Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) 8/10

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Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) 8/10

Cult classic about two men (musicians James Taylor & Dennis Wilson) living moment to moment, earning cash through drag racing. Their 1955 Chevy is the embodiment of the film, stripped back, no fuss, powerful.
Great character actor Warren Oates steals the show, in-between the copious lies that his character tells are tiny snippets of insight, this movie gives you very little information.
Enjoying this will depend on your state of mind, it’s a movie best quietly observed.. I can see a lot of people getting bored by it.

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The Punk Singer (2013) 8/10

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The Punk Singer (2013) 8/10

Documentary about musician, artist, feminist, activist Kathleen Hanna.
Since the early 90s, starting with her band Bikini Kill, Kathleen has been a champion for women’s rights, right as simple as the right to be truly heard. Bravely sticking her neck out for a cause.. people lined up to cut off her head.
While not particularly in the spotlight now in the 2010s, young women of today can still look to her as a strong, intelligent role model. For me, as a man, this documentary is a chance to greater understand how difficult the world can be for women.

Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013) 7.5

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Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) 7.5

Documentary about a movie that was never completed, yet still greatly influenced later Sci-fi, most importantly Star Wars and Alien.

“For me movies are an art, more than an industry, and it’s the search of the human soul, as painting, as literature, as poetry, movies are that for me.” – Alejandro Jodorowsky

The joy all involved in the original movie show while reminiscing is delightful, the disappointment but overall acceptance at not being able to finish the movie is palpable.
Dune seemed to have been the most ambitious movie ever planned. A cluster of diverse artists were connected to this project, such as H.R. Giger, Dan O’Bannon, Orson Welles, Moebius and Salvador Dalí.

Going into this with no prior knowledge of Dune is no disadvantage. If you have any interest in art, or the process of the artist, you will find Jodorowsky’s Dune hard to take your eyes off.

Hide Your Smiling Faces (2014) 7/10

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Hide Your Smiling Faces (2014) 7/10

Similar to last years Mud (highly recommend) and The Kings of Summer, only more naturalistic.
All three films focus on the lives of boys escaping their struggling families and exploring the wild, all three similarly use the environment (woods, lakes, swamps) like an extra character. But each tackles the theme from its own unique standpoint.
Hide Your Smiling Faces is a gem that takes a while to form.

Char-Ac-ter (2012) 7/10

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Char-Ac-ter (2012) 7/10

“If you spend your life being other people and trying to see the world through their eyes, in some way all liberal arts teach you compassion.” – Sydney Pollack
Talking Head Documentary.
Great character actor Dabney Coleman interviews fellow great character actors, and close friends, Peter Falk, Charles Grodin, Mark Rydell, Harry Dean Stanton and Sydney Pollack.
Coleman’s close relationships to this very talented group of friends, leads to some of the most candid conversations about acting/directing on film. It was especially a treat watching him at times prod and poke the vague Harry Dean Stanton for answers, something that most interviewers are too scared to do.
During the movie, someone mentions that “it takes 20 years to become an actor”, looking at the state of the film industry today, it seems like this is still true, but it is not important for the focus group obsessed production companies and the multiplying number of young actors filling our screens, grasping at their 15 minutes of fame.

You can watch this and many other independent films online at http://www.snagfilms.com/

Movie/Day #210 – A Boy and His Dog (1975)

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Movie/Day #210 - A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Timeless story of one man and his talking dog’s survival of a nuclear apocalypse.
The talking dog of course is highly intelligent with extensive knowledge of human history and the “boy” (Don Johnson) really just wants to get laid.
Don Johnson ostensibly argues with a dog for 1h 30min, it’s very entertaining. Occasional surprisingly good action scenes, good atmosphere and realization of a wasteland environment.
Set in the year 2024, this scenario could still come to fruition…
1st and 2nd acts 7/10, 3rd act 4/10