is a refreshing surprise. You can definitely relate to the story whether it’s the young couple, the nanny infatuated with an older man, the divorcing couple, the lonely crazy teacher or the teenager in love with its nanny. Some of the lines are funny and sharp delivered when you least expect them. After a bad event it’s raining and Robo the teenager says “What a cliche” and you feel so relieved.
When Ryan Gosling didn’t grabbed an Oscar nomination for his breathtaking performance in “Blue Valentine” I was very disappointed. Not that I’m expecting a whole lot from the Academy’ choices. It was just sad. Gosling already has an Oscar nomination for “Half Nelson” and built a reputation of being extremely selective with new projects. He was staying away from pitiful compromises. That’s why I guess there was a 3 year gap between “Lars and the Real Girl” and “Blue Valentine”. Of course there were his music dreams too and Dead Man Bones managed to be original and low key in the same time.
But the Academy is always “sensitive” to box office numbers and the independent films Gosling was picking were not relevant in that sense. So I guess Gosling decided to change his approach a little bit and try new things too.
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is a romantic comedy and Ryan plays Jacob a typical Don Juan. The cast includes Steve Carell and Julianne Moore and Ryan said that he always wanted to work with Carell. Thank God the script is not brain washed and it has its twists and genuine, real moments. For Ryan it’s not a role that requires a lot of effort but he’s not disappointing us. He never has. If the masses will love “Crazy, Stupid, Love” then the Academy won’t be able to turn his back against him next time he’ll dazzle us with his acting skills. It makes sense.