Summer of Film ‘05 (recap)

My project that was Summer of Film 2005, where I had set out to watch 100 films in less than 100 days never fully materialized. Life intervened. This is not to say that I did not perform well; quite the contrary. Over and above the 29 films I “partially reviewed”: I watched the following:

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Raging Bull (1980)

“Summer of Film #28 of 100”:
But for the machismo, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull could be described as a ballet or an opera. It is a strange dance all men dance to a certain extent; one that we don’t like to talk about and would rather that it stay hidden behind the facade of who can grunt louder or spit farther or generally be more macho than his pears. Continue reading

Stardust Memories (1980)

“Summer of Film #27 of 100”:
Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories is the film equivalent of a mid-life crisis; I guess the appropriate description would be a mid-career crisis. However, instead of the flashy extravagance, Allen opts for moody introspection as a character not unlike himself- a director who is trying to look for deeper meaning in his career. Why does he make films? Why does it matter that he does? Will it matter more if he make serious ones? Continue reading

The Deer Hunter (1978)

“Summer of Film #26 of 100”:
The Deer Hunter, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage and John Cazale, uses “Russian roulete”: as an allegory for the war in Vietnam. While this is an engaging and harrowing ploy that makes for an engrossing second act, the crutches that it rests on- i.e. act one and three- do not provide adequate support. We do not know the characters well enough and when we do, their actions contradict what we would expect them to do. Considering the fact that it is a 3 hour film, this is a significant inadequacy. Continue reading