27 January 2006

Sundance: Day Eight

  • Neil Young: Heart of Gold (Jonathan Demme, USA): 57

    Standard-issue concert doc, absent the formal experimentation Demme employed with the Heads and Hitchcock. New material remarkably good; catalog selections a little heavy on Harvest (probably my least favorite canonical N. Young platter). Although I must say that the closer to Fogeyville Young gets, the more poignant his rendition of "Old Man" becomes.

  • The Science of Sleep (Michel Gondry, France): 41

    Cinema is an inherently oneiric medium, which makes movies that overtly traffic in dream logic the equivalent of a hat on a hat. Frantic bursts of outré imagery notwithstanding, this one is mostly pretty dull, with Gael García Bernal a flavorless Walter Mitty and Charlotte Gainsbourg little more than the dimples across the hall. And while Human Nature didn't really work, at least it had some ideas. This is just whimsy-a-go-go.

  • TV Junkie (Michael Cain, USA): 48

    Might have seemed revelatory had it been assembled prior to Capturing the Friedmans and Tarnation; alas, this particular media-age pathology is now beginning to feel a bit stale. Still, Kirkham's life from 1993-98 was such a gruesome train wreck that I felt compelled to stay with him, if only out of morbid curiosity. And it's not often that you're privy to other people's rationalizations even as they're in the process of being formed.

  • Madeinusa (Claudia Llosa, Peru): W/O

    Sometimes I regret not even glancing at the blurb in the program book. Turns out the title is the protagonist's name. Enough said, I trust.

  • The Illusionist (Neil Burger, USA): 45

    Clearly mediocre right from the get-go -- it's the sort of overly emphatic, plot-heavy, emotionally hollow story that you usually find in bus-station spinner racks -- but I got sucked in anyway just because, well, I dig magic. (Ricky Jay was a consultant, and I once saw him perform one of the tricks featured in this film.) If you can't guess the ending halfway through, you're not trying very hard, which incidentally puts you in good company with Ms. Jessica Biel.
  • No comments: