Writing, reading, watching, listening.

Writing, reading, watching, listening.
Life In : Recommendations, my own creations, and a place for a conversation.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The odd film: Jack Goes Boating (2010) Philip Seymour Hoffman

Odd refers to random and also to strangeness. Films and books about misfits attract me because I relate well to being an outsider and repel me because usually the artist is so better fit into society than his creations that it makes me wander if it's not patronizing or exploration. The latter is not exactly rational: you create what you can, and if it's not an exercise and show of skills, than it's authentic work.
Anyway,  This film made me miss the presence of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the sensitive, multi-faceted actor, here a director as well, in the cinema.
The story sheds light on low class people who struggle to make a living, to love despite the difficulties, temptations and fear, and in the shy Jack and the neurotic Connie cases even to express themselves in words.
Jack (Hoffman) and Clyde (Jhn Orotz) drive limos. If at first Clyde is more social, already married, and a good friend and Jack is a complete ill-fit everywhere. Slowly, while their friendships strengthens, however, Jack seems to be the one who'll find true love, a better job and happiness.
If it sounds a bit of a cliche, well, it is. A bit. But it consists of many beautiful moments, exploration of intimacy and of alienation, and everyone acts extremely well.
On the whole, then, it's worth watching for what it does well.

Director:
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Writers (WGA):
Robert Glaudini (screenplay)
Robert Glaudini (play)

Cast

Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Jack

John Ortiz ... Clyde

Richard Petrocelli ... Uncle Frank

Thomas McCarthy ... Dr. Bob Thomas (as Tom McCarthy)

Amy Ryan ... Connie

Daphne Rubin-Vega ... Lucy
Salvatore Inzerillo ... Cannoli

And others

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Films you may want to watch as well: The Little House (2014) & Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

I haven't written in a long long while, and maybe my followers if there have been any have dropped...
But I do want to post in the blog small comments about great and small works of art, or rather, books and films.
I'd love to hear about your impressions as well.

The Little House (2014) -A Japanese Film / Yôji Yamada

A beautiful film, engrossing, sensitive, and culturally informative.
A woman writes a diary for her already grownup grandson. She tells about the days she worked as a maid for a couple and their little son before and during the second WW. The hierarchy between social classes comes through strongly although and maybe because she is very well treated and even loved-within class limits, also, the submissive role of women is clear. On top, good manners, bows, and apologies make you feel how wooden the people had become in their own homes. 
Anyway, there's also a story of infidelity, of survival, and you want it to go on, although it's quite long already.

Directed by 
Yôji Yamada

based on the novel by Kyôko Nakajima ...

Yôji Yamada ... (screenplay) 
Emiko Hiramatsu ... (screenplay)

Cast 
Satoshi Tsumabuki Satoshi Tsumabuki ...
Takeshi
Chieko Baishô Chieko Baishô ...
Taki (older)
Takako Matsu Takako Matsu ...
Tokiko Hirai
Yui Natsukawa Yui Natsukawa
Takatarô Kataoka Takatarô Kataoka ...
Mr. Hirai
Haru Kuroki Haru Kuroki

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

A little less successful in entertainment scripts written by Charlie Kaufman, but it's still good. (It's rumored on the Net that Kaufman disliked what director George Clooney changed in the script.) You can feel the Clooney touch, influenced by or corresponding to The Coen brothers' touch in their cutsey/smartass films (I like their other films), and by Soderberg, the latter mentioned by my friend Jonas Knutsson. HT
This one is not cutesy, only smartass, which I prefer.
Also, it's based on a "cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman."
It's enjoyable, and displays many many famous faces. 

Director:
George Clooney
Writers:
Chuck Barris (book)
Charlie Kaufman (screenplay)


Dick Clark ... Himself
Sam Rockwell ... Chuck Barris
Michelle Sweeney ... J. Sweeney
Drew Barrymore ... Penny
Chelsea Ceci ... Tuvia, Age 8
Michael Cera ... Chuck Age 8 and 11 (as Michael Céra)
Brad Pitt ... Brad, Bachelor #1
Matt Damon ... Matt, Bachelor #2
Murray Langston ... Actual Unknown Comic
Marlida Ferreira ... Woman in Pub
Julia Roberts ... Patricia Watson