Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nightcap 7/13/14 changing of the festivals plus quick word on Peter Greenaway's Goltzius and the Pelican Company

The great change over begins.

Tonight the crossover of the New York Asian Film Festival with Japan Cuts is pretty much done. After tonight’s screenings there are only two films tomorrow at Asia Society for NYAFF and then Japan Cuts sails on alone until next weekend. I’ll be reporting on tonight’s films when I get home. Mondocurry will have reports from this week’s film all week long. I’ll then be back in the fray next weekend. When all is said and done we’ll have reported on about 85% of both festivals.

Also running this week as the movie of the day is our coverage of Latinbeat 2014. We started things off last Thursday with one film, and we’re going to continue with five more.(We’d have done more but as you can see NYAFF and Japan Cuts got in the way)

Starting this week as well is Fantasia. It runs until August 10th so look for a a bunch of drop in coverage to run in the afternoons between tomorrow (I have a curtain raiser with stuff we've already reviewed) and the end of the festival. I'm not sure how much we'll get reviewed since Mondo and I have run ourselves ragged, but we're going to give it all a try.

After this week we’re taking a brief break from full on festival coverage with a week of the Bill Elliot detective films that were recently released from the Warner Archive. A week later we’ll be running a week of animated films that has been bouncing around the schedule for almost a year- I’m not moving it again so expect it to overlap with some coverage of Fantasia.

Look for a piece on Fantasia mid-week with links to everything we've reviewed previously.
I want to let you know that in August we’ll be doing a month of short films as the films of the day. As you know shorts is an under appreciated form that doesn’t get enough coverage. It was supposed to be a week but I suddenly realized I had a close to a month, only problem is now I have over a month and I keep getting sent links to things I should see so a second month is being planned –possibly either December or January.
I've seen Peter Greenaway's Goltzius and the Pelican Company, albeit in a dubbed Russian version of the film. I'm going to write a proper review once I've seen it in English since my understanding of the film comes largely from reading pieces on the film and an video introduction from Greenaway himself.

The film concerns a master engraver who has to convince a rich man to fund the buying of a printing press by having six nights of bawdy entertainment based on the Bible. Its filled with all of the visual stylings that you'd expect from Greenaway (Think Baby of Macon mashed with Prospero's Books) with wicked audio and enough visuals to make your eyes scream.

How is it?

Interesting? Is that a good word?

While I freely admit that I don't know Russian listening to the film with headphones I could hear the English underneath so I could understand chunks of it. To me it's much to intellectualized to fully work as something emotional. I know Greenaway wants to challenge emotion and intellect, but in someway this is as if they are in separate rooms of a mansion.

Visually I found the film alternately enthralling and incredibly lazy. Yes there are some incredible images but we've seen this before (in Prospero, in Macon, in Nightwatching, and to a lesser degree Pillow Book and Cook, the Thief). I get the feeling that Greenaway got the money to do the film but had limited time so he simply went to his standby way of setting everything up. The sameness makes me feel like there is nothing new here because he's simply carrying over ideas from earlier films.

To be fair it's not bad, its just not great. The moments outweigh the whole.

Of course seeing this properly may change my mind, but I'm not sure how much.
And Now Randi's links
Stars harts of horror stars
Eric Idle in puppet form
A piece that changed how many people see Calvin and Hobbes
Weird Planet of the Apes moments
The Oldest Song in the World
How nothing is worth four billion dollars
Madeline in New York
The Kremlin bans foul language

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