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We Want Goober!

Jordan | Goober | Monday, May 31st, 2004

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Goober says, “Go on!”

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Goober has an enormous white belly.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998), Aviva Kempner, D

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 30th, 2004

Less interesting than your average A&E Biography. Aviva Kempner is an inept director who blew an interesting opportunity here. Only saving graces: “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” in Yiddish and some interviews with the always flabbergasting Alan Dershowitz.

The Five Obstructions (2004), Jørgen Leth & Lars von Trier, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Very interesting. I can certainly see the appeal for both Leth and von Trier to want to do such a project. Yet I saw it about 4 hours ago and it is almost 100% escaped from memory. But lots of fun while it lasted — and it is good to see Bob Sabiston’s rotoscope cartooning technology worked into a movie again.

iPose

Jordan | Out & About | Thursday, May 27th, 2004

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The real comedy of course was seeing Kerry Douglas Dye stand in the middle of Houston St. traffic to take these photos with a big look of “why do I hang out with this idiot?” on his face.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), Luis Buñuel, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, May 27th, 2004

I saw the first 40 minutes of this in a class in 1993 and have been meaning to catch the rest ever since. It is a very funny movie, but there’s not one joke. A great example of how non-linear storytelling can sometimes get your point across better than any other method. A good double feature with Peter Medak’s “The Ruling Class.”

RIP Dave Dellinger

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Thursday, May 27th, 2004

I did a paper on him in High School. I heard him talk at the Westbeth Theater about 10 years ago. He was 88 years old.

No Points For Subtlety

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Do you think it is a surprise that Ashcroft comes out with another vague warning on the day Al Gore drops a neutron bomb of a speech at NYU? Anyone who’s seen Control Room or at least an episode of “The West Wing” can see that he’s desperately trying to bury the Gore speech and fear-monger the agenda of status quo into the lead spot in tomorrow’s news cycle. (Even Tom Ridge seemed kinda baffled by the lack-of-news announcement, refusing to up the color coded terror level.)

The joke is on Ashcroft AND Gore — the big story is that Fantasia is the new American Idol. Can’t either of them consult TV Guide??????

Hell House (2001), George Ratliff, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Fascinating anthropological film. A frightening postcard from the heart of Bush Country. I once had numerous gin gimlets with director Ratliff at a swank Upper East Side bar on someone else’s dime.

We Chew Tonight In Singapore

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

This is pretty fascinating.

American Exceptionalism

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

In a world full of failure, we still rate a “D.” Even Canada makes one brief appearance on Amnesty’s List.

Dillema

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

News of Terry Nichols’ guilty verdict places me in a Dostoyefskian position. As a theoretical objector to capital punishment, do I now get worked up over the state-sponsored murder of this inhuman criminal?

Three’s Company

Jordan | E-motions | Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

I wanted to see the documentary “S21″ today — the one about the Khmer Rouge prison — but look at the last two movies I’ve seen! Had I seen one more horrible expose on war I may’ve done some irreperable damage. But I just found out today was its last day — I’ll have to wait til DVD.

Control Room (2004), Jehani Noujaim, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

The greatest documentary about the power of television news I have ever seen. I quote my friend Garrett when he says that every cable package that includes Fox News ought to include Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is partisan — but in the story of the Iraq war their side was (and is) right. They then take the ball and roll with is. What’s so fascinating, and I don’t think the subjects of Control Room would disagree, is that the mucky-mucks at Al Jazeera are very pro-democracy. They are big fans of the American Constitution. If they (and we) could only find a country that adheres to that old documents we’d have something. It is just amazing how I — someone who has a lot of free time and watches a lot of news — never realized that the missile attack of the Al Jazeera outpost in Baghdad happened just 1 day before the famous statue of Saddam fell. My consent was almost manufactured.

Shoah (1985), Claude Lanzmann, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

Yes, I watched all 9.5 hours. I did it in stages over a week. Here were the two big surprises: it does not attempt to be a soup-to-nuts overview of the Holocaust. It’s just people talking. No source footage, no narration. It is a polar opposite from the traditional History Channel gig. Second surprise, it is a very spare, simple operation that winds up being very self-reflexive as a sloppy document. It is fly-on-the-wall and, as a result, will fascinate anyone interested in how documentaries are made. The cameras keep rolling as subjects beg to be released. Lanzmann persists, “it is important. You must go on. You must say what you saw.” On to the content: Lanzmann, who appears onscreen from time to time with cigarette and blocky glasses pressing recalcitrant subjects, throws you right in to the middle of everything. His subjects don’t really follow a chronological or geographic throughline. They are escapees, Sonderkommando, repentant SS, not-so-repentant SS and Polish witnesses of differing ages and perspectives. It was this last group, the quintessential “what could we do?” group that really got to me. When some French documentarian sticks a camera in my face in 35 years and asks me what I did during the invasion of Iraq, what will I say? Anyway, if you’ve ever gone a day questioning man’s inhumanity to man, check this one out.

The Photographs Are Us

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Monday, May 24th, 2004

My former building-mate Susan Sontag talks semantics, photography and Abu Ghraib here.

Tommy (1975), Ken Russell, D

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, May 22nd, 2004

Really bad. Not even “fun” bad. Although Ann-Margaret rolling around in baked beans has a certain quality. The new recordings sound like shit compared to the original, and, even worse, the just-in-the-movie songs and the visual content make the “story” easier to follow. If there’s one aspect of “Tommy” that always truly sucked was its “story.”

Busy Busy Busy

Jordan | E-motions | Saturday, May 22nd, 2004

Gotta run off to work now, but I plan to post about how things are going in detail some time soon. Been real busy. Too busy to watch movies, too busy to put away my laundry, too busy to look at a newspaper (and, as a result, I’ve been agita-free all week — my advice to Jurgen and my other friends ready to gouge out their eyes about our horrible war: get a job!!) Anyway, last night was my final night at Roundabout. I gave a warm goodbye to the two people I’ll actually miss and ignored the others. That was a weird two (almost) years. Anyway, if I get a chance I’m buying my iPod today.

Oh Dear God

Jordan | E-motions | Friday, May 21st, 2004

It is sooooooo early. I am just about to leave for my first day on the new job. I haven’t been up this early since 2002 when we were shooting Ultrachrist! I’m nauseous from exhaustion. Ugh.

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