Exactly. My first comparison was Lance Hammer's Ballast - another recent film in which the director is a Rich White Kid who trains his focus on poor black characters in rural areas, yet manages to find not only lyrical beauty in their surroundings, but a real human center. But George Washington is an even better example because it also (as does Beasts) lifts a lot of Terrence Malick techniques, and does it effectively.
I also think it's completely disingenuous to accuse Zeitlin of creating poverty-porn. I believe one of the great achievements of the film was to show you a world that you've never seen before. A fantasy world, as seen through the eyes of a child living in a very unique geographical place. I don't think this film was ever intended to be a realistic portrayal of "how things really are" in the delta, and the poverty of its residents is completely beside the point. The people seem happy with what they have, for the most part, and it's their isolation from modern civilization that is significant.
You seem to be simultaneously denouncing the criticisms against Zeitlin for choosing this subject matter, while embracing them by suggesting he should stick to what he knows (rich white people.) That's a depressing notion for any artist, I would imagine, and one I'm personally glad this particular director ignored.
I completely disagree with your criticisms of the cinematography. I thought the visual look of the film was extraordinary, and considering the film's budget, almost as much of a miracle as the little girl's performance.
For me, the most compelling aspect of the film was the relationship between the father and his young daughter. Their interactions felt completely genuine to me, and while the young girl is the one getting all the praise, Dwight Henry's performance was equally impressive because was actually reacquired to do a lot more acting while she was greatly aided by the running VO on the soundtrack. Never once did it occur to me that I was watching a black father interact with his black daughter. Or in Gabe's case, the interaction between a poor southern black father and his poor southern black daughter as seen through through the eyes of a rich, white, first-time director from the east coast. Like I said, ignorance is bliss.
Last edited by bobert; 07-13-2012 at 01:40 PM.
This poster gives me a boner.
Everybody has a gun except Van Damme. His kicks are explosive.
Its pretty crazy that Jackie Chan was also asked to be in it. Crazy cast. Still need to see the first one.
Apparently Jet Li is so fast he doesn't even show up on the poster.
I'm pretty sure I'm explicitly defending his right to tell this story regardless of his background; I just don't happen to think he did it well. As I said elsewhere, if the film rang true to me, or if I felt he delved into the way the characters' self-identity was inextricable from their homeland in a way that had any depth, the director's heritage wouldn't even be discussed - but that's not the case. I understand that this was designed to be a fairytale (that couldn't be missed by anyone who sees it), but eschewing neorealism does not grant one license to avoid investing the characters with an inner life beyond the limits of precocious voiceover.The only reason these concerns can even be acknowledged is that Zeitlin (at this point) is not a great artist, but a mediocre one. While he may be moved by his experiences living in the New Orleans gulf, he doesn't show the capacity to transmit insight into this world; but at this point, I believe that his work wouldn't be much more valuable if it were focusing on the world that came from. With all that said (and I'm going to repeat a Twitter rant here), I do think that the effort to discredit him and his work based on his background is extremely misguided, and frankly, a little dangerous.
In regards to the cinematography - I have seen literally hundreds of better-photographed films that had less money than the $1.8M budget on this. Bellflower, for example, had a production budget of 1% what this one is reporting, and it was far more interesting and evocative visually. The production design on Beasts, on the other hand, is extraordinary, and that's what I meant when I said there were "neat things to look at". It's just a shame that the compositions and camera movements felt so thoughtless throughout. I will, however, fully agree with you on Henry's performance - I should have highlighted that as well. He, too, is hamstrung by a thin character, but he invests it with as much feeling as possible.
I think that's jet Li in the tank.
Cutter, watch it, it's fucking awesome. it's such a great example of completely insane '80s action movies, and the fights are brutal. the hand to hand combat in was even better than the gunfights. Dolph Lundgren was a monster in it, his fight with Stallone is one of the best I've seen in years. The jet Li/Steve Austin fight is really great too.
I remember it getting lauded during it theater run and just thinking to myself "These people know what the were buying a ticket for right?" I'll get it on netflix. Seems like the definition of an action popcork flick.
This reminds me that I need to see JCVD again. That movie was sssssooooo good.
I believe it's streaming on Netflix too!
I also think that Zeitlin deserves some credit for the performances of his two leads. It's easy to dismiss the little girl as cute and lovable while her voice over does most of the heavy lifting, but the fact is there's good reason why many directors refuse to work with children: it's damned difficult. For a first-time director to coax performances of that caliber out of two untrained actors is note-worthy. White, black, rich or poor; the materiel demanded a gifted to filmmaker to achieve its potential, and I believe Zeitlin delivered.
the phrase "Also Van Damme" cracks me up and gets me really excited every time Is see it.
Debating on doing the Nolan Batman trilogy. Starts at 6:30pm. Going to have to call the theater and ask about how long they plan to have their intermissions. Don't really recall my theater experience with Begins and I havent seen The Dark Knight since it was in theaters since I got super burned out on it.
Or I'm just going to go to the first screening in the morning since the new one is 3 hours long... Woooo
I don't know how I missed the earlier post about this movie...
out of the 6000 neckbeards in that convention hall, one of them had to have had the stones to record the teaser with the intent of uploading it online SOON
- New high-definition digital restoration, approved by director Roman Polanski, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- New interviews with Polanski, actor Mia Farrow, and producer Robert Evans
- Komeda, Komeda, a feature-length documentary on the life and work of jazz musician and composer Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote the score for Rosemary’s Baby
- 1997 radio interview with author Ira Levin from Leonard Lopate’s WNYC program New York and Company on the 1967 novel, the sequel, and the film
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park and Levin’s afterword for the 2003 New American Library edition of his novel, in which he discusses its and the film’s origins
The Master has an official poster now but the link I found is too big to post here and I'm too lazy to shrink it.
Your Sister's Sister was solid. It's too bad the montage thing at the end was so saccharine and gutless. Damn near ruined the movie for me.
Sounds like a great time to watch it for the first time!
Has anyone see the Dragon Destiny blu-ray release of HARD BOILED, and if so, how does the quality of the print/sound compare to the old, SD Criterion release? I'd be biased to the Criterion release, although it is not anamorphic, so...
I figured someone in here might know...
The Criterion release is still the best. i have the DD DVD release, and it's a decent transfer, but it's got pretty terrible "dubtitles." I've read that the blu ray is a literal straight rip from the same dvd, so it's not worth it at all.
Check out DVD Beaver or DVD Talk for reviews or comparisons. I would be stunned if the pre-2000 Criterion disc managed to come anywhere close to a Blu-ray release of even marginal quality.
Edit: unless it is just a rip, as Drinkey says it might be.