peteg's blog

Up!

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Shine

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Teknolust

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Sergio Leone: Once Upon A Time In America

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Sunset Boulevard

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Muriel's Wedding

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The Motorcycle Diaries

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I saw the short for this when visiting Delvin back in July. Great cinematography. I am surprised that it (apparently) hasn't been released in Australia. (Pete R. tells me it has; I guess this means IMDB is not omniscient.)

Touch of Evil

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Michael Moore: Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint

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A follow-up to Roger & Me.

Maria Full of Grace

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I saw the short when visiting Delvin back in July, but have only now got around to seeing it. I'm not sure what to make of this movie; the players more or less directly represent a few kinds of people from a lesser-developed-country: the expats, the downtrodden workers (one stuck in the loop, one with the courage to break out of it), the mafioso, etc. and as such fail to become characters. I fear my hardboiled cynicism blinds me to the redemptive moments in it, for all I see is a whole string of pragmatic decisions, none of which are principled or pretty. The leading actress is luminous and there is some art in the cinematography.

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Got all geed up to go to the Elvis Costello concert this evening, only to be told (when I arrived) that it had been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. sigh It had actually been cancelled back on January 9 (or earlier) but I didn't think the check.

Pulp Fiction

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National Treasure

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My Name is Joe

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The Corporation

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The basis for the movie?

Dead Man

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Van Helsing

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Richard Roxburgh does a great Gabriel Byrne (End of Days-style), and this is his finest outing since Blue Murder. Hugh Jackman does the wolf thing again (or I guess lets the CGI do it for him, really). David Wenham camps it up as the geek assistant, in the Noah Taylor Tomb Raider tradition. I was wondering where it was filmed, but as they used the Lord of the Rings CGI equipment it doesn't really matter. The film itself is a pastiche of recent movies and European myths, a smooth integration of clumsy adapatations. For example, the collapse of the bridge in the first Lord of the Rings movie had far more moment, and there's not much going for the "don't talk, shoot"-line lifted lock-stock from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Who cares, for a blockbuster it ain't bad.

Fucking Åmål (Show Me Love)

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A Swedish classic that I saw with Pete R. back in '98 or '99. The acting by the two leads is brilliant.

Hal Hartley: Amateur

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Dune

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The Maltese Falcon

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I thought Elisha Cook Jr. looked familiar, and indeed he was in Kubrick's The Killing.

Team America: World Police

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The Big Sleep

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Strictly Ballroom

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Distorted Morality

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Another Chomsky movie, this time just a recording of a lecture he gave at Harvard in 2002. I find it a bit annoying when he gets sarcastic about things as it becomes difficult to know when he is and isn't being supercilious. It's a weak oratory technique IMHO, at least coming from an MIT professor. Politicians use it all the time.

The solution, of course, is to realise he's primarily criticising the US and factor that into all his comments. This is hardly satisfying. It would good if he practised summarising his proof, at indicating how one might validate what he says without studying all media in existence (or the US at least). His common refrain of "It's either like what I say or I'm not aware of a counter-example" would've got me fails on my undergrad essays. :-)

But this is merely nickpicking his presentation. I don't substantially disagree with what he's trying to do — a skeptical analysis of media and the US government — and indeed think it quite worthwhile. What's interesting to me (in a "I'm not likely to do much about it" way) is how we might redirect these economic forces that apparently result in these negative outcomes (excuse the Watson-esque weasel words). Bluntly, why should Rupert Murdoch (Australia's finest export) do anything else but support the various wars if that's in his financial interest? I am not a believer in corporations-as-people, either way (rights or behaviour).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Carrey is actually decent in this. I'm starting to get worried. (I was curious to see what Thomas Jay Ryan was like outside Hal Hartley's movies.) The computer that reprograms Carrey is an Amstrad® PPC 640, and I have one gathering dust at my parents' place.

East of Eden

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Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent

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Penka told me about this film back in July, but I've only got around to watching it now. Chomsky reminds me a lot of RMS in that his working assumption is that no-one's ever read his stuff, and so he always starts from first principles.

Hal Hartley: The Book of Life

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