2004 Top 10 - #2December 29, 2004
#2: Spring Summer Fall Winter...and Spring : Sublime, stunning, and emotionally powerful, Spring Summer Fall Winter...and Spring spent a number of months at the top of my "favorites" list for 2004 (until it was supplanted by my end-of-the-year #1). As long-time readers are aware, I tend to prize plot and characterization over visual splendor, but this is a rare occasion when both the story-related aspects and the appearance of the film are perfectly wedded. Spring... offers both visual and thematic poetry. The film follows the progress through life of a man who begins life as the youthful apprentice to an aging teacher. In the first chapter, he learns the value of all life. In the second, he discovers lust and love. In the third, jealousy and guilt. And, in the fourth, things have come full circle and the man who was once the student is now the teacher. By seeing an entire life unfold in less than two hours, we gain a greater appreciation for the changeableness of human nature, and how things we might once have thought to be unthinkable turn out to be true. The journey is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, often touching, and always magical. Kim Ki-duk's feature is currently available on DVD, and even the subtitle-phobic might consider giving it an opportunity. Although the movie is in Korean, there aren't many words, so the need to read should not often interfere.
The Porn Star Experience
The average, mainstream Hollywood actress can create a stir when she takes her clothes off. Sasha Grey has done it by putting them on.By now, anyone who cares is aware that Grey is director Steven Soderbergh's leading lady for The Girlfriend ...
A Proposal for the MPAA
It's no secret that I have been critical of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), the organization that doles out motion picture classifications (or ratings) to movies in the United States. My criticism comes on two fronts, both of which...
MPAA Alphabet Soup: A & PG
Over roughly the last decade, Roger Ebert has been lobbying for an "A" rating somewhere in between the "R" and "NC-17" - an indicator to potential viewers that a film is adult in nature but not pornographic. (That would raise the question of what ...