Posts Tagged ‘Davis Rivera’

PFS Rapid Recommendations – Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In Dan Gilroy‘s Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal gives the best performance of the year as Lou Bloom – a character as bewitching as Joyce’s fellow wanderer Leopold.  For most of the film Bloom stands hunched over with his videocamera, always at the ready to capture the immensity of our present misery.  After two hours of looking through Bloom’s unflinching lens and trying to make sense of his actions, one cannot help but be reminded of Joyce’s remark: “A lifetime in a night.  Gradually changes your character.”

PFS Rapid Recommendation – Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Bennett Miller‘s Cannes-winning Foxcatcher tells the true story of Olympic gold medalists Dave and Mark Schultz and their relationship with multimillionaire John du Pont.  Steve Carell’s portrayal of Du Pont, a disturbed individual who claims to see man’s highest potential and makes it his life’s mission to actualize it through others, is the highlight of the film – capturing both the loneliness and the absurdity of an entitled brute painfully aware of his mother’s disapproval and his own masculine inadequacies.

PFS Rapid Recommendation – The Homesman

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Taking place in the Nebraska Territory during the mid-19th century, Tommy Lee Jones‘ sophomore film The Homesman is relentless in its depiction of the formidable bleakness possessing the land our two main characters (Jones and Hilary Swank) must travel through to reach their destination.  Equally formidable is the performance from Swank, bringing life to a wonderfully complex character full of inner torment as crushing as the countryside that surrounds her.

PFS Rapid Recommendation – Jimi: All is By My Side

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

With Jimi: All Is By My Side, John Ridley makes it known that he is a filmmaker fed up, like many theatergoers, with the by-the-numbers biopic studios never seem to tire of churning out.  From the brilliant casting of Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix to the impressionistic approach to editing the film, Ridley has crafted a spectacle that perfectly matches Hendrix’s idiosyncratic style.  As Mr. Benjamin once put it: “Invite you to an emotion filled theater / Bring your umbrella ’cause young fella it gets no weirder.”

PFS Rapid Recommendation – Boyhood

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

As a native Texan and a fan of great cinema, I had every reason to look forward to Richard Linklater’s twelve-years-in-the-making Boyhood, his portrait of a child maturing from age six to age eighteen.  What I did not anticipate was Linklater proving himself the 21st century’s master of the bildungsroman, on par with Henry Fielding and James Joyce before him.  His achievement is unparalleled and sets the new benchmark for what is possible in the world of narrative cinema.

PFS Rapid Recommendation – The Trip to Italy

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy, a sequel to 2010’s The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a restaurant tour that doubles as a retracing of the Romantic poets’ Italian odysseys.  Along the way Coogan and Brydon offer insightful anecdotes on Al Pacino, Alanis Morissette (“a Morrissey fan who dubbed herself a Moriss-ette”), and countless others in a film that proves a perfect showcase for the considerable talents of both men.

The Essentials 2.0 – Last Tango in Paris

Last Tango Paris 1

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Making canonical lists of important works is an activity that is necessary to parse the history of art in search of a concise collection of digestible accomplishments.  Like editing a film or book, exclusion becomes key to unveiling the incomparable, autonomous forms which the artist was able to invent.  What characterizes the filmography of Marlon Brando, however, is its inability to be whittled down.  Rather than recommending his entire body of work, which should be viewed at some point, there must be an entry point and that lies within the 129 minutes of Bernardo Bertolucci‘s 1972 film Last Tango in Paris.

PFS About Town – Street Trees @ iHouse

Street Tree 4th

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Ted Knighton is not your typical filmmaker.  After instantly impressing with a trilogy of terrific shorts in the eighties, Philadelphia-based Knighton has gone on to work in a wide variety of different mediums and prove himself as an artist that confronts his audience with the necessity of redefining seemingly familiar experiences.  In his latest exhibition Street Trees, Knighton has created a site-specific showcase that, in addition to film, includes drawings and “installations that respond to, or emerge from our everyday surroundings, specifically the side streets, vacant lots, and public buildings of Philadelphia.”  A good starting point before venturing over to International House for the show, which opened on July 11th, is his artist statement, which succinctly explains the aims of Knighton as an artist:

“I think it’s good to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.  We get used to the world around us and it’s easy to stop seeing how amazing, strange, and fascinating it all is.  Through art and film, I like to move the furniture of life around a little so that we see the room again.”

PFS Rapid Recommendations – Venus in Fur

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In his latest film Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski plunges to the depths of sensual delights and returns with a pearl of a psychodrama, as elegant as it is perverse.  After a sublime opening tracking shot, Polanski never loses this momentum as he revels in the limitations of a two-person play and uses his virtuosic cinematic gifts to create a refreshingly new take on well-worn themes such as the artistic struggle, sexual dominance, and gender roles.

PFS Rapid Recommendations – The Immigrant

The Immigrant

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In her 2002 film Sex is Comedy, Catherine Breillat observed that the director’s job is to drag the emotion out of the actor and use that emotion as the film’s basic materials.  Watching The Immigrant, one can surmise that filmmaker James Gray shares this point of view and was able to cull remarkable, almost superhuman, performances from both Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard in a film that, while running a mere two hours, feels absolutely epic.