= BLACK SWAN --- Umm, kinda surprising. More camp than I expected and I'm not sure if that was the desired effect. Darren Aronofsky's latest (The Wrestler, Pi, The Fountain) comes at year's end with all the indie film fest hype for Oscar season. But this came off as a sort of psuedo-psychological horror flick using basic shock techniques that wear thin after a bit. This tale of prima ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman) fighting for her leading spot and her mind in a darker reworking of Swan Lake dealing with a manipulative choreographer (Vincent Cassel doing his best with a 2-dimensional svengali role) and Mila Kunis as the supposedly darker, brooding and more "real" competitor.
What could have been an interesting and revealing look into the more complex psychcology of ballet and the personalties within it ends up going for schlocky exploitive scenes and montages you could see coming from 5 miles away. Let's just say there are no big gotcha moments in this one. I wholeheartly expected to be challenged a bit more considering past work but maybe he's going for his own little audience of "indie pop". I can only think of how much better this would have been in the hands of (the late) Bob Fosse or even now through Sofia Coppola or Julie Taymor. Pretty cool dance and training scenes though. I see potential cult status on the horizon...
That was a interesting movie. It didn't go as in depth to issues related to black hair but it was good.
= DOWN BY LAW --- Jim Jarmusch's film about three prison escapees who break out of a New Orleans jail to the Louisana backwoods. Starring Tom Waits, John Lurie (two musicians in lead roles? shame! ha) and Roberto Benigni. Enjoyable freewhwheeling story and vibrant, deeper black & white cinematography makes this worth checking with no heavy themes I could clearly detect, just a cool movie.
= FLYIN' CUT SLEEVES --- Probing documentary that updates interviews done with gang members in the South Bronx NYC in the early '70's. What shines through in this one is how it shows how hopeful and charismatic the youth gang members were in the midst of their challenges. Most ended up being deeply involved in activism and citizens rights; one woman becoming a community organizer and another man becoming a "jailhouse lawyer" representing prisoner's rights and all the featured building families. This is a good bookend to anyone who has seen 80 Blocks From Tiffany's or Siempre Palante Siempre!, many of the same featured folks are in this film. A follow up to this would be interesting considering this was released in the early 90's.
Grimy ass UK films.
Revolutionary Road- I hope I never end up like these people
Tin Drum- crazy german movie, but very original concept
The invention of Lying- although sacrilegious and atheist theology preachy at times, pretty funny.