A Three Reasons Preview

Our next proposal has proven more involved than expected, but it should go up this weekend and we hope it impresses.  In the meantime, we thought we might provide a little tease of what’s to come.

Here are “Three Reasons” for our next Criterion Collection proposal:

  1. Reality Entertainment
  2. Dancing on the Edge
  3. Selling Out the American Dream

Got it? Either way, MMC! will meet you on the Santa Monica Pier in a day or two.

Logorama (Ludovic Houplain, Herve de Crecy, and Francois Alaux, 2009)

Back in January, the Criterion Collection paired the Oscar-winning short film Logorama (Ludovic Houplain, Hervé de Crécy, and François Alaux, 2009) with Jean-Luc Godard’s Masculin féminin (1966). Created by the French collective H5, the short constructs Los Angeles entirely from (3,000 or so) trademarked logos and then presents these sanitized images of friendly consumerism in the sun-drenched violence typical to films like To Live and Die in L.A. (William Friedkin, 1985) and Heat (Michael Mann, 1995). The result is a clever statement on the ubiquity of capitalist commodification in our daily life and a somewhat nasty dismantling of the corporate messaging shorthanded into these capitalist symbols. Those interested in the legality of Logorama (or at least the American legality of a French film) should read Rose Lawrence’s “LOGORAMA: The Great Trademark Heist.” Lawrence’s unpacking of the legal tests for parody, satire, infringement, and dilution are particularly useful in considering the artistic aims, popular interactions, and social commentaries at work in the short film. As a bonus, Lawrence also touches upon important legal texts like George of the Jungle 2 (David Grossman, 2003) and Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.”

10 on the 10th – April 2017

Movie watching has been slow-going of late, what with television dominating our screening minutes. MasterChef: AustraliaLucha Underground, The Venture Bros., and Guy’s Grocery Games: Supermarket Masters Tournament have been keeping it classy around MMC!. And it’ll be tough times for cinema with JordskottFive Came Back, Archer Dreamland, The Gorburger Show, and the NBA playoffs on the immediate horizon. Nevertheless, the last 10 movies I’ve watched are:

  1. Yakuza Hooligans 893 (Sadao Nakajima, 1966)
  2. A Touch of Zen (King Hu, 1971)
  3. The Naked City (Jules Dassin, 1948)
  4. Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2015)
  5. Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966)
  6. Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1970)
  7. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  8. Deafula (Peter Wolf, 1975)
  9. Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki, 1992)
  10. Shin Godzilla (Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, 2017)

This just in and you heard it here first – Toni Erdmann is really good. See it before Kristen Wiig and Jack Nicholson turn it into Dinner with Schmucks (Jay Roach, 2010), a movie that I do enjoy but takes some crazy liberties with its very entertaining source material, Francis Veber’s The Dinner Game (1998).

A Touch of Zen is dazzling to the eye and manages to feel measured and accelerated, dedicated and diverted, all at once. Shin Godzilla takes on the plodding monster that is political bureaucracy (with tongue firmly in cheek). Porco Rosso remains one of Studio Ghibli’s undervalued masterpieces. But a warning should be heeded – stay away from Deafula … far away. Its American sign language-meets-vampire movie premise can’t save it from the failings of its art house pretensions.

Lastly, you can still vote for the cult cinema genre to be featured in our next Arrow Video proposal. Please head over to our poll and vote for your favourite!!!

Listen to Me!

Big thanks to Aaron West for inviting me on Criterion Now, his recurring podcast on the ongoing developments of all things Criterion! You can listen to us now on “Episode 11 – Blow-Up, Tiny Furniture, Gimme Shelter.”

Lucky listeners can hear me shrug off ’60s London, defend the aspect ratio of comic books, mistake Zelig as ’70s Woody Allen, declare myself the spokesman of a nation, and defend Lena Dunham, Michael Bay, and Point Break. It was a lot of fun, but MMC! followers should enjoy it now because a track record like that doesn’t encourage repeat visits!

(And for the record: I don’t dislike Blow-Up (I just have other Antonioni films I much prefer), I probably should have stumped for Take the Money and Run (1969) which I also enjoy, and I do have great tolerance when the Collection tries to represent cinema outside its typical fare, even when it results in titles like Armageddon and Jellyfish Eyes.)

Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2015)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Our Little Sister.

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary) is a scenic and gently sensitive domestic drama that confirms its maker’s reputation as a great director in the tradition of Yasujiro Ozu and Mikio Naruse. Adapted from a popular Japanese comic book, the film concerns three twentysomething sisters – Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika – who live together in an old, large house in the seaside city of Kamakura. When their long absent father dies, they travel to a small countryside town for his funeral and meet their shy, teenage half-sister for the first time. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them and the four sisters commence a new life of tentatively joyful discovery. With documentary precision and picturesque elegance, Our Little Sister is a touching survey of love, generosity, and the weight of family histories.

Disc Features:

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Help Me Pick an Upcoming Proposal!

Work on MMC!‘s next Criterion Collection proposal is unfortunately progressing slowly. What’s more, I’m stymied over what type of film to next propose for an Arrow Video treatment. I’d like to choose something not yet explored by the label, but I’m finding myself torn between the choices.

My solution is MMC!‘s first poll! Let me know what you’d like to see and let’s find out if I can construct a poll properly!