22 January 2012

The Artist

The Artist (France, 2011)
dir. Michel Hazanavicius
rating: ✶✶✶

It's an ingenious b/w reminiscence of Hollywood in transition from silent to sound film, 1927-1932, with the story of a star unwilling to change. The obvious plot, interesting at first, becomes tedious towards the end.

13 January 2012

Estonia Sings

The Singing Revolution (USA, 2006)
dir. James Tusty, Maureen Castle Tusty

The documentary recounts aspects of Estonian recovery of sovereignty with the implosion of the Soviet Union. It is recounted in a breathless, patriotic style without historical nuance, and numerous crowd scenes of beautiful blond singers.

On reflection I reduced the film from two to just one star. Critics need to recognize the film for what is is: little more than ethnic propaganda.

11 January 2012

Corporate America in Crisis

>The Company Men (USA, 2010)
dir. John Wells
rating: ✶✶

What happens in corporate America when executives are downsized and fired? It is masochistic to watch their comfortable socially predictable lives deteriorate with inevitable impact on families. There is one suicide in the mix, but at the end there is somehow a hopeful solution in declining America for the people we have been watching with no great interest.

Normally I don't post reviews of films that merit only two stars. However, this one is a tale for the times.

01 January 2012


Pina  (Germany, 2011)
dir. Wim Wenders
rating:  ✶✶✶✶✶

A riveting dance film, as much for the director's ingenious presentation, as for choreographer Pina Bausch's extraordinarily imaginative, daring theatre of movement and human emotion, it is the best movie of 2011 for me.

A number of Pina clips at YouTube are fascinating to watch, as well as a long interview (in German) with Wim Wenders. It is remarkable how in the film he communicated the essence of Pina’s work and her enigmatic sui generis personality without resorting to conventional biography. As well one learned about the amazing group of artists she assembled and loyally kept together for her Tanztheater Wuppertal over the years. Five days after she was diagnosed with cancer she died in 2009.

Tanzt, tanzt — sonst sind wir verloren
Dance, dance — otherwise we are lost