Month: May 2005

Tout Va Bien (1972), Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin (a/k/a The Dziga-Vertov Group), C-

If this is the most enjoyable of the Dziga-Vertov Group’s films, I’m not sure I’ll be first on line when Film Forum has the retrospective. In fact, now is as good a time as any to announce that, with the exception of the very recent Notre Musique, Jean-Luc Godard’s work after “Le Week-End” is varying degrees of crap. Even the J. Hoberman essay in the DVD’s booklet says something on the order of, “seeing this again decades later, it doesn’t suck as much as I remember.” Other than the cutaway set of the first sequence (think Team Zissou) and the lengthy tracking shot at the giant supermarket (where you can actually see the petit bourgeouis up close — buying PRODUCE! Sacre Bleu!) there is nothing to here that Godard hasn’t done much better in his earlier films. Jane Fonda doesn’t even wear sexy...

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Wyatt Earp (1994), Lawrence Kasdan, D+

Three hours and twenty minutes of what feels like unedited footage spliced together with no thought given to story arc or pacing. Some scenes are good, others are just. . . talk. Probably a decent idea in utero (show Wyatt Earp for the fascist paranoid he was — but, you know, with a “code”) and hire decent actors to do it. Location photography looks great, but it is pretty hard to fuck up the American...

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Amateur (1994), Hal Hartley, B

I was disappointed by this film when it came out, but last night, on cable, I found it pretty enjoyable. Who knew it was a mid-90s period piece? (music by Pavement, PJ Harvey, etc.) If you are in the right state of mind it is whimsical, yet still, you know, kinda heavy. I always liked Elina Lowensohn. She seems to’ve...

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Ladies in Lavender (2005), Charles Dance, B+

Critics have been unkind to this film — I think people just won’t accept older people having sexual feelings. Anyway, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench play spinster sisters between the wars in a little seaside cottage who go all gaga for a mysterious Polish violin player. It’s a lovely, subtle little film. The music is terrific and the sound system at the Paris is terrific, leading my father to remark, again and again, “It’s like a symphony orchestra in...

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Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.

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