My Mother’s Castle

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Four stars

A picture like a walk on a breezy, sunny day.  Submissive, girl-crazy, young boy, early 20th century, French country summer.  Bittersweet memories, the ghost of your childhood.  A family uses a secret key to shortcut through the canals in the backyards of Marseilles’ wealthy elites.  Most everyone is full of love and help but there are a few dickheads (just like life).  Pages turn to dust, families turn to death.  World War 1 looms, casts a shadow.  Novelists cast a spell.  This movie is a spell.  This movie is sweet, sunny insects buzzing and river water lapping in concrete sluice.

D & W: Yves Robert, More W: Marcel Pagnol & Jérôme Tonnerre, P by: Robert Alazraki, E by: Pierre Gillette, M by: Vladimir Cosma, w/Nathalie Roussel, Phillippe Caubère, Julian Ciamanca, Phillipe Uchan, Didier Paine, Thérèse Liotard, Julie Timmerman, jean Rochefort, etc…98 min, France, 1991

Entertainment

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Three stars

Morose man mutters “daughter” into dry desert air.  Remember, Neil Cassidy abandons Kerouac in Mexico.  There’s prisoners & airplane carapaces & botched men’s room pick-ups.  Poolside of frat bro’s, the nothingness sets in.  This is it.  The Neil Hamburger movie.

D, W & E by: Rick Alverson, More W: Gregg Turkington & Tim Heidecker, P by: Lorenzo Hagerman, More E: Michael Taylor, M by: Robert Donne w/Gregg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, David Yow, Amy Seimetz, Tim Heidecker, Dean Stockwell, etc…, 103 min, USA, 2015

Crash

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Four stars

I remember reading this thing once where J.G. Ballard said he didn’t get any boners when writing Crash. Like somebody was accusing him of writing a smut book and he was like, “Hey, I did not pop a single bone on it, ok?” Seems like a weird thing to remember, like maybe I made it up in order to feel bad about my own carnal reactions to creative endeavors. Aroused by baking cheesecake, by writing copy.  James Spader dry humps wrecked motorists in dwindling twilight on the turnpike’s on-ramp.  Everybody hot for James Dean.

D & W by: David Cronenberg, More W: J.D. Ballard, P by: Peter Suschitzky, E by: Ronald Sanders, M by: Howard Shore, w/James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger, Rosanna Arqutte, Peter MacNeil, Yolande Julian, Cheryl Swarts, etc..100 min, Canada, 1996

The Mosquito Coast

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One star

An uncomfortable, unrelenting movie about an uncomfortable, unrelenting man.  Allie Fox just wants to bring the power of ice to the tropics, that and assert his dominance over everyone and everything.  A lush, alien Belize stands in for a lush, alien Nicaragua.  There’s not really a lot to recommend here, it sort of rings true and has a cool Swiss Family Robison vibe but it’s mostly just two hours of Harrison Ford being a big ol’ dick fart.

D by: Peter Weir, W by: Paul Schrader & Paul Theroux, P by: John Seale, E by: Thom Noble, M by: Maurice Jarre w/Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Conrad Roberts, River Phoenix, Martha Plimpton, Andre Gregory, Butterfly McQueen, Jason Alexander, etc…, 117 min, USA, 1986

Two Days, One Night

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Three stars

Smoky tendrils of gaseous white depression, leaking from the furnace she left fallow all fall, punctuated by sudden bursts of joyous AM/FM radio.  A woman travels by bus and foot and ride to the doors of her co-workers and asks them to take a pay-cut so she isn’t fired.  This is a great movie to discuss with bros around the proverbial water cooler.  It inspires questions like, “How can we take care of each other better?” and, “What ain’t working?”  Namaste you guys, I love you.

D & W by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, P by: Alain Marcoen, E by: Marie-Hélène Dozo, w/Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Christelle Comil, Hicham Slaoui, Catherine Salée, Alain Eloy, Timur Magomedgadzhiev, Batiste Sornin, etc…, 95 min, Belgium, 2014