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Zettel Film Reviews » 2008 » September

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Juno – too cool for school, Hollywood cool

Tweet Juno – Jason Reitman Juno McGuff is up the duff. Dad, Mac MacGuff (J.K Simmons) and stepmom Bren McGuff (Allison Janney) are shocked but cool; as only parents in a cool Hollywood movie can be. At 16 Juno is already too cool for school. We know this because she rejects testosterone-driven jocks in favour […]

The Passenger – austere, implacable, fate, masterpiece

Tweet The Passenger – Michelangelo Antonioni Uncompromising and austere, Antonioni, like a painter, demands everything of his audience. He once described his actors as ‘living pigment’ – mere elements in his ‘picture’, not its raison d’être. His is not a hostile universe: worse – it is an absolutely indifferent one. Hostility might induce rebellion. Our […]

The March Of The Penguins – delightful, extraordinary, respect

Tweet March of The Penguins – Luc Jacquet Peerless cinematography (Laurent Chalet, Jerome Maison) and impeccable, sensitive editing (Sabine Emiliani) make this a shoe-in for a documentary Oscar. Every camera shot, every note of Alex Wurman’s lyrical score, breathes a sense of respect for these extraordinary, impossibly endearing creatures. So it is disturbing to read […]

The Pervert’s Guide To The Cinema – great film, dumb title

Tweet The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema – Sophie Fiennes Great film. Dumb title. This is a tour de force of intellectual passion and sheer irrepressible enthusiasm displayed by Slavoj Žižek’s, Slovenian psychoanalyst, sociologist and philosopher. Žižek applies his psychoanalytic concepts to the interpretation of cinema as a serious and cathartic art form. His obvious love […]

Žižek’s Movies – Poem: movies, psychology, life, psychoanalysis

Tweet(A ‘found’ poem based upon Slavoj Žižek’s views on movies). Žižek’s Movies Anxiety alone does not deceive Subjectivity is to see what is missing from reality Libido need fantasy to sustain itself before the abyss of another mind Fantasy realised is nightmare but the final nightmare is immortality not death Desires are not given but […]

Lord Of War – meretricious, shallow, cynical, culpable

TweetLord Of War (LOW) – Director Andrew Niccol Philosophy distinguishes between the mention and use of a word. “‘Love’ is a four-letter word” is mention; “I love you deeply” is use. Roughly: mentioning a word is to make a trivial observation about language; using a word is to connect, engage with reality. This meretricious, cynical, […]

The Incredibles – innocent, funny, family fun

Tweet The Incredibles – Brad Bird Beg or borrow a couple of kids from friends and treat yourself to this movie: or just sneak in on your own and treat yourself. Wall to wall animation on TV and some of the so-called animated blockbusters has for me made the genre very tired and predictable in […]

The Inside Man – battle of the macho-centric stereotypes

Tweet The Inside Man – Spike Lee Elastic disbelief required. If you are willing to stretch a bit then this slightly over 2 hours piece of hokum is entertaining enough. A cross between a what-is-it? and a how-done-it? The answer to neither question challenges the little grey cells over much. There are a few stereotypical […]

The Iron Man – techno-fascist, Marvel man, Afghanistan man

Tweet Iron Man – Jon Favreau As techno-fascist movies go, this is a good one: a well-paced narrative, above average acting for this genre, and an at times distinctive, stylish, visually witty tone. Favreau, making the most of Robert Downey Junior’s trademark insouciant, self-deprecating acting style, tongue-in-cheeks the preposterous goings-on well enough to induce you […]

The Happening – In the beginning, movie without end, amen

TweetThe Happening – M Night Shyamalan Bad Night at the movies. M Night Shyamalan has produced a first: the only movie ever where the trailer is actually better than the movie. We are familiar with ‘comedies’ where the only funny bits are all the in the trail, but MNS has gone one better – not […]