27 May 2014

SIFF 2014: Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is brimming with enticements that it doesn't fully pursue.

Our hero refuses the uninspired dreams pinned on her. Instead she finds purpose in fantasy and doggedly, dangerously follows it. Disconnected Kumiko in Tokyo is a great start, but it gets safer in America. The nice, clueless Midwesterners recall criticisms lobbed at (executive producer) Alexander Payne more than the Coens, whose black humor I wish this swapped out the Shogun references for.

23 May 2014

SIFF 2014: The Boy and the World

A father leaves home in search of work and his distraught, curious young son sets out to find him. On his journey he inadvertently gets an education in every sad step of the garment industry.

Director Alé Abreu's charming cartoon The Boy and the World melds a mesmerizing sound design with exemplary animation. Most of the film is in a hand-drawn style with the characters not being much more complex than stick figures, but punctuated throughout are bits of computer-generated psychedelic patterns and satirical collage.

The film's first half is content to just follow the boy as he uncovers new images and sounds in his ever-expanding universe, but the latter part stumbles when Abreu kicks his anti-industrialist agenda into overdrive. For the most part I was onboard with his melding of the two stories, and thank goodness the film's dialogue-free nature saves it from sermonizing, but a brief yet blunt cut to documentary footage of the machines of capitalist greed destroying countrysides is like a bullhorn shouting, THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! It's an unfortunate choice that takes the viewer out of the film's fantastically realized world, from which it never fully recovers.

Also, is it wrong that I liked the martial theme of the fascist police bloc more than the joyous song of the protesting people?

19 May 2014

Episode 36 of The George Sanders Show Now Available!

On this episode of The George Sanders ShowSean and I board a last minute plane to Africa as a means of avoiding discussion of the Seattle International Film Festival. Once there, we dive deep into Howard Hawks's Hatari!, as well as White Hunter, Black Heart, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Eastwood is also our Person of the Week and we select our Cinemassential White People in Africa films.


Feedback can be delivered via airmail to thegeorgesandersshow[at]gmail[dot]com or @GeoSandersShow.

Next time: An actual discussion of the Seattle International Film Festival. I promise.

05 May 2014

Episode 35 of The George Sanders Show Now Available!

Sean and I go out of this world (or at the very least, visit Scotland) for a discussion of Jonathan Glazer's new film Under the Skin on this episode of The George Sanders Show. We also pick apart John Carpenter's Starman, a film that looks forward to our end of the year look back on the year 1984. (Read it again.) Under the Skin star Scarlett Johansson is our Person of the Week and we select our Cinemassential Doppelgänger Films.

Feedback can crash-land at thegeorgesandersshow[at]gmail[dot]com or @GeoSandersShow.