Summer Film Festival 2017 – Day Six and Seven

Summer Film Festival 2017 – Day Six

Pieces

Director: Juan Piquer Simon 

Screenplay: Dick Randall and John W. Shadow

Minutes: 85

Year: 1982

Score: 3.27

Release: Grindhouse Releasing

I would first like to thank Arrow Video for telling me this exists, now I would like to thank Grindhouse for releasing a US edition. This is a well-made Spanish slasher flick with the tag-line, “You don’t need to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre.”

Pieces is a brutal splatter fest with a troubled young boy growing up to become a troubled old may. There are a few clunky rope-a-dopes here but you will want to come for the wholesale, yet masterful, gore effects.

For fans of gore flicks you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

Director: 6 – Cinematography: 7 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 0 – Main performance: 5 – Else performance: 3 – Score: 9 – Sound: 6 – Story: 8 – Script: 8 – Effects: 10 – Design: 5 – Costumes: 6 – Keeps interest: 9 – Lasting: 10

The Premonition

Director: Robert Allen Schnitzer

Screenplay: Anthony Mahon and Robert Schnitzer

Minutes: 94

Year: 1976

Score: 6.13

Release: Arrow Video

Arrow Video put out a collection called the American Horror Project, Vol 1 to highlight lesser known, American made, horror films. Two of them were not worth the time, The Premonition, however, was well made. It’s worth noting that I may come around on the other two later but they weren’t clicking for me when I tried to watch them.

The Premonition is the story about a woman whose daughter is taken by the state when she exhibits mental issues and her desire to get the daughter back. There were some decent effects in this psychological horror film. It is tough to recommend the set for one movie, though, if you find another way to check this flick out, go for it.

Director: 6 – Cinematography: 6 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 3 – Main performance: 6 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 8 – Sound: 5 – Story: 9 – Script: 8 – Effects: 6 – Design: 4 – Costumes: 5 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 10

Blow-Up

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni  

Screenplay: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, and Edward Bond

Minutes: 111

Year: 1966

Score: 6.60

Release: Criterion Collection

Blow-Up is an interesting twisted mixture of an early giallo and a standard 1960’s art house film. It has the mystery and the bumbling detective but not the ever-heightening intensity.

This film is definitely not my favorite Antonioni flick but it is still worth a watch.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 10 –  Edit: 4 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 6 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 7 – Sound: 5 – Story: 7 – Script: 7 – Effects: 4 – Design: 9 – Costumes: 10 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 10

A Brighter Summer Day

Director: Edward Yang

Screenplay: Hong-ya Yan, Ming-tang Lai, Shun-ching Yang, Edward Yang

Minutes: 237

Year: 1991

Score: 7.60

Release: Criterion Collection

This movie has been on my to-watch stack for too long and I now regret waiting. A Brighter Summer day is one of the most spectacular pieces of film I have ever watched. It is long, very long, but it doesn’t feel like it when you are watching because of how glorious every shot is and how enthralling the characters are.

Don’t be like me. Don’t wait to enjoy this movie.

Director: 10 – Cinematography: 10 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 5 – Main performance: 10 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 7 – Sound: 5 – Story: 10 – Script: 10 – Effects: 5 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 6 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 10

Being There

Director: Hal Ashby 

Screenplay: Jerzy Kosinski and Robet C. Jones

Minutes: 130

Year: 1979

Score: 7.67

Release: Criterion Collection

My cousin said that this is the, “first Forest Gump,” and he is right. I wasn’t putting two and two together until he said that but the similarities are clear. I am not sure which is better, it has been too long since I have watched Forest Gump.

When I met Lee Kline at the Wexner Center a few months back he said that Chance, the Gardener was Peter Sellers’s favorite role. I can believe that, he fully embodies the role and forces a viewer to believe that they are one in the same.

I very highly recommend this film.

Director: 10 – Cinematography: 7 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 3 – Main performance: 10 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 7 – Sound: 5 – Story: 9 – Script: 10 – Effects: 5 – Design: 9 – Costumes: 10 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 10

All the Colors of the Dark

Director: Sergio Martino

Screenplay: Ernesto Gastaldi, Sauro Scavolino, and Santiago Moncada

Minutes: 94

Year: 1972

Score: 6.80

Release: Shameless Entertainment

Short and sweet, this is a fun suspense flick, but it is not cheaply available in the states so as much as I enjoyed it all I can say it if they release a new US edition keep it in your sights. For my region free friends, I recommend this Shameless edition.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 6 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 2 – Main performance: 7 – Else performance: 2 – Score: 7 – Sound: 7 – Story: 6 – Script: 7 – Effects: 7 – Design: 9 – Costumes: 8 – Keeps Interest: 10 – Lasting: 10

Summer Film Festival 2017 – Day Six

Friends of Eddie Coyle

Director: Peter Yates 

Screenplay: Paul Monash

Minutes: 102

Year: 1973

Score: 6.13

Release: Criterion Collection

 

Vague spoilers, I recommend the film but if you have not watched it then skip the next paragraph. The biggest hit to the score is the fact that I had to stretch to remember any women in the picture at all. They have one, but she is an object, not a character.

I was chatting with a friend the other day who said noir is not a genre, crime films are, but noir is not. I think Friends of Eddie Coyle may prove him wrong. Crime films can end a few ways but one of the key elements of a strong noir film is the ending, it MUST be a certain way. Robert Mitchem is a great actor, even if he plays the same roles over and over.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 6 –  Edit: 4 – Parity: 0 – Main performance: 9 – Else performance: 7 – Score: 5 – Sound: 6 – Story: 7 – Script: 9 – Effects: 5 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 9 – Lasting: 5

Pepe le Moko

Director: Julien Duvivier

Screenplay: Julien Duvivier and Henri La Barthe

Minutes: 94

Year: 1937

Score: 5.67

Release: Criterion Collection

One of my go to podcasts is Criterion Now by Aaron West, from Criterion Cast. A few episodes ago they played a quick game ranking crime movies and Pepe le Moko came in second. I don’t know if it was the gross DVD picture quality, or watching it directly after a gritty 70’s crime flick but it was not clicking on every level.

It is very enjoyable, and for its time it broke ground but today it is a little too tame. Hopefully they give the movie a full-blown restoration and my opinions might change.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 5 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 2 – Main performance: 7 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 5 – Sound: 5 – Story: 7 – Script: 7 – Effects: 3 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 8 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 5

Yi Yi

Director: Edward Yang

Screenplay: Edward Yang

Minutes: 173

Year: 2000

Score: 8.07

Release: Criterion Collection

Edward Yang might be my new favorite direct. This movie is a masterpiece, actually they both are. My one problem is the best I can do in describing the pictures is that they are slice of life drama films. Going much deeper would do nothing to help sell them, if anyone else, shy of Bergman or Kieslowski made these films they would not rate as highly.

Watch this now.

Director: 10 – Cinematography: 10 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 8 – Main performance: 9 – Else Performance: 6 – Score: 6 – Sound: 8 – Story: 10 – Script: 9 – Effects: NA – Design: 6 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 10

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Director: Nathan Juran 

Screenplay: Kenneth Kolb

Minutes: 88

Year: 1958

Score: 7.27

Release: Indicator Series

 

Ray Harryhausen is one of the masters of filmmaking who I have not shown nearly enough respect towards. I have seen Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts dozens of time each, I knew there are others but I have not watched them.

Indicator Series, out of the UK, as started putting out sets of Harryhausen films. Their first set is of the Sinbad films him made. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is the first in this set and I can already say that it is on the short list of nominees for release of the year.

For the uninitiated Ray Harryhausen is a master of stop-motion animation and film today would be wildly different without his movies. You must know, going in, that they show their age, but there would be no Star Wars empire, or Jurassic Park films without the pictures of Ray Harryhausen. This is a man who deserves respect.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 9 –  Edit: 10 – Parity: 2 – Main performance: 6 – Else performance: 3 – Score: 7 – Sound: 6 – Story: 6 – Script: 5 – Effects: 10 – Design: 10 – Costumes: 8 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 10

 

 

 

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