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Doug C

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About Doug C

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    film history, science fiction, board games, drawing, cooking, ethnic cuisines, hiking

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Web editor, film critic and film programmer
  • Favorite movies
    Ordet, Au hasard Balthazar, Stalker, Europa '51, Sansho the Bailiff, Make Way for Tomorrow, Late Spring, Red Beard, Sunrise, Blade Runner, Le Rayon Vert, The Decalogue, The Mortal Storm, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Night of the Hunter, Chimes at Midnight, The Wrong Man, Father and Daughter, The Man Who Planted Trees
  1. Doug C

    Gene Wolfe

    A new article on Wolfe in the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/sci-fis-difficult-genius
  2. Doug C

    Celine and Julie Go Boating

    Yes, it's super exciting news, and they've already announced their home video release, too: http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=16598 Despite (or maybe because of) it's length, it's completely immersive, an homage to Louis Feuillade serials, mid-'70s art/youth culture, secret societies, you name it. Eric Rohmer has a wonderful cameo as a literary professor. Rivette is an extremely fascinating filmmaker, it's tragic his "non-commercial" formats (extended lengths, alternate versions, etc.) have helped keep him off U.S. screens. He's still alive, but I understand he's suffering from Alzheimer's so he won't be making any new films. Also highly recommended is the once elusive but highly entertaining Le pont du nord (1981), which has just been released on Bluray by Kino in the U.S. and Masters of Cinema in the UK: http://www.kinolorber.com/video.php?id=1926 Sadly, I think New Yorker has pretty much folded, so let's hope Criterion or someone can pick up the work they're said to have already done on Celine and Julie. In the meantime, you can download the very cool poster and yearn for teh day: http://www.newyorkerfilms.com/administrator/movie_posters/CelineandJulie_Poster2.jpg
  3. Doug C

    Celine and Julie Go Boating

    New Yorker distributed this theatrically a couple years ago, and has been working on a DVD / Bluray release, which hopefully will come sooner rather than later. It is far more entertaining than its relative obscurity in the U.S. would lead you to believe, and that goes for many early Rivette films including the captivating, 13-hour Out 1, which Carlotta will release theatrically in the U.S. later this year. Almost certainly influenced by the anarchic Czech classic Daisies (streaming on Hulu) and very influential on indie filmmakers (notably Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan) and a good many female buddy movies, it is unpredictable, funny, mysterious and even a little scary--probably our closest cinematic equivalent to Lewis Carroll.
  4. Doug C

    The One I Love (2014)

    The SF is problematic in that it's crucial but only half-heartedly applied. But I would forgive that -- like a playful, mid century science-lite concoction by Lafferty or Leiber or even Bradbury -- if it made emotional sense, which I don't think it does.
  5. Doug C

    The One I Love (2014)

    I'm not the biggest fan of D'Angelo's writing in general but I think that's a pretty fair description of the plot. I'm most interested in readings of the final twist. For example,I've come across two quotes from the director (as opposed to the writer) that imply that he thinks SPOILER the original couple are together at the end, but that the "bacon question" is just the kind of residual baggage all relationships have. But I think that's a rosy interretation given what we see. The more I think about this film, the more impressed I am by the performers (who cowrote and improvised all of their dialogue) and the brilliant editing, which help shape the infectious emotional rhythms. But problems with the ending are compounded. If Ethan does end up with Sophie #2, then Sophie #1 and her choice disappear entirely from the film, which doesn't seem fair given how invested the audience has been in her character.
  6. Doug C

    The One I Love (2014)

    Yes, the question remains as to whether or not it's an "adequate response." I think there could have been a better way to preserve the ambiguity, leaving it in the mind of the audience. I wouldn't want a conventional "happy ending," either. Maybe it's just the way Ethan shrugs and the Coenesque pop music fades in that makes it feel flippant to me. After being glued to the characters and their problems, I felt like the filmmakers just check out at that point: "How does this twist grab ya? Later!"
  7. Doug C

    The One I Love (2014)

    Just saw this and found it entirely engrossing without a false step the entire way (totally comfortable with CC comparisons). But ... spoilers? ... Like John, I also found the ending quite unambiguous, and Ethan's quick acceptance of his new reality a disappointingly cynical twist to a film that perpetually asked the question, "In spite of the fact that your partner is not the ideal you married, are you still willing and able to do the difficult work required to maintain the relationship?" It felt like a flippant coda to an otherwise remarkable film.
  8. Doug C

    Gravity (2013)

    Saw's Ken's post about this on Facebook, and didn't know where else to comment. I have not seen Interstellar, so I can't offer much in the way of comparison/contrast between the two films, but I thought it was a very well written article, SDG. It reminds me of two more references for further inquiry I'd like to suggest, one is the work of Olaf Stapledon, especially Star Maker (1937), a mindblowing and extraordinarily beautiful history of the universe as seen through the eyes of an astrally projected English agnostic on the eve of World War II. I won't spoil its conclusion, but I will say that even if I don't completely share its ultimate vision, I admire its humane imagination and potent sense of awe. C.S. Lewis hated the ending, but the book as a whole is the prototype for "Man's Place in the Universe" narratives (it was a huge influence on Clarke, and thus 2001) that has never been bested. To me, it's a more applicable literary reference to the concerns of this essay than Wells. My other thought is in regards to taking "biodiversity, not music, literature, or art ... let alone religion" into space and that "Coop has made a sort of return journey -- not to his actual home, but to a facsimile" reminds me immediately of Tarkovsky's Solaris, for me the definitive statement on these matters. As Johnson and Petrie put it in their book on Tarkovsky, Lem's book is set entirely on the space station and is essentially a critique of anthropocentric thinking, whereas roughly a third of Tarkovsky's film is taken up by a "lovingly detailed presentation of the natural beauty of the earth that [the protagonist] may be leaving behind forever, and family and personal relationships have a central significance" -- "he even takes with him a box containing some earth and a plant". They also go on to note that "it is in the library, however, with its paintings and other art objects, its fine furniture, china, and glassware, and its books, that Earth becomes most inescapable and Tarkovsky makes it clear that, for truly 'human' values, we must look to the past (Brueghel, Cervantes, Bach) rather than to a soulless future." And of course, the film ends with the protagonist mysteriously reuniting with his father in a Solarian facsimile of their home, directly homaging Rembrandt's painting of the Prodigal Son.
  9. Doug C

    The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

    Not sure, but I'd keep an eye on the official site.
  10. Doug C

    The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

    Absolutely. I like Shinkai's earlier films a lot (especially Five Centimeters), but I couldn't even finish Children Who Chase Lost Voices, it was so dramatically inert and obviously aping Miyazaki. But Wolf Children is a beautiful film, like Christopher says, a very moving portrait of early motherhood and the Japanese countryside; also, all of the supporting characterizations are efficient and compelling, and it also has maybe the most fetching and observant depiction of young children since Totoro in their awkward but infectious movements and energy. My four-year-old (who was enraptured by a subbed version) really resonated with the characters and has been playing "wolf child" ever since. It's a very deft film with a lot of heart that never sinks into sentimentality. Definitely my favorite animated feature last year--highly recommended. Very eager to see what Hosoda does next.
  11. Doug C

    Looking for Great Anime

    Night on the Galactic Railroad is a beautiful film in spite of its often clunky animation; its reflective tone and unusual mix of elements makes it an unusually sensitive and contemplative anime. A few years back, it was available in segments on YouTube, so maybe it still is? Like you say, Anders, it uses strong Christian motifs as a stepping stone to more universal ideas (in some ways, it's a simple predecessor to Haibane Renmei) regarding personal responsibility, death and afterlife. It has a strong cult following. I think Netflix does have Spring and Chaos (2001), an animated biography of author Kenji Nakagawa, for rental. I never got around to watching it before I canceled my DVD subscription, but I hear it's good.
  12. Doug C

    Little Girl (La Pivellina)

    Existing thread here: http://ArtsAndFaith.com/index.php?showtopic=27914&hl=pivellina
  13. Doug C

    A Man Escaped (1956)

    The AE disc is fine, especially since you can often get it cheap and it includes the excellent documentary The Road to Bresson, but there is a French Blu-ray with English subs as well. It is true that Criterion will be releasing it some day soon--as its recent Hulu and theatrical appearances have made clear--so do keep that in mind. Edit: I definitely wouldn't get the NYer DVD...it's a lackluster transfer from the PAL source (which means it has a lot of interference in stills and plays at a slightly faster speed than normal), doesn't have any extras, and (I'll admit this is minor) blasts Mozart at you every time you go to the menu. Wait for a proper Criterion release...or better yet, catch it on the big screen!
  14. Doug C

    Kindle and other E-readers

    Okay, new Kindle HDs catch up with many Nexus stats, but add a bunch of silly software I'm not that interested in. (And I already have a camera and HDMI hooked to my Mac and Roku). Given that most of my content is side-loaded anyway, the fact that the Nexus has partial GPS capability is a major draw for the city explorer and hiker I am. I'll probably get a Nexus, but I'll always be grateful for Amazon forcing Google and Apple to make devices at a much more realistic recession price point.
  15. Doug C

    The complete films of Jean Vigo

    I was just reminded, in the spirit of comparisons, of Criterion's recent DVD release of Paul Fejos' masterpiece Lonesome (1928), a beautifully romantic and lyrical Hollywood silent film. If you like L'Atalante (or vice versa)—not to mention Sunrise or The Crowd—it would make a powerful companion piece. http://www.criterion.com/films/28212-lonesome