Monthly Archives: January 2011

Fish Tank: The Best Film of 2010

Try as we might as film critics to present an objective review of a film, one filled with points of evidence and fancy adjectives, ultimately cinema-going remains a subjective experience.  The darkness of a cinema is not the equivalent of a blank canvas; rather, the film ends up in dialogue with that in which we carry into the cinema–life experiences and even our knowledge of other stories.  I mention such subjectivity because I do not have the hubris to believe that any “Best of” proclamations should be universal.  Keeping that subjectivity in mind, I found Fish Tank to be the best film of 2010.

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Banksy’s Identity briefly available on Ebay.

If you caught Exit Through the Gift Shop this year (see our review here) you weren’t alone if you were left wondering who this enigmatic figure behind the voice changer was. Well, until earlier today, someone claimed to have figured it out-and he was selling the answer on Ebay.

The ad claimed:

“If you win this auction I will reveal to you the true identity of ‘Banksy.’ I have uncovered his identity by matching up the prices of his sold pieces to corresponding tax records. I will reveal no more details. The winner of this auction is the only person that I will ever share this information with. I will simply tell you his name. I cannot offer anything more. I give you 100% assurance that it is most certainly the full name of the street artist known as ‘Banksy’.”

This seller had previously tried to sell Banksy’s identity on Ebay, but Ebay took that auction down as the item was not something tangible. This time, he claims, the object was a piece of paper upon which Banksy’s true identity would be revealed. However this afternoon, with a little under 24 hours left, Ebay took down his second attempt. They haven’t yet explained why.

This could all be an elaborate prank on the part of Banksy, something not entirely unfamiliar to the graffiti artist; some have suggested that Exit Through the Gift Shop is also a kind of ruse. But for the time being, the shroud of mystery that surrounds Banksy will remain intact.

What do you think? Was this a prank? Is Exit Through the Gift Shop?

-Ben Creech

Howl: Poem, Trial, Documentary

It seems that 2010 was destined to be the year of the fake documentary. The film world was buzzing with questions regarding the validity of the big three, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Catfish, and I’m Still Here, but somehow Howl, which never purports to be as factual as the others, fell by the wayside. This film, about the obscenity trial for Allen Ginsberg’s titular landmark poem, achieves the impossible: it is a documentary of things past.  Continue reading

A new space odyssey emerges in the trailer for ‘Love’

Imagine a blend of 2001, Solaris, and Moon and you might get an idea of what the new sci-fi movie Love may be about. Tom DeLonge (Blink 182) put down his guitar and backed the production of the film, serving as its composer. But is this new journey into the vastness of space worth your time?

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Trailer for Park Chan-wook’s iPhone created short, Paranmanjang

A few days ago, we brought you the story of Park Chan-wook’s (Oldboy) newest film (a 30-minute iPhone movie) and now we have an even better present for you–the trailer.

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Blue Valentine will break your heart

Romance in cinema is usually confined to two distinct categories: Either two people learn to love each other (consummated by a kiss or marriage) or they learn to leave each other for someone else.  Other than the uneasy ending to The Graduate, there are few films willing to follow a couple beyond their climactic decision to get together/leave.  Blue Valentine plays with each romantic format, but its uncomfortable window into a marriage imploding will make you want to call the cops for the couple’s mutual safety. Continue reading

Another Year hilarious and poignant

Storytelling relies on conflict and the yearning for resolution, which means that family centered tales are usually brimming with strife. Another Year, then, is all the more interesting. It centers around Tom and Gerri, a cozy happily married couple who take in their alcoholic friend Mary like a stray, emotionally unstable dog. Continue reading

Rent This: The American earns an Easy A along with The Other Guys

As I have previously pointed out, January-March are the cinema doldrums, a lull between festival season and the looming summer blockbusters.  So it’s nice to visit the video store and find several titles that will surprise you with how good they are. Continue reading

DVD Tuesday: Freakonomics not that mind-blowing

In 2005, economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dobner published a book that changed the way we think about everything from incentives and causality to sumo wrestling and abortion. Their research and case studies radically shifted the paradigm of contemporary thought, especially as it pertained to the constantly changing economy. Last year “six rogue filmmakers” tried to adapt this book into a documentary. Unfortunately the film doesn’t really do anything.  Continue reading

DVD Tuesday: Buried a good bad film

Buried is a high-concept film about a man who has been buried alive with only his cellphone, lighter, and a limited supply of oxygen. It stars a frequently mediocre, otherwise bad, actor in the lead (read: only) role, and is helmed by a new director. This movie is supposed to be bad; it is meant to make a profit off of its obviously slim budget. However, in spite of all of that, it defies expectations and gives one of the most thrilling endings of the year. Continue reading