Friday, July 9, 2010

Films: Four Snippets on Eclipse, Sex, Igor and Mahler...

© Copyright 2010: All text by Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

Happily, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" (2010) has the tightest script & edit of the series so far, even as it often lacks the touching sincerity and the throbbing teen-heart of the first two installments. The cinematography, SFX and action scenes are superb -- and the gifted Kristen Stewart has only got even better. A big disappointment, however, comes from the Oscar-winning Howard Shore. His music bears little marks of decaces-long experience, filled with such successful scores as Silence of the Lambs, Lord of the Rings, Cop Land, or Panic Room. Pro bono? Tired? Ghost-composer?! Alexander Desplat (New Moon) might better be back for the next 2 planned chapters...

(Payman Akhlaghi, July 2010, on FB)

"Sex and the City 2" (2010) is a sparkling showcase of colors and energy, filmed with postcard clarity & annotated by clever wordplays. Subtle statements on women's oppression in the Middle-East are fittingly expressed in the language of fashion, tactfully avoiding didacticism. Sweet-natured and humorous, the script seriously suffers from ADHD. Score by Aaron Zigman has its successful moments. Enjoy...
(Payman Akhlaghi, June 2010, on FB)

"Coco & Igor" (2009/10), i.e. designer Chanel & composer Stravinsky engaged in non-Platonic activities, ca. 1913 France. Score's by Gabriel Yared, while Stravinsky provides the source music. Visuals are inspired by the lady; sound-world by the man. Lots of thoughts. Overall: Acceptable, sometimes very good, even artistic.... But as dignified as this Igor is, Stravinsky has yet to wait for a better film.

(Payman Akhlaghi, June 2010, on FB)

And anticipating "Mahler auf der Couch" (2010, in German)

A new film about Gustav Mahler, in German!? Finally! I hope to see it on its wider theatrical release. It's called "Mahler on the Couch", a clear reference to his sessions with Freud. The earlier "Bride of the Wind" (2001, English) focused on his celebrated wife, Alma, with a dignified, if repressed performance by the ...great Jonathan Pryce as Mahler. By experience, I would prepare myself for just another cinematic distortion of a geinus's life and art, but also hope that it would do justice to his legacy.

(An update might be provided after screening.)
(Payman Akhlaghi, July 2010, Los Angeles, on FB)

© Copyright 2010: All text by Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

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