Sunday, November 22, 2009

Torrent Picks 11/22/09

Well its that time of the week once again, where i sit here and internally argue over which 5 movies I should put out for you all to give a look too and see if you enjoy them as much as I do, and hope that maybe, you'll grow to love them and share them with your friends...

Anyway, lets get into this shall we?

The Sensation of Sight: This one's abit special, but before I explain that, here is the plot synopsis: A fusion of dream/reality, this off-beat drama about man’s search for meaning amidst the ache of despair chronicles Finn, a middle-aged English teacher, as he enters a mid-life crisis impelled by a recent tragedy. As he sets afoot selling encyclopedias to the town locals, encounters ensue and sales are made, but Finn’s anxieties begin to consume him as he finds himself pursued by an unrelenting ghost. Circling through sleepless nights and desperate days, The Sensation of Sight intertwines lives of loneliness and disconnection, fatefully leading Finn toward an unexpected and sublime awakening. Now, this is truly a great mostly overlooked gem, which is a serious contender for my movie of the year given its recent small theatrical release to art house theaters, but more so then its brilliance, its amazing because it was filmed here in the town i live in, it was filmed over a summer and every single location, every house, every interior of a house, every outdoor scene, every building, all of that, all is shot here in town, afew scenes are even right across the street from where i live, so its got a special meaning for me, it just happens that also, its a brilliant and very deep film to boot. Which is good, cuz, well, the last film they shot here, The Legend of Lucy Keyes, not such a great film... and is best left forgotten. So yeah seriously give this one a shot.. you'll enjoy it immensely.

Birth Of A Nation: This is an odd choice, but I think in terms of historial value, both as a timecapsule of what people honestly were like in post civil war america, and also for the fact this is the first "blockbuster" film, and its impact on cinema in general, I felt I should give it some love just once, though in all honesty, i find it both sickening and compelling, and i guess thats about all one can do with this film really, kind a strange respective medium. here is a shortened version of the plot: Two brothers, Phil and Ted Stoneman, visit their friends in Piedmont, South Carolina: the family Cameron. This friendship is affected by the Civil War, as the Stonemans and the Camerons must join up opposite armies. The consequences of the War in their lives are shown in connection to major historical events, like the development of the Civil War itself, Lincoln's assassination, and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, taking out the fact this film is basically racist propaganda, and that all the black people are actually white people in blackface, this film is probably best seen the way nazi made propaganda films are, where you have to take completely out of context that it was made to farther a hatred or misguided belief. When you take that out in your mind, its actually not a bad film, its quiet brilliant really once you take that out, plus it was the film tht lead to D. W Griffith's masterwork, Intolerance.

Chasing Amy: Holden McNeil falls hard for Alyssa Jones, only to find that she plays for the other team. But their connection persists, and he pursues, and all of a sudden unspoken passion gives way to a budding relationship. Threatened by Alyssa’s intrusion, Holden’s friend, roommate and comic book co-creator Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) digs up some dirt that may bring the whole thing to an end. Holden must learn to deal with Alyssa’s checkered past and come to terms with his own feelings on the relationship while simultaneously straightening out his wounded friendship—but confronting the ugly truths of life is easier said than done. This is one of those movies that is incredible in the fact that it ensured its target demographic 100% but also was able to reach out of it, and eventually solidify Kevin Smith's status as a geek hero and cult director, and the movie that solidified his jerseyverse series of films, which went on to define his career. This is notable too in the fact its actually got the most lines spoken by Smith's character of Silent Bob, which among fans of his movies is pretty important.

A Clockwork Orange: Set in a dystopic England of the future where gangs roam the streets, do drugs, and speak a slang language based on Russian, it follows the story of young delinquent Alex (Malcolm McDowell). Alex's love for cruelty and rape is only overshadowed by his love of classical music. After committing a terrible crime he is sent to a detention facility where he is subjected to a new technique for rehabilitating criminals. This technique involves forcing the subjects to watch films of violence while under the influence of drugs that cause pain. This technique creates an association in the subject between violence and pain and essentially cures Alex of his violent impulses. Unfortunately, the soundtracks of these films is the same classical music Alex once loved, and he necessarily comes to associate this music with extreme physical pain as well. After his release from the hospital, he wanders the streets and is beaten by his former friends, as he is now physically incapable of defending himself. He returns to the scene of the crime that got him arrested, where the husband of the woman he killed tortures him by forcing him to listen to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Alex attempts suicide by jumping out of a window, but survives. After some time in the hospital he returns to normal and is seduced into joining the current political administration, in order to repair the damage to their reputation caused by his attempted suicide. He is happily a violent delinquent again, this time in the pay of the government. This is one of the best films ever made, so much so its a definitive work of the british cinema, and though some can argue the violence and nudity is, questionable to some.

Good Night, And Good Luck: Based on the treacherous times of the 1950's when the Communist scare was sweeping around the country. A CBS news anchor Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) along with his director Fred Friendly (George Clooney) takes on the US Government and Senator Joseph McCarthy when they run a story about a member of the Air Force that was dismissed because of suspected ties to Communism. What results is a war of words and accusations that make the CBS Network President William Paley (Frank Langella) nervous and could lead to lasting effects for both Murrow and his crew. This film went mostly over looked when it was release not many years ago, but I feel it tells a story of importance and tells of the closest thing we will find to witch trials in modern day history, the communist trails of Senator Joe McCarthy, who ruined many a life with his misappropriations and paranoia during the cold war, a shameful time in American history which though looked back on in disgust and shame, but can still teach us alot and be used as a great background for other stories. Too often in american culture the 1950s are seen as a time of great joy and innocence, when really all that was, was how television was back then, in the real world, it wasn't like that at all.

Well, thats it for this week, i hope all of you have a great and safe holiday, and I will be back later this week wtih more...



1 comment:

  1. Good call on Clockwork and Good Night. I think now that Clooney is kind of out of that phase where he takes roles so people can see him, he is doing much better. Syriana, The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Good German,etc.