Posts Tagged ‘Davis Rivera’

PFS Rapid Recommendations – Venus in Fur

04-venus-in-fur

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.

PFS Rapid Recommendations – Ida

Ida

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

While watching films I often ask myself, “What is it that compelled this filmmaker to tell this particular story?”  With his latest film Ida, it is obvious that Pawel Pawlikowski set out to insinuate himself into the viewer’s heart and take them on a deeply rewarding eighty-minute road trip replete with intense directorial focus, stunning cinematography, and the single best usage of John Coltrane I have ever seen in a film.

PFS Rapid Recommendations – The Dance of Reality

The-Dance-of-Reality-Poster-1000W

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In his latest triumph Alejandro Jodorowsky travels back to his native Chile to bring us the “imaginary autobiography” The Dance of Reality.  As the film went on and the subject matter became more tragic, I knew I was watching the work of a filmmaker who promises nothing but fulfills everything.  An artist so ambitious that he demands no less of himself than to strive for a little immortality, even if it takes twenty-three years to do so.

PFS About Town – The Fool’s Journey @ PhilaMOCA

TheFoolsJourney_2

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera 

Since Orson Welles first made his love of the Tarot known in the 1958 masterpiece Touch of Evil, there has been a calling to filmmakers everywhere to look to the cards and make something extraordinary.  Philadelphia filmmaker Hanna Hamilton has done just that with her latest work The Fool’s Journey, a visual experiment comprised of twenty-two short films devoted to the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana.  I was able to interview Hamilton when her film screened at PhilaMOCA as part of their Tuesday Tune-Out, a weekly series that features local musicians performing live before introducing a film of their choice.

PFS Rapid Review – Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Jim Jarmusch is the rare filmmaker that is as enthusiastic about film as he is about music, literature, and numerous other arts.  This wide berth of knowledge provides the groundwork for his latest effort, Only Lovers Left Alive.  Overflowing with references to everyone from Rodney Dangerfield to Schubert, Jarmusch hypnotizes as often as he confounds in a film that praises the virtues of beauty and love at a time when they need it the most.

A Night at the Roxy // Filmadelphia’s Past Present Future

Past Present Future director Andrew Gitomer and Director of Photography Jonathan Stromberg at April's Filmadelphia at the Roxy screening.

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Andrew Gitomer’s Past Present Future is a feature-length film about two close friends who had had an on-again, off-again relationship since high school, and meet up for the first time after three years apart.  The film is structured so that the audience is able to see the course of their friendship play out in flashbacks while they confront their complicated past.  Writer/Director Gitomer’s decision not to edit the film in chronological order was a conscious one that gives the film an emotional power that should resonate with anyone who has ever been in or been a witness to a similar situation.  Indeed, the film itself is one of the best portraits of young people in modern America that has come along in quite some time.  When I spoke to Gitomer and his Director of Photography Jonathan Stromberg after the film, Gitomer described his desire to push the youth angle when promoting the film.

PFS Rapid Review – Under the Skin

under-the-skin-movie-poster

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Jonathan Glazer has been called an heir to Kubrick, but the truth is that, over the course of three feature length films, a dozen music videos, and countless commercials, Glazer has repeatedly proven that he is a filmmaker who stands apart with his own idiosyncratic vision.  His latest work Under the Skin takes Michel Faber’s acclaimed 2000 novel and infuses it with a cinematic power capable of changing the way the viewer looks at the world.

PFS Rapid Review – Jodorowsky’s Dune

Jodorowsky's Dune

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a man known for many things: Master of the Tarot, Director of El Topo, writer of what Mark Millar called ‘one of the most perfect comics ever conceived’ The Incal.  It is ironic that he is arguably most known for his never-filmed adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 Dune.  Thoroughly researched and wonderfully faithful to the spirit of Jodo, Jodorowsky’s Dune shows us what could have been and serves as a perfect companion piece to Louis Mouchet’s seminal Constellation Jodorowsky.

PFS Rapid Review – Sabotage

Sabotage-2014-Movie-Poster

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

After teaming up with the great Kim Jee-woon to bring us 2013′s The Last Stand, Arnold Schwarzenegger fans had reason to celebrate the long-awaited cinematic return of the Austrian Oak.  His most recent film Sabotage cannot quite reach those heights but does do the difficult job of obscuring every reasonable thought you might have to leave the theatre and causes you to instead give in to the charms of David Ayer’s grand spectacle of action and implausibility.