Saturday, September 17, 2016

20 Favorite Directors Working or Dead





20. Jose Mojica Marins
                                         At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964)

19. Cheryl Dunye

                            The Watermelon Woman (1996)


18. Jean Cocteau
                        
                     Beauty and the Beast (1946)


17. Ralph Bakshi
                            Hey Good Lookin' (1982)

16. Frank Tashlin
                            Cinderfella (1960)




15. Richard Kern
                            Fingered (1986)

14. Tobe Hooper
                            The Funhouse (1981)

13. Orson Welles
                            The Fountain of Youth (1958)

12. Tom Laughlin
                           Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977)

11. Richard Fleischer


                            Million Dollar Mystery (1987)

10. Juraj Jakubisko
                             Bathory (2008)

09. John Derek
                             Ghosts Can't Do It (1989)


08. John Waters
                             Cecil B Demented (2000)

07. Henry Jaglom
                                             Ovation (2016)

06. Monika Treut
                                    
The Raw and the Cooked (2012)


05. George Lucas
                                          The Phantom Menace (1999)

04. Woody Allen
                                          Irrational Man (2015)



03. Jean Luc Godard
                                           Goodbye to Language (2014)

02. Warren Beatty
                                                     Rules Don't Apply (2016)


01. Charlie Chaplin

                                          

                                      A Countess From Hong Kong (1967)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Damn Yoga Hosers

Thomas Pynchon is writing more conventional stories these days with an infusion of pop culture. Peter Jackson is things very far removed from Meet the Feebles. Boy do I miss things like Meet the Feebles.


I used to complain when Kevin Smith did anything outside of his View Askew universe. I liked some of those characters so much. I cannot quite be blamed for this. Clerks 2 was VA and it was good. Cop Out, Zach and Miri, Red State and Tusk were not to my taste. Though with the later films, I did notice a shift in his directorial style, more complex shots, better use of music, more chances, not revolving around a sitcom-like moral lesson at the end.

When I found out about Yoga Hosers, I was not looking forward to it. It had returning characters from Tusk. Tusk was bad because it played like a horror film then jarring scenes of comedy would interrupt everything; it was not funny; it was not scary. The tone was screwed.

The night before seeing YH at the local theater, The Loft, I read an indiewire interview with Smith, he talked about Henry Jaglom being a hero of his because he is always doing his own thing and putting it out there himself. I remembered that when Jaglom met his newest muse Tanna Fredrick, the films became way different. They were about a male (usually Jaglom) in a world of female issues; now they are about Tanna and acting communities.  The films are better than the old ones. Not everyone thinks so, but I do.  I realized then that YH is a film Smith feels he has to make and once I realized that, I figured I should give it a real chance and not just see it because I am a Kevin Smith fan and want him to keep working so he will make View Askew again one day.


Without question, this is his best film since Dogma (1999). The Colleens are every bit as memorable as his VA characters, the hilarious montage, the way they sing a sentimental song to their dad to prevent him getting laid in the other room, "sorry boot that."  The film is very quotable. Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp) works in this film because the film has a consistent tone. It is a horror comedy on par and at times reminiscent of Evil Dead 2. Other stand out characters include Gordon Greenleaf and Ichabod (Adam Brody who has a throw away line that is among Smith's best all time lines). The VA films got their cues from pop culture. This film should be pop culture itself.

I will gladly follow these characters into Moosejaws, which will also feature Jay and Silent Bob (best of both worlds). That is not to say the film does not have problems. Ralph Garman is not good here. Smith also failed the luminous Vanessa Paradis by giving her nothing but exposition; he also failed Osment who fails to do anything here except look like Ron Jeremey. These mistakes are forgivable (Please though if YH's is ones only exposure to Vanessa Paradis, seek out her other films; she is wonderful in everything except this) because Smith has delivered a very good film.