Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 9:14 pm 
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THE SIENT TWINS (Agnieszka Smoczynska 2022). Now is the time for me to regret my not being in NYC: the NYFF starts tomorrow and runs to the middle of October. Instead this afternoon I went to Landmark's Albany Twin, had buttered popcorn, the reliable thing, and watched (ironically?) THE SILENT TWINS. It announces at the end the said twins (played by non-twin actresses) wrote extensively and kept many journals and notebooks which were used, well, extensively in the movie. That’s the trouble. It has no imagination of its own. A drab, dreary piece one constantly imagines oneself watching years from now on TV, which could have been from almost any dreary time, though mostly set in the early eighties. This “astounding true story” has a deservedly lukewarm Metascore of 60%. (My enjoyable recent watches - of which I've written reviews - have been screeners from the Mill Valley Film Festival: the tremendously upbeat, fun documentary about rural kids in Uruguay WE DREAM OF ROBOTS/SONAR ROBOTS (Pablo Casacuberta 2022) and the distinctive little indie feature road movie PROVO by Emma Thatcher out of Chicago looking at Mormons. You'll find these in the Mill Valley Film Valley 2022 festival thread. I will go back to Claire Denis shortly.


MOONAGE DAYDREAM (Brett Morgan 2022). In his rave review written after the Cannes premiere Peter Bradshaw calls this film "a glorious celebratory montage of archive material, live performance footage, Bowie’s own experimental video art and paintings, movie and stage work and interviews with various normcore TV personalities with whom Bowie is unfailingly polite, open and charming." His language is articulate and elegant too. The exploration of multifaceted creativity and daring to be different and androgynous could inspire many. The images are gloriously psychedelic, the sound spectacular. But it's visually sometimes all a bit of a letdown after the early, stunning "alien" Ziggy Stardust phase. Afterward there is a lot of Bowie's questioning and later of his seize-the-day positivity. A hundred and forty minutes is a lot of David Bowie without any private, non "artist" side or relations with other people. Toward the end it all begins to sound like a motivational lecture. Surely better in a theater - if there are a lot of enthused fellow-viewers, which there weren't at my 4:05 p.m. 10/6/22 Landmark Albany Twin show where only half a dozen showed up (a big problem). At home, when the critical raves fade, this will be mostly for Bowie or rock god completists. I like him, but I'm just not into his music or his prancing around or his eccentric costumes that much. Rock docs I liked more: METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER (Berlinger, Sinofsky 2004), which is as long as this; NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS (Jonathan Demme 2012), a trim 87 mins. For a much more thorough and appreciative description o Brett Morgan's "glorious celebratory montage" than mine see A.O. Scott.

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