The Walker

Not rated yet!
Director
Paul Schrader
Runtime
1 h 48 min
Release Date
13 February 2007
Genres
Crime, Drama, Mystery
Overview
An escort who caters to Washington D.C.'s society ladies becomes involved in a murder case.
Staff ReviewsAround the Web ReviewsAudience Reviews

Check back soon when the reviews are out!

Or why not join our mailing list to stay up to date?

 

SIGN UP!

Box office recaps sent twice a month (maximum).

( ̄^ ̄)ゞ (☞゚ヮ゚)☞ No spam! ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)




 ✍🏻  > 🗡️   Want to join our team? Email us!  
VJ Morton5
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • TIFF Capsules — Day 9

    TIFF Capsules — Day 9

    ROMANCE OF ASTREA AND CELADON, Eric Rohmer, France — 6

    I’m afraid I may be becoming an auteurist zombie with my grade on this movie, an adaptation of a 17th-century novel in the chivalric style, about a 5th-century love split by a misunderstanding. ROMANCE is the weakest film I’ve ever seen by my favorite living film-maker, but not an uninteresting one, exactly because I had such difficulty with it.¹ To state what is most obvious, ROMANCE is very badly acted movie. Atrociously acted. At the bad middle-school, Max Fischer Players level of reciting clearly-memorized lines. It’s so bad that it HAS to be deliberate … this is Eric frickin’ Rohmer, right? And he did make PERCEVAL, a medieval-set heroic tale that was just as stiffly and artificially acted. Right? He did. Except … PERCEVAL was clearly performed as an onscreen text — absurdly artificial cardboard sets, characters self-narrating their actions, a visible music chorus, complete with Foley artists in costume. I can’t entirely embrace PERCEVAL, but it was clearly an anti-realist period film (though I think THE LADY AND THE DUKE much superior in that vein). But there’s none of either earlier film’s visual strategy in ROMANCE, which is shot plain-vanilla style in natural settings that neither evoke the past or signify anything at all. And seeing ROMANCE the same day as THE VIRGIN SPRING didn’t make me more receptive to the “medieval stylization” claim. Theo pointed out to me later that Rohmer begins ROMANCE with a card saying the film would try to recreate how a 17th-century audience would imagine this chivalric-romance story. Which I got, but doesn’t seem like an explanation. Would (or could) Enlightenment audiences have imagined an-already-past piece in the style of cinematic realism? I have such regard for Rohmer that I have no doubt he achieved what he wanted to. I just don’t have the foggiest notion of what exactly that was. And why.

    THE WALKER, Paul Schrader, USA — 7

    In the midst of all the snooty art films at a festival like TIFF, the good ones and the bad ones, you still need at least a couple of palate cleaners: English-language entertainment films with few ambitions beyond telling a story, making you laugh, giving you a thrill/chill or two. So for the ninth day of a fest, THE WALKER is a perfectly confectionary film. Schrader pretty much made this movie 25 years ago. A “walker” is basically a publicly-presentable escort/companion for older socially-prominent women (no sex occurs, and gay men are particularly valuable since can appear publicly with women without suspicion). In this Washington-set movie, Schrader more or less tells the story of AMERICAN GIGOLO with Woody Harrelson as a gay Richard Gere. There’s a dash or two of political intrigue added in, the latter of which is little more than another example of what I call “liberalism as product placement.” But Schrader handles the mechanics of the semi-political thriller deftly, Harrelson effectively plays both sides of the street — a bon-vivant and a man unexpectedly finding himself pushed into a corner. And any movie with a Diva Row like this one — Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Lauren Bacall — can only be called “fabulous.”

    ERIK NIETZSCHE: THE EARLY YEARS, Jacob Thuesen, Denmark — 3

    When reviewing a 1981 film, Roger Ebert asked himself the following question, the most basic one a film critic can ask: “Why is Heaven’s Gate so painful and unpleasant to look at?” and answered that “it is so smoky, so dusty, so foggy, so unfocused and so brownish yellow that you want to try Windex on the screen” and concluded that “a director is in deep trouble when we do not even enjoy the primary act of looking at his picture.” Since the momentous December 1996 day when I walked half-awares into an Atlanta theater playing BREAKING THE WAVES, Lars Von Trier the director has never failed to make my annual Top 10. But Lars Von Trier the writer, when directed by others, has never avoided an all-caps CON (the only other such title is DEAR WENDY), and both WENDY and NIETZSCHE, a roman a self-clef about LvT’s years in Danish film school, have (among others) the same basic primary visual problem: a beige-brown palette that is simply ugly and dirty to look at. You DO want to try Windex on ERIK NIETZSCHE. The material isn’t all that bad — the pseudonymous “Nietzsche” finding his way through film school — and often very funny (the portrayals of the other students and professors have the feel of getting back on your own high-school class). But it’s extremely one-dimensional and the LvT self-promotion bandwagon has worn out its welcome. And the film’s as ugly as ass.

    THE VIRGIN SPRING, Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1960 — 8

    I’ll describe my particular interactions with presenter Max von Sydow in another post, but to speak strictly of SPRING as a movie (we have all seen it, right?). Von Sydow pointed out after the film how the central scene of discovery, when the mother sees her daughter’s clothes among the thieves’ belongings, Bergman simply held on the mother’s face for a very long time. No cutting away and no underlining score, or any of the other things that a film-maker would do today. “He takes the time to make you feel her loss,” Von Sydow said (quoting from memory; may be a little off). He’s obviously correct about Bergman taking his time when he needs to, but I was struck just as much by almost the opposite reaction — just how efficiently-paced SPRING is. Bergman doesn’t waste a moment in a film that is as lean and fast (but without seeming hurried or harried; that’s the genius) in its storytelling as NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Whatever may be said about his other movies, Bergman knew that medieval legends went straight to the point. Uniting my observation and Von Sydow’s — every scene is exactly as long as it should be. SPRING may also represent the peak (or at least “most typical”) example of Bergman’s black-and-white visual style: a bold chiaroscuro with harshly-defined lines around the objects, but with the pearl-gray ambience producing soft shadows, the result of using a kind of diffused light typical of the overcast North. Given that Bergman so comprehensively creates texture, this movie’s medieval setting and parable story produce the effect of looking at tableaux or a series of church icons (like the Stations of the Cross, say) from a time where movies didn’t exist. The thing that struck me most anew in this viewing of SPRING, my third or fourth, was how spoiled and naive is the young girl of the title (like Narcissus, she pauses to admire her own beauty in a pool of water), and how Birgitta Petterson’s performance, effective in this context though it is, seems to belong in another movie. She’s all sunny and light-hearted, as if she doesn’t realize that she’s living in medieval times. Camille Paglia would no doubt have a field day applying her theories of date rape to this girl’s reckless behavior, plus the archetypes Bergman plays to the nines — blonde-vs.-brunette, say. But I will always think that Gunnel Lindblom as the pagan maid isn’t giving is a bit … much of the smoldering hatred act.

    —————————————————–

    ¹ I hasten to say that ROMANCE is not at all “difficult” in the LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD sense of “hard to follow.” Indeed it’s almost too simple, a romantic misunderstanding followed by efforts to straighten things out.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    The death of Eric RohmerIn "Eric Rohmer"

    Me and MaxIn "Ingmar Bergman"

    TIFF Grades -- Days 8/9In "TIFF 2007"

    September 24, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

    No comments yet.

    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • More self-absorption
    (”The Walker” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    More self-absorption

    Since I’m holding off revealing my Skandie ballot, I’ll reveal what I almost voted for but didn’t. My method is to put go through the list of all the films I’ve seen and write down everything that strikes me as memorable or a possibility. And then shuck back to 10. These are the leaves that got shucked. These were what did NOT make my ballot. And yes … I only could think of 12 lead female and 13 supporting female performances.¹

    Lead male
    Song Kang-ho, The Host
    Is that the funny Helper Guy from SECRET SUNSHINE?

    Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
    Is that the Jewish Nazi from THE BELIEVER?

    Russell Crowe, American Gangster
    Went with him over Denzel cause his character had a bit more of an arc

    Brad Pitt, Jesse James
    He breathes his own legendness

    James McAvoy, Atonement
    Didn’t think he had it in him; actually least convincing when trying for Big Emotions

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
    Doesn’t know how to give a bad performance as a Gen-X everyman

    Chris Cooper, Breach
    Doesn’t overdo the religiosity, despite its obvious centrality in his character’s life. I actually met a couple of Robert Hanssen’s children (unknowingly) at a friend’s party

    Tony Leung, Lust, Caution
    Might have placed if he had run full-speed and dived into cars more often

    Slavoj Zizek, the Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
    Technically a documentary, but his onscreen “performance” is as central to his film as Algore’s was

    Woody Harrelson, the Walker
    Perfect casting helps, as you always get the sense that he’s still the dumb bartender

    Lee Kang-sheng, the Wayward Cloud
    More of a deadpan presence than a “performance,” at least in the dramatic scenes, but that’s what the role calls for

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the Savages
    Ditto above. And this project looked so DEADLY BAD on paper (or trailer, actually)

    Sebastian Koch, Lives of Others
    Turns 180 degrees without an exact “Eureka!” moment

    John C. Reilly, Walk Hard
    Deserved a better script than he got, but has ironic sincerity chops to spare

    Lead female
    Rose McGowan, Grindhouse
    Her legs alone made PLANET TERROR

    Nina Kervel-bey, Blame It on Fidel
    If she’s too precocious, the movie falls apart

    Supporting male
    Teodor Corban, 1208 East of Bucharest
    Like a lower-key, less overtly demonstrative version of Steve Coogan’s “Alan Partridge”

    Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, The Boss of It All
    I didn’t think an Icelander would ever work for Lars again

    Jeff Goldblum, Fay Grim
    Made Hartley’s bizarro-dialogue seem completely natural

    Josh Brolin, Grindhouse
    Everyman face makes the snarling ridiculousness of his zombie-movie performance

    Jim Broadbent, Hot Fuzz
    One great thing about British actors is that the greatest are not ashamed to do comedy

    Nick Frost, Hot Fuzz
    Every man’s idea of a best buddy — comic version

    Jason Bateman, Juno
    Every man’s idea of a best buddy — not-so-comic version

    Andre Dussolier, Private Fears in Public Places
    Look at how the contrast between his mouth and his eyes makes the tape-watching scene

    Chewitel Ejiofor, Talk to Me
    Yawn … another brilliant low-key, grounded performance from the best actor with a name you can’t pronounce

    Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood
    Actually able to share the screen with Daniel Day-Lewis (is that a spoiler for my Best Actor ballot?)

    Robert Downey Jr., Zodiac
    How he is able to get all these roles about people driven to drink and drugs by obsession is absolutely beyond me.

    Supporting female
    Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
    How often and in how many contexts can she play the White Witch (not that I’m complaining)

    Juliette Binoche, Breaking and Entering
    The proverbial actress so great she can stir you by reading the telephone book (which this script pretty much lets her prove)

    Kristin Scott Thomas, the Walker
    Playing “regal diva” opposite Lauren Bacall is hardly easy, but she has a contemporary quality too

    Director
    Philip Groening, Into Great Silence
    I’ll probably have to do penance for this one since his film was in the Top 5, required the patience of Job to get made and got no other points

    George Ratliff, Joshua
    I’ll probably have to do penance for this one since his film was in the Top 10, and I actually know him personally from our days at Texas (did the YMCA dance with his girlfriend at a mutual friend’s wedding)

    Vincent Parronaud and Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
    I’ll probably have to do penance for this one since this film was in the Honorable Mentions, required the patience of Job to get made and wound up with no points at all from me

    Joe Wright, Atonement
    Best moments as a director, in this film at least, are the ones he hands over to others; plus, the library scene

    Edgar Wright, Grindhouse
    I thought about giving him points for two films but then something told me … DON’T

    Francis Lawrence, I Am Legend
    Handles the summer super-spectacle genre with surprising restraint

    Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd
    Would have found a place for him if he hadn’t cast his nonsinger wife in a role that has no place for a nonsinger to hide

    Script
    Lars von Trier, the Boss of It All
    It takes a great script to make a very good movie with Auto-Mat-O-Vision as director

    Sean Penn, Into the Wild
    I hated what looked like Catcher-in-the-Rye-wannabe twaddle before I realized the film had been playing me for a fool the whole time

    Scene
    The Fate of the Coward Robert Ford after the Assassination of Jesse James, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    I actually DID vote for this scene before Mike told me it was too long and too broad-in-scope to qualify as a scene

    The TV interview, Atonement
    No scene more moved me this year than this one, but I’m not sure it could work even a little if you hadn’t seen what preceded

    Reunited … at last, Gone Baby Gone
    See ATONEMENT scene … it’s a crushing rebuke to do-gooder idealism, but via a scene of banalities in which nothing really happens

    “Nannare/Barso Re Megha,” Guru
    I’ll probably have to do penance for all the impure thoughts (the video is here, and though this reproduction is crap, it is still AR Rahman and Aishwarya)

    Oil!, There Will Be Blood
    Great expressionist spectacle, great impressionistic subjectivity and darkness erupts into the world, in more sense than one

    Anton Ego tries the food, Ratatouille
    A Proustian moment, seen on Bastille Day, a few weeks after eating madeleines for the first time

    Opening terrorist attack, The Kingdom
    What an action scene should be — taut, quick, choreographed and brutal without ever seeming to be those things

    Hotel shootout (the old-style hotel with corridors; not the motel with adjoining rooms), No Country for Old Men
    The competition from this film was pretty stiff

    A midnight water run, No Country for Old Men
    The competition from this film was pretty stiff

    Interview at Greenhill Manor, the Savages
    Funny test, plus PSH’s best moment in the film, telling off appearances-over-all sister later

    “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” Zodiac
    Saw this again last week, and I realized it’s the only moment of real white-knuckle suspense in the movie

    Bart goes skateboarding, the Simpsons
    Showing the 8-year-old’s willie was a mistake though

    “All These Things That I’ve Done,” Southland Tales
    Boosted by being a moderately enjoyable scene in the middle of a train wreck of a movie

    Driving through the village, Syndromes and a Century
    Five minutes of unbroken pure Being, in which nothing else really happens

    Let us pray, Breach
    Stuck in Washington traffic and prayer combined — what more could I want
    ———————————————–
    ¹ There were a half-dozen films — THE WAYWARD CLOUD, LUST CAUTION, THE SAVAGES, ATONEMENT, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL — where I had a man and woman from the same film on my short list, but only the woman (women in one case) made the final cut. The competition was just so much less for the women, and I can think of only a few important female roles that I missed, either in terms of not seeing the film or forgetting about the actress until after I had submitted my ballot.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    February 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

    4 Comments »

    1. “Ego tries the food,” “hotel shootout” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man” all made my final list.

      Comment by Noel | February 6, 2008 | Reply

    2. I contend that showing Bart’s doodle was a brilliant masterstroke that elevated the scene into greatness — I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a bigger explosion of laughter in a theater.

      Comment by Donna | February 6, 2008 | Reply

    3. I’m with Donna on the issue of Nancy Cartwright’s penis.

      Comment by Adam Villani | February 7, 2008 | Reply

    4. […] was the scene from THE SIMPSONS MOVIE of Bart skateboarding nude (on a dare from Homer, natch). But I said there that “Showing the 8-year-old’s willie was a mistake though,” which has drawn two dissents […]

      Pingback by Nancy Cartwright’s penis « Rightwing Film Geek | February 7, 2008 | Reply


    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • TIFFing time again
    (”The Walker” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    TIFFing time again

    If this year’s Toronto International Film Festival lineup is any indication, it will be a long fall, with the Artist-Industrial Complex lecturing about the evil that is (in the words of this blurb) “the so-called War on Terror” (and the rest of the usual demonology). With that in mind, I didn’t give a bunch of films playing at this year’s festival so much as a second look — here’s the whole list of Toronto movies and presentations that I would not see on principle. I saw the subject matter or read the descriptions, crossed it off and moved on.

    Looking at that list, or rather the length of it (20 films and several presentations) — I really have to wonder if alienating conservative viewers is something Hollywood, Indiewood and the Festival Mafia do as a conscious marketing strategy or is just so much their unstated “Dasein” that they can’t even step outside themselves to see it.

    But in a festival of almost 300 films, that’s not an insurmountable loss. In fact, here is another pretty distinguished list (will try to reconstruct later, VJM) — the films I really wanted to see but probably will not (I may juggle stuff around, depending on buzz). For the most part, it was simply a matter of scheduling, trying to squeeze a quart of 60 must-see films into a pint pot of 50 time slots. You can get to their individual pages from this list-page.

    • Cassandra’s Dream (Woody Allen, Britain) — no explanation needed, I hope
    • The Last Lear (Rituparno Ghosh, India) — Amitabh Bachchan, the world’s biggest star, in his first English role
    • Beyond the Years (Im Kwon-taek, South Korea) — the pansori singer was the best part of Im’s Chunhyang
    • Christopher Columbus: The Enigma (Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal) — another weird-out conversation piece like A Talking Picture?
    • The Duchess of Langeais (Jacques Rivette, France) — every film by the New Wave Masters is an event
    • Juliette Binoche in films by Hou Hsiao-hsien and Amos Gitai — can maybe the world’s greatest actress help out torpid auteurs?
    • The Pope’s Toilet (Enrique Fernandez/Cesar Charlone, Uruguay) — wack premise could make a great semi- (or even non-) blasphemous black comedy
    • Juno (Jason Reitman, USA) — Thank You for Smoking as a debut film; plus, later, Mike d’A says strong buzz from Telluride
    • Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, USA) — Ryan Gosling; the word “Lars” and the use a puppet to substitute for a person (Ryan, stay the hell away)
    • Boy A (John Crowley, Britain) — echoes of Nolan’s Memento and the Dardennes’ Le Fils
    • Ellen Burstyn presents Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More (Martin Scorsese, USA) — No explanation needed, I hope

    So … bitching over.

    Unlike last year, I got all my first choices, and this festival is shaping up with the potential to be the greatest ever. After a so-so first day, the potential masterpieces come in daily and in bunches — Andersson, Herzog, Rohmer, Maddin, A. Lee, Baumbach, Olmi, Lee M-s, Ozon. Plus enormous buzz on the Bar-Lev, Van Sant, the Coens and Matsumoto. The films by the uneven Miike and Loach look to fit the maker’s good molds rather than the bad ones. Plus Cannes prize-winners by Mungiu, Kawase, Lee C-d. And my first exposures to Tarr, Reygadas, and Jiang. The Breillat and Arcand even seem tolerable. A rediscovered Ford silent, plus a contemporary-made silent slapstick homage. Even Greenaway, whose last film became the first I ever walked out on, is cause for optimism — getting back into Dutch paintings and a group of militiamen, so can we expect The Draughtsman, The Thief, His Wife, etc.? And to top it all off — Max von Sydow presenting one of Ingmar Bergman’s movies a few weeks after his death.¹

    This will be an awesome week-and-a-half. Here is my planned schedule.

    6 SEPT
    630pm Fugitive Pieces (Jeremy Podeswa, Canada)
    900pm The Brave One (Neil Jordan, USA)
    1159pm The Mother of Tears (Dario Argento, Italy)

    7 SEPT
    915am You, the Living (Roy Andersson, Sweden)
    noon The Mourning Forest (Naomi Kawase, Japan)
    400pm One Hundred Nails (Ermanno Olmi, Italy)
    715pm Les Chansons d’Amour (Christophe Honore, France)
    900pm Lust, Caution (Ang Lee, Taiwan)

    8 SEPT
    1000am Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, France/Iran)
    1245pm The Man from London (Bela Tarr, Hungary)
    330pm The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey)
    600pm No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers, USA)
    900pm The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, USA)

    9 SEPT
    200pm Bucking Broadway (John Ford, USA, 1917; presented by Peter Bogdanovich)
    345pm In Memory of Myself (Saverio Costanzo, Italy)
    600pm Nightwatching (Peter Greenaway, Britain)
    900pm Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/Holland)

    10 SEPT
    1000am 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days (Cristian Mungiu, Romania)
    1215pm Happiness (Hur Jin-ho, South Korea)
    300pm Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Shekhar Kapur, Britain)
    700pm Encounters at the End of the World (Werner Herzog, USA)
    915pm My Kid Could Paint That (Amir Bar-Lev, USA)

    11 SEPT
    1100am Children of the Sun (Yaldey Hashemesh, Israel)
    100pm Chaotic Ana (Julio Medem, Spain)
    345pm Operation Filmmaker (Nina Davenport, USA)
    600pm Margot at the Wedding (Noah Baumbach, USA)
    915pm Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, USA)
    1159pm Sukiyaki Western Django (Takashi Miike, Japan)

    12 SEPT
    930am It’s a Free World… (Ken Loach, Britain)
    noon The Last Mistress (Catherine Breillat, France)
    230pm Atonement (Joe Wright, Britain)
    600pm A Girl Cut in Two (Claude Chabrol, France)

    13 SEPT
    930am Dr. Plonk (Rolf de Heer, Australia)
    1230pm Reclaim Your Brain (Hans Weingartner, Germany)
    300pm Days of Darkness (Denys Arcand, Canada)
    515pm Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea)
    915pm A Gentle Breeze in the Village (Nobuhiro Yamashita, Japan)

    14 SEPT
    900am Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Eric Rohmer, France)
    noon M (Lee Myung-se, South Korea)
    300pm The Walker (Paul Schrader, USA)
    545pm Erik Nietzsche: The Early Years (Jacon Thuesen, Denmark)
    800pm The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1960; presented by Max Von Sydow)
    1159pm Dainipponjin (Hitoshi Matsumoto, Japan)

    15 SEPT
    945am California Dreamin’ (Endless) (Cristian Nemescu, Romania)
    1245pm Angel (Francois Ozon, France)
    245pm Son of Rambow (Garth Jennings, Britain)
    600pm The Sun Also Rises (Jiang Wen, China)
    800pm My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, Canada)
    1100pm Just Like Home (Lone Sherfig, Denmark)

    ——————
    ¹ Was there nobody in Italy to do the same for Antonioni? Or is/was any tribute programming done at Venice?

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    Me and MaxIn "Ingmar Bergman"

    Gratuitous lists-1In "TIFF 2008"

    TIFF Capsules -- Day 8In "Denys Arcand"

    September 5, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

    No comments yet.

    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • TIFF Grades — Days 8/9
    (”The Walker” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    TIFF Grades — Days 8/9

    13 SEPT
    DR. PLONK, Rolf de Heer, Australia — 6
    RECLAIM YOUR BRAIN, Hans Weingartner, Germany — 0
    DAYS OF DARKNESS, Denys Arcand, Canada — 8
    SECRET SUNSHINE, Lee Chang-dong, South Korea — 8
    A GENTLE BREEZE IN THE VILLAGE, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Japan — 6

    14 SEPT
    ROMANCE OF ASTREA AND CELADON, Eric Rohmer, France — 6
    THE WALKER, Paul Schrader, USA — 7
    ERIK NIETZSCHE: THE EARLY YEARS, Jacob Thuesen, Denmark — 3
    THE VIRGIN SPRING, Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1960 — 8

    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    September 13, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

    No comments yet.

    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Me and Max
    (”The Walker” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Me and Max

    As great as were the justly-hyped new films by Andersson, the Coens, Reygadas, Maddin, Mungiu, etc. — the event at Toronto I was most looking forward to, which I wouldn’t have missed for the world, was seeing Ingmar Bergman’s THE VIRGIN SPRING presented in the Dialogues program by Max von Sydow. SPRING is a very very good film obviously, but it’s not Bergman’s greatest by a long shot (not even in his Top 10, I’d say). Still … a month after the death of the cinema’s maybe-greatest director, to see one of his films presented by his maybe-greatest actor, with an onstage interview and an audience Q-and-A … no explanation is possible or necessary. It’d be like skipping your best friend’s funeral.

    It was even better than I’d hoped.

    I arrived as early as I could to make sure I’d get a good seat. I got one in the very front row (which fills up slowly even at the mostly-excellent TIFF theaters, though at this one, the Isabel Bader, the screen is on a slightly-elevated live-theater stage, and back a bit, so there’s no neck-craning at all). And I was just four seats or so in from the aisle — prime autograph-stalking territory. And just 20 feet away from where Von Sydow would be when introducing SPRING and then being interviewed afterward by festival director Piers Handling. While waiting in my seat, my parents called and I told them excitedly and breathlessly where I was and who I was about to see: “Max Von Sydow … THE VIRGIN SPRING … The Knight who played chess with the Grim Reaper? … in THE SEVENTH SEAL??” The person sitting next to me in the theater said: “try the priest in THE EXORCIST.” Well … THAT reference my father got.

    When von Sydow strides out on stage, in very good physical shape for a man pushing 80 (born 1929), everyone gives a standing ovation, which von Sydow quickly joins, realizing it’s as much for Bergman as for him. When it finally dies down, I’m close enough to see the tears welling up in von Sydow’s eyes when he says of Bergman “I owe it all to him.” And then they welled up in mine, as if the event was no mere film screening, no … BECAUSE the event was no mere film screening, but a wake for Ingmar Bergman. With von Sydow as the chief eulogist.

    After the film was over, von Sydow and Handling came down the aisle, but Handling went up on stage first as the stagehands were arranging chairs, a table, microphones, etc. That was the opportunity I was waiting for and had my festival guidebook deliberately marked at the page for THE VIRGIN SPRING. I quickly walk the 20 feet over to von Sydow, hold out a pen, and say “Mr. von Sydow, would you sign my festival book, on the VIRGIN SPRING page here? It would be a great honor and make my festival.” He does so quickly, and I leave him right as Handling calls him onstage to another standing ovation.

    Incredibly, I also got to ask von Sydow a question during the audience Q-and-A. This one didn’t go quite so well. Close as I can recall, what I said was “do you know whether Bergman, when casting his male roles, tailored them to your specific personality offscreen, and do the same for the offscreen personalities of Gunnar Bjornstrand and Erland Josephson and others?” He didn’t give a very good answer, saying in general terms without examples, that he did and that “once a part was cast, he would even rewrite some things to fit me, of course.” Not very illuminating, but that was my fault. What I was hoping for was confirmation or denial for a theory I have about Bergman’s whole body of male roles — that, to coarsely generalize, von Sydow played the tortured souls, Bjornstrand played the self-conscious skeptics and Josephson the post-Christians. And I was wondering whether that was deliberate and/or the result of roles being tailored to the men’s offscreen personalities. In my dreams, von Sydow might have even discussed his own religiosity. But asking it that way would have required a whole critical setup of the premises on my part, and thus my committing the cardinal sin of audience Q-and-As, the questioner making a speech of his own. I also didn’t want to be perceived as asking him too personal a question. So I decided to be short and tactful … and it fell flat. Though, with reference to von Sydow’s own religiosity, he may have revealed something in his word choice during his intro, saying SPRING was about religious clash, and how “there was still a lot of heathen beliefs” in Sweden at the time. “Heathen”?!?! Isn’t that a hate crime? Where were the language police? How did von Sydow ever escape the Soviet Socialist Republic of Canuckistan after committing such an awful Thoughtcrime??¹

    Anyway, unlike most TIFF Q-and-As², this one was genuinely enlightening, partly because a prepared professional questioner had most of the time, and partly because von Sydow was trying to be as forthcoming as he could, and was Old-World gracious about everything. When he answered my question for example, he strode toward the part of the stage near where I was sitting, and looked me in the eye as he gave his answer. Later, when someone asked, “what are your personal memories of Bergman,” he responded slowly and sadly, without coming across as scolding: “I can’t talk about that. I’m sorry. I just can’t. Not now.” And surprisingly, while he called the approximately 10 years when he did most of his work for Bergman “the happiest time of my life as an actor,” he said his single favorite role of his whole career, was in PELLE THE CONQUERER.

    Von Sydow recounted his first encounter with Bergman — in the early 50s, as he was starting to make a reputation in Sweden. He and two actor friends wanted to be in one of this hot new director’s movies, and one of them got Bergman’s number somehow, plus wind that he needed to fill a few small roles in his next movie. “So we crammed into a phone booth and told him we were all interested. He turned us down, saying he had completed casting, and I had no contact with him again for several years” — until Bergman was casting THE SEVENTH SEAL.

    Surprisingly to me, von Sydow said Bergman gave little explicit direction³, something to the effect of “he gave us general ideas and if we weren’t doing something right, he’d tell us.” But he was not a control-freak, which von Sydow said he liked. “Actors don’t like to be given orders. You want the sense of having some input and some control over what you’re doing. Otherwise, it’s boring,” he said. Surprisingly, this was more or less the direction style of another of my favorite directors, but a man who doesn’t have Bergman’s reputation as a great director of actors — Alfred (“actors are cattle“) Hitchcock.⁴

    Despite Bergman’s reputation as an expressionist, von Sydow said he tried to make things as realistic as possible in THE VIRGIN SPRING. It wasn’t simply eschewing directorial-tricks like underscore music in the climactic revelation to the mother of who the killers are. But Von Sydow said Bergman also didn’t like “dramatic shadows that had no reason to be there.” When Bergman saw the dailies one day, he realized Sven Nykvist⁵ had the killers casting ominous-looking shadows as they returned unwittingly to the family home. He said Bergman threw a fit … “why? It’s the dead of night,” and before there could be modern illumination. But there wasn’t time to reshoot, and the shadows stayed in the film. Von Sydow also said he didn’t like his performance in the last scene, a very long take which focuses on his post-murder penitential speech. He was shot mostly from behind (though over the course of the shot, it turns into a profile), which he thought was “cheating,” but it was what Bergman wanted. “He said I should direct myself toward God, not the camera,” von Sydow recalled.

    Most of all, von Sydow came across as likeable, and as an Old World gentleman, and even his few difficulties with hearing and accented (though otherwise perfect) English contributed to that feel. When asked “what was the most difficult thing you had to provide Bergman,” he paused and gave a one-word answer “Quality.” And paused again before repeating the word and then elaborating a bit. When he was asked the sort of vulgar contemporary question about whether his VIRGIN SPRING character went ballistic against the killers because of “repressed sexual feelings for the daughter,” von Sydow handled it with class and simple directness: “No. Not at all.” When asked what he thought of the theory, he said “sounds like something somebody just came up with,” which I think is a to-Swedish-and-back-to-English translation for “pulled out of his ass.”

    But my favorite moment was (of course) a funny anecdote about shooting THE VIRGIN SPRING. In one scene, von Sydow’s character wrestles down a birch tree, to get branches for a cleaning sauna. As you can see from this still above, this tree was isolated and thus von Sydow’s actions more dramatic (he’s locked up the killers and is getting ready for his revenge) and thematically apropos (he’s alone). Von Sydow said “we sent location people all over, but we couldn’t find a usable tree.” The problem was not finding birch trees per se — there are millions of them in Sweden; it’s finding birch trees all by their lonesome, not part of a forest. “So,” von Sydow said, “we found a usable open field and decided to plant one we had just cut down.” When the crew and von Sydow went out there, a bunch of nearby farmers showed up and “couldn’t believe what these crazy people from Stockholm were doing, planting a lone birch tree in the middle of nowhere.” “There’s thousands of trees over there in that forest,” von Sydow recalled the disbelieving farmers as saying. So the team shoots the scene … an exhausting one for von Sydow. But the next day, they look at the previous day’s footage: catastrophe. Some light found its way into the camera and completely blew out the image. “The only things you could see were all-black and all-white,” von Sydow recalled, “since you couldn’t see me, you saw the tree shape fall over all of a sudden, for no reason.” So they had to reshoot. And go back to the same fields. To face the same farmers. Now doubly nonplussed at this bunch of picture folk who can’t even do their crazy games right.
    ———————————————————–
    ¹ In a similar vein, when introducing THE WALKER, Paul Schrader used even worse Hateweapons. He was referring to Washington’s (supposedly) being the only place in the US where homosexuality can be grounds for blackmail. He said “in Washington, it’s the sin that dare not speak its name; in New York, it’s the sin that won’t shut up.” SIN?!?!?! That is Badthought! Get that man in a re-education camp!! NOW!!!
    ² I will never forget the very first question I ever heard at my very first TIFF. It was a Dialogues showing of Bunuel’s THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, presented by Canadian director Bruce Sweeney. The first question he had to field still holds the record for “dumbest question ever” — “so why couldn’t they leave the room?”
    ³ I recalled once having read/seen an interview with Liv Ullmann in which she said the only “character trait” Bergman gave her for Maria in CRIES AND WHISPERS, other than what was in the script, was “she’s the sort of woman who never closes the door after she enters the room.”
    ⁴ Doris Day, in her memoirs, said something almost identical about Hitchcock’s lack of direction of her in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. I can’t find the exact quote quickly, but according to Wikipedia‘s paraphrase: Hitchcock “said everything was fine; if [Day] wasn’t doing what he wanted he would have said something.”
    ⁵ Throughout, von Sydow pronounced the surname of Bergman’s ace cinematographer, who von Sydow said was as great in his field as Bergman, as “NOOK’-vist.” Which sounds wrong to me (I want to say NIGH’-kvist), but he’s the one who speaks Swedish.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    TIFF Capsules -- Day 9In "Camille Paglia"

    Dour Scandinavians update (1)In "Andrei Tarkovsky"

    TIFFing time againIn "TIFF 2007"

    October 3, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

    9 Comments »

    1. Aw, MAN. I wish I could remember why it was I didn’t go to this. Now I feel dumb, since I was probably watching some mediocre fest entry.

      Comment by Steve C. | October 4, 2007 | Reply

    2. Thanks for throwing in some completely gratuitous mockery of the concept of “hate crime,” which is certainly never a legitimate problem in our society. Maybe now we can get on to talking about truly *important* trangressions of public discourse, like (loud organ chord) BLASPHEMY! Kathy Griffin, thou hast misspake! Thy Emmy is an Emmy of Darkness! Repent!

      Comment by sleeper | October 8, 2007 | Reply

    3. Thanks for noting it. May I assume you also criticize the Rosenbaums and Hobermans and Eberts of the world for their gratuitous swipes? Or is it just the substantive point of my swipe to which you object?

      But yeah … I would say that hate-crime laws and speech codes (the latter of which is really more what I was mocking) are in fact self-contradictions, of which mockery is never gratuitous. If Group X can get such laws passed to its benefit, then Group X cannot really be oppressed. And in a society that is fundamentally racist (say), the charge “racism” has no bite.

      As for “blasphemy” … well, I would argue that speech codes and anti-blasphemy laws (neither of which I support) are really the same thing — the difference being purely which gods are mocked by the offending acts/words.

      And at least with respect to Canada, people being judicially or otherwise officially punished for running afoul of Thoughtcrime laws (including religious ministers) is very far from theoretical. Saying “homosexuality is good” risks nothing in Canada. Saying “homosexuality is bad” risks a lot.

      Comment by vjmorton | October 9, 2007 | Reply

    4. To the extent that I read Rosenbaum/Hoberman/Ebert, yes, I am annoyed when I perceive that they’re taking gratuitous swipes at anything, if only because I usually find it an inelegant way of writing (though it’s still infinitely less annoying than pandering references to current celebrity ‘news’ – “That movie’s runtime was as bloated as Britney Spears at her last performance!” etc.).

      It’s not that I agree with the usefulness or validity of “hate crime laws” per se (in most cases I don’t, actually). I didn’t think you were referring to actual *laws* so much as the public/media outrage that tends to follow certain types of public remarks – “thoughtcrime” in the court of public opinion. State-sanctioned punishment for merely voicing one’s opinion is vile and indefensible; I wouldn’t disagree with you on that point.

      I guess I was just wondering how you felt about all the people demanding a public apology after Kathy Griffin’s remarks at the Emmy – whether the folks shouting “blasphemy!” in response to a joke about Jesus sound as ridiculous to you as the hypothetical people who would cry “hate speech!” at, say, von Sydow’s casual use of the word “heathen” in a public forum.

      “As for “blasphemy” … well, I would argue that speech codes and anti-blasphemy laws (neither of which I support) are really the same thing — the difference being purely which gods are mocked by the offending acts/words.”

      There is another key difference, actually – one can argue that “hate speech” can potentially lead to/help perpetuate various forms of oppression on Earth, whereas “blasphemy” can only be said to have dire consequences in the hereafter. Folks more concerned about observable/reifiable consequences than metaphysical ones, and about people’s actions against others vs. their actions against themselves, would naturally consider hate-speech a more valid problem than blasphemy. Even me – and I generally disagree with hate-speech laws. It seems to me that throughout history “hate speech” has been a step towards getting other folks sent to the guillotine, whereas “blasphemy” is what’s tended to get you sent there yourself. If you find folks a little too quick to criminalize the former and trivialize the latter, keep in mind that throughout most of human history it’s been the other way around, as the blood of probably billions of people can attest. Saying “homosexuality is bad” (and what’s your take on Fred Phelps and “GOD HATES FAGS”? I thought it was “hate the sin, love the sinner”) has never carried, and will never carry, a price in this world as steep as the price that saying “I don’t believe in your God” has carried throughout much of history, and still carries in many parts of the world.

      Comment by sleeper | October 9, 2007 | Reply

    5. In retrospect I’m sorry I mentioned Fred Phelps at the end there…I don’t know where that came from. I guess when I think of people saying “homosexuality is bad” in a public forum, he sticks out in my mind as the uber-example. But I certainly didn’t mean to equate you with him.

      Comment by sleeper | October 9, 2007 | Reply

    6. “billions”? Really?

      Where do you get your history? And did it stop in 1788 (there’s been quite a lot of supposed-the-only “real” consequences from god-hate)? And does it include Canadian judicial punishment of Kathy Griffin?

      But since you apparently see fit to link me to Fred Phelps (your sarcastic self-reply “I thought it was”), I’m not sure I want the answer.

      Comment by vjmorton | October 9, 2007 | Reply

    7. Time overlap. I was writing Comment 6, before Sleeper posted Comment 5.

      Comment by vjmorton | October 9, 2007 | Reply

    8. Aargh…just spent a fair amount of time writing a reply, then accidentally (THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS, MY SON)(Who said that?) closed the window and lost everything. I don’t think I have it in me to re-type it right now. Maybe later. Dammit!

      Comment by sleeper | October 9, 2007 | Reply

    9. I know that Ally Sheedy said “I’m beginning to think there are no accidents” in ST. ELMO’S FIRE. I rather doubt that’s what tickling your memory.

      Comment by vjmorton | October 9, 2007 | Reply


    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)

John Podhoretz1
Commentary Magazine



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Caricature Study
    (”The Walker” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith1
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • DVD Sales Plummeting
    (”The Walker” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    “Spider-Man 3” has sold only 5 million DVDs; just a couple of years ago big blockbusters like it were expected to sell 20 million units. Could it be that Hollywood is releasing too damn much product? One big reason for a critic to be in favor of a writers’ strike (or any other strike) is the proposition that the movie factory will slow down. Manhattan often sees the release of as many as 15 movies in a week. There just aren’t enough eyeballs in the country to make most of these films profitable. Even critics who do nothing but watch movies don’t have enough time to watch all the movies. Debuting today in New York City, an ordinary Friday: “Atonement” “The Golden Compass” “Grace Is Gone” “Revolver” “Man in the Chair” “The Band’s Visit” “The Walker” “Dirty Laundry” “Strength and Honour” “Billy the Kid” “‘Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris”]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Want even more consensus?

Skip Rotten Tomatoes, they’re biased SJWs too afraid to criticize things like the Ghost Busters reboot. Avoid giving them ad revenue by using the minimalist alternative, Cinesift, for a quick aggregate:

 🗣️ Know of another conservative review that we’re missing?
Leave a link in the comments below or email us!  

What’d you think? Let us know with a video:

Record a webcam review!

Or anonymous text review:

Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews
Overall Hollywood Bs Average rating:  
 
Anti-patriotism Average rating:  
 
Misandry Average rating:  
 
Affirmative action Average rating:  
 
LGBTQ rstuvwxyz Average rating:  
 
Anti-God Average rating:  
 

Buy on Amazon:
⚠️  Comment freely, but please respect our young users.
👍🏻 Non PC comments/memes/vids/links 
👎🏻  Curse words / NSFW media / JQ stuff
👌🏻 Visit our 18+  free speech forum to avoid censorship.
⚠️ Keep your kids’ websurfing safe! Read this.

Share this page:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail