BEAUTY IS WITHIN GRASP
My first DVD column of 2006 is now online. Go here and read the new installment of "Can You Picture That?". In it, I review Cafe Lumiere (as promised) and Kurosawa's riff on Hamlet, The Bad Sleep Well
This new month also means I have another selection of picks for Trilogy Video. The first three picks are romantic and the first two chosen in particular for the strange, unreal world they create; the final two are comedies about husbands plotting the murders of their wives and are chosen together because one has to wonder if one inspired the other.
* Le Notti Bianche starring Marcello Mastroianni, dir. Luchino Visconti, from a story by Dostoevsky
* Pandora & the Flying Dutchman starring James Mason & Ava Gardner, dir. Albert Lewin
* Sabrina starring Humphrey Bogart & Audrey Hepburn, dir. Billy Wilder
* Unfaithfully Yours starring Rex Harrison, written & directed by Preston Sturges
* Divorce Italian Style starring Marcello Mastroianni, dir. Pietro Germi...and check out the awesome cover by Jaime Hernandez:
Steven Soderbergh's new film Bubble is released on DVD today. It's part of his new five-picture experiment where the movie is released simultaneously in theaters, on disc, and as a download. Only a smattering of movie theatres have participated, so it's hard to say how their business would fare against such competition, but the company is claiming that the other avenues have been successful.
Which makes me wish all the more that the movie itself was, too. Bubble isn't a bad movie, really, but it seems like a rather slight effort to front such a bold mission. Starring non-actors working from only a script outline, it's a simplistic murder mystery. Clocking in at just a little over an hour, I couldn't help but feel the story had somehow gotten a short shrift. Certainly there was more here to be explored, a deeper delving into the feelings of the characters. The real heart of the story is Martha, played by Debbie Doebereiner with a naturalness that conveys a deep interior life. Most of Martha's motivations are below the surface, and first-time actress Doebereiner communicates the inner turmoil through her passive looks and soulful eyes. Given the strength of the performance, it made me want to know more. Why cut away as soon as Martha realizes her own truth? Why not share?
It remains to be seen how the next four films will go, and whether Bubble is merely the first component of something grander. I just hope Soderbergh's refusal to hedge his bet more doesn't cut this risky endeavor off at the knees.
Sales Pitch: I currently have seven auctions for anime DVDs running on eBay. Plase stop by my seller's page and take a look.
Current Soundtrack: The Trash Can Sinatras, "Wild Mountainside" single; The Squid & the Whale original soundtrack
Current Mood: quixotic
[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2005 Jamie S. Rich