Saturday, October 30, 2004



Title: Yes
Dir: Sally Potter
Release Date: Unknown at this time.
IMDB Link:


I am almost ashamed to admit that "Yes" was my first film of Sally Potter's however, after having seen it, I will see more.

The story follows She (Joan Allen) and her affair with a dark stranger He (Simon Abkrain). She is an accomplished scientist who struggles with her religion and cultural heritage as an Irish woman raised in the United States. Her marriage to her husband Anthony (Sam Neil) has reached a point where the two of them are barely even speaking when she meets He at a party. The film reaches an amazing climax with a heartbreaking conversation between He and She where the differences in their culture and lives (he is Lebanese) take center stage. This conversation is possibly one of the most beautiful and well acted scenes I have seen in an incredibly long time. The film is full of conflicts resulting from religion, politics and love.

What has really continued to stick with me is the writing. Sally made a very brave and wonderful choice to write the entire film in prose. I was able to meet her when the film screened at the Telluride Film Festival and when she was asked about this decision she simply replied “I wrote the film thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone talked like this.” Because all of the dialogue is in prose, the writing ads a significant layer to the complexity of the film. If someone would have told me that the film I was about to see is written entirely in prose, I would have not have thought I would enjoy it. In fact, I probably would have been worried that the dialogue would be intimidating and confusing but nothing could be further from the truth.

Her use of words and image were simply breathtaking. The performance of the entire cast was amazing. This film is an absolute must see.

House of Flying Daggers

House of Flying Daggers (Shi mian mai fu)
Dir: Yimou Zhang
Release: U.S. Limited release 12/03/04
IMDB Link:

As some of you reading this know, I have only recently come around to watching martial arts films. Like it or not, it was Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon that got me started. Now, I must say, I am becoming a fan. While I have begun to appreciate the action sequences in the films, what I have come to love is the imagery. The excellent use of color, texture and cinematography in these films is superb and House of Flying Daggers is no exception.

The story line was believable to a point, but close to the end it really began to fall apart. Though I must admit I was so drawn into the beauty of the film, I often forgot to read the subtitles. From the very beginning Yimou Zhang creates a beautiful world full of color that both seems to conflict and coordinate with itself. The beauty of the mise en scene extended beyond color and ventured far into the world of texture. The entire film was an acrylic painting in motion.

As well as beautiful image, the sound design of the film was superb. There are entire sequences where the image and sound blend so well I almost forgot I was watching a film. Every sound detail was attended to; down to the far off noises of a forest. In certain sequences, the sight and sound were so strong it was almost as though they provided inspiration for taste and smell. There were times when I could almost taste a scene.

If you are to see this film, see it on the largest screen with the best sound you can. It will truly envelop you in a world created by Yimou Zhang.

Jesus Titty Fucking Christ

Jesus Titty Fucking Christ

Title: Team America: World Police (2004)
Release: This film is currently in wide release in U.S. theatres.
Rating: R
IMDB Link:

Team America: World Police was not as funny or exciting as I had hoped. I must admit I have only recently become a fan of Matt and Trey (I actually saw the movie South Park before ever seeing an entire episode of the television show), but I really expected more. These two can have their way with today’s most serious political topics while still making a point, a skill they did not really use in Team America.

Overall I think that they were rushed. I had heard that they didn’t fully realize the challenges of working with the marionettes (which I can fully understand) but it seems that they let the story and humor suffer to hold true to the vision. I would almost have preferred a lower budget and simpler type of animation and more content than the elaborate sets and sometimes dozens of puppets at a time. (Though I will say not enough films are made using marionettes.)

In spite of some of the letdowns of this film, there were a number of things I really enjoyed. For instance the line I used for the title of this post and the simplification of the world into three categories; dicks, pussies and assholes. I also really got a kick out of the obvious play and spoof on the typical action film we have all developed a love/hate relationship with. The musical numbers were good with the “montage” song being my favorite by far.

If you are a fan of Matt and Trey, you have probably already seen the film. If not, I might wait for it to be at the $1 house.