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Uncle Barb's

First woman says "What is the point of Mulholland Drive?" Second woman replies,"Lesbians should make their own films." -


View from the Couch February 2014

This month was occupied with some catching up on films that I meant to see but missed when they were first released; revisiting some old films that I remember liking; and discovering a few new ones. Films that I find substantive, I post as single review features. This month included two excellent and unusual films: Fruitvale Station and Frances Ha.

Searching for Sugarman, the film was a bit overdrawn, although the story and the person are epic. Because I live surrounded by artists, actors and creative types, I am well aware that talent does not always lead to success. Sugarman was indeed a talented and soul stirring performer. His legend in South Africa was a complete surprise to him, but an amazing journey to have the privilege to watch. 

White starring Julie Dephy in one of Kieslowski's color trillogy. I grabbed it off the library shelf before a snowstorm, thinking here's a film I've liked once before, it will be a comfort watch. WRONG! Why did I like this film the first time around? The masculine viewpoint of female sexuality was completely out of touch. I felt my blood starting to boil about half way through and by the end I was furious. What a pretentious piece of depravity, which is how I expect to feel about VonTrier's Nymphomania. But wait, this review cleared away my prejudice long enough to consider a screening.

All Together One of Jane Fonda's better films of the last few years, she really shone as the exPat in Paris.  Remember Jamie Lee Curtis in A Fish Called Wanda?  Every time Jane spoke French, I got excited and she only spoke French in this film, so that was way enjoyable. The cast is absolutely wonderful with Geraldine Chaplin, Pierre Richards, Guy Bedos,  Claude Rich and Daniel Bruehl. Spoiler: This is my favorite line: `If you don't see any objection, I'd rather decompose at home.'

Cafe de Flore Jean-Marc Vallee's 'C.R.A.Z.Y.  was good enough to get my attention and follow this young Candadian director, but Cafe de Flore just didn't make it. One story line has Valerie Paradis as a 1950s mother becoming more and more obsessed with her differently-abled son, while in counterpoint Kevin Parent is a modern day semi-star DJ who is going through divorce. The cinematography was absolutely two films, the 50s in beige and gray and the present in gloss, but the storylines never reflected or contrasted, which means the story never completed the picture.

20 Feet from Stardom More than anything else, I am thrilled that Darlene Love has finally gotten her time in the spotlight. She so deserves it. As do the other back up singers featured in 20 Feet. However with Standing in the Shadows of Motown as the model, I wanted more music from 20 Feet, not just snippets.

Top of the Lake Good ole creepy Jane Campion. She can tell a dark tale better than anyone. Holly Hunter's G was hilarious.


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