Tamra Davis (Billy Madison, Half Baked) directed this documentary as an ode to her friend Jean Michel Basquiat. It doesn’t serve up anything particularly new about the artist, but does come across with a warmth and humanism that only a personal connection can foster. I’ve always had an aesthetic appreciation for Basquiats work, but the film certainly helped me gain a deeper understanding of his work and talent. If you’re a fan, it’s worth it. And if this doesn’t satiate your Basquiat fix, watch Julian Schnabel’s (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) bio-pic “Basquiat” (Schnabel is heavily featured in Davi’s movie).
Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut is most notable for it’s performances. Not a surprise, considering 3 out of the 4 leads are seasoned thespians transplanted from the well-received Broadway production and the only newcomer is Amy Ryan, who I loved in Gone Baby Gone and her all-too-brief stint on The Office. The film starts off slow with the relationships and plot points feeling muddled, but Hoffman exhibits some directing chops as the film story progresses. As Hoffman’s semi-inept title character learns to swim and cook, he visualizes the processes in order to overcome his ineptitude. These imaginary moments play out in mesmerizing sequences, but their success is probably owed more to Brian Kates’ editing that Hoffman’s directing.
going to see a screening of this tonight. I’m doubtful though because “let the right one in” was so good
Let Me In - Art by Olly Moss
Submitted by sadievincent
photo by Annie Leibovitz
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. They liked it hot.
The Cove works like a well crafted thriller, positioning a group of dolphin loving do-gooders against an evil (dolphin)blood thirsty government. But it’s important to remember that it’s not a thriller. It’s a documentary, and one with so much suspense and subjectivity that it’s hard not to feel like propaganda. Especially when the final title reads: “This film was brought to you by the Oceanic Preservation Society.” It’s disguised as guerilla journalism and the work of a small group of passionate conservationists, but the reality is it is the product of a much larger (albeit good natured) group with a very specific agenda.
I also have a huge problem with the way the film portrays Japanese people. It posits the Japanese as the enemies and is another example of Hollywood suggesting that a group of white men can come in and do what a whole nation could not (see my post about Ridley Scott’s “Black Rain”). It also fails to discuss what would happen to the economy of Taiji and other fishing communities should the practice be totally abolished. I certainly think it should be, but what are the adverse repercussions?
With all that said, the practice that the film exposes is horrifying. The images of what happens in the cove are chilling, and does call the viewer to action.
Trailer for The Town, directed by and starring Ben Affleck. I’m excited, but not. Read more: BEN’D OVER? Not Just Yet.