Tuesday, October 15, 2013

About movies and books

Cinema audience in the 1940s, you could even smoke in the movies back then!
This past Sunday, we had the pleasure of seeing the film Any Day Now. From the sound of the applause after the film, I think most everyone enjoyed it. John Anderson, in his discussion prior to the viewing, told us that film festival audiences loved the film and it seems our membership did too. He also said that critics weren't as enthusiastic and felt the film was a bit melodramatic.

The discussion after the film centered mostly on adoption laws in previous years and how unfair they were. It seems we've come a long way from the 1970s, the time period of Any Day Now.

Our next film, Le Havre will be shown Oct. 27. It's the story of a shoeshiner who tries to save an immigrant child in the French port city Le Havre. I have a feeling it's going to be good because of that dog peaking around the corner. Study up on your French for this one, but of course there will be subtitles if your French is a little rusty.

John has come up with some questions to ponder as we view this upcoming film.

1.  In what way does the town of La Havre become a character in the film.

2. Both LA HAVRE and ANY DAY NOW depict young people endangered by the arms of the State, and the efforts of adults to save them.  How do the films differ in terms of how they approach the subject.

3.  How does the film's photography, acting, production design, and editing eschew the realist aesthetic we associate with movies concerning working class life.  Why did the director, Aki Kaurismaki decide to do this?

Please stay for the discussion after the film. It's always interesting to hear everyone's comments.

Critics Corner

About Time

New members Jane and Jeff Gorman from Carlsbad, took advantage of the club perk of viewing previews of new films. They recently saw About Time in San Marcos. Here are Jane's comments:

If you love "Ground Hog Day" and a coming of age movie featuring a deep father-son bond and portrayed by excellent English actors, then you will find this beautifully shot, well written piece of cinema fun, light-hearted and eventually wringing emotion from the depths of your memory.  It has much the same rhythm of the "Best Marigold Hotel", a little slow at times, but alive with excellent acting combined with an excellent musical tract and a total get-away to the coast of England during the summer.  Your patience with the plot development will be rewarded with an evening well spent at the cinema.


Reviewed by club member, Gail Brown
A true story of the competition between two race car drivers in the mid 70s and the horrific car crash that almost took the life of one of them. Rated R for some nudity, I suspect. 
-That Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek, Avengers) reminds me of a young Brad Pitt...one of those actors that are a pleasure to look at!! He plays the playboy, James Hunt.
-Daniel Bruhl plays Niki Lauda, a very serious and competitive racer.
-Well directed by Ron Howard, produced by Brian Grazer and of course great edge-of-your-seat racing scenes.
-Most reviewers and the two of us gave it around a 7.5 to an 8.
-Racing scenes were exciting and well done, but I think I wanted more character development.
-Not a "must see" but all-in-all an entertaining movie.

Book Nook
Every now and then, I'll include an interesting book that pertains to film. I received this one as a gift from a friend who really knows my interests. 

This book, The Film Snob's Dictionary by David Kamp and Lawrence Levi is a handy reference guide for the sort of movie obsessive for whom the actual enjoyment of motion pictures is but a side dish to the accumulation of arcane knowledge about them.
It's in dictionary format containing actors, films, directors, etc. There's lots of information about very obscure films that I've never heard of, the type of trivia that would be welcome at any cocktail party. 

If you loved or hated Any Day Now, leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Or leave a comment about anything - films, books, past showings, future showings, whatever's on your mind. We'd love to hear from you.
See you on the 27th. 




  1. I concur on ABOUT TIME. It exudes a loving aura about it and refrains from using the time travel gimmick for contrived plot complications.

    THE FILM SNOBS DICTIONARY is part of a series of pop culture guides for those seeking hipster cred. For Sunday, read the entries on Robert Bresson, Carl Dreyer, Jean Pierre Melville, and Yasujiro Ozu. Better yet, see their movies!

  2. The guy with the cigarette in the theater was taking quite a risk. Smoking was generally banned in movie theaters due to the flammable nature of the nitrate used in film prints up until the 1950s

  3. The ladies with the hats wouldn't be welcome either in today's theatres!!!