Specials: Kaurismäki. Ceylan. Rohmer. And X-Men.

GreenCine Daily has all of the Cannes links you could hope for, and some very interesting, if somewhat disappointing, reports.

I loved Aki Kaurismäki’s The Man Without a Past. But according to reviews posted at GreenCine, Kaurismäki’s new film Lights in the Dusk isn’t as easy to love.

I’m also very surprised to read the disappointed reviews over Ikilmer (Climates), the latest feature by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. His last film, Distant, which I reviewed for The Other Journal, showed him to be one of the potential inheritors of the kind of vision that blessed Tarkovsky. Perhaps it’s one of those “when you see it the second time” movies. Or perhaps it’s just a step on the way to another masterpiece. Either way, I’m still anxious to see it.

Six short films by Eric Rohmer are coming to the Criterion Collection in a boxed set. Very cool. I’ve enjoyed every experience I’ve had with Rohmer, but I’ve never devoted enough attention to him. (The only film of his that I’ve reviewed is The Lady and the Duke.) Hopefully someday I’ll get around to revisiting and writing about his greatest films like Claire’s Knee and My Night at Maud’s. But for now, Tim Lucas is writing about Rohmer, so the rest of the world can’t say nobody told them.

Elsewhere, Jeffrey Wells calls Brett Ratner’s X-Men movie the “coarsening of a action franchise that had more than a touch of class — wit, smarts, well-sculpted characters — when Bryan Singer was directing. But of course, everyone knew this was in the cards when Rattner was hired, and if you accept the downgrade as the way of the corrupted world it’s not that bad to sit through.” And at Ain’t It Cool News, Moriarty’s prayers are answered — according to him, the movie doesn’t suck.

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  • Clay

    I saw a preview of Amazing Grace presented by Walden Media at the ICRS (formerly known as CBA) in July. I know trailers can be very deceiving, especially early release previews, but I was transfixed by this one. The acting we saw was captivating, the cinematography appeared to be high quality, and if the rest of the film holds up to the preview it will be a film of considerable power and inspiration. I hope I’m not proved wrong about my initial impression, but I think it will be a good, possibly great film.

    The February 23 release date has nothing to do with the Oscars. It corresponds with the anniversary of the signing of the Abolition Act in England on Feb. 23, 1807, which Wilberforce championed tirelessly for about 20 years after his conversion to Christianity.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    The film will screen for the first time at the Toronto International Film Festival . . .

    Actually, it will be screened at a Jim Wallis event in Pasadena on September 8, eight days before it screens at the TIFF.

  • Adam Walter

    Great news about that Rohmer set – thanks for posting that. Too Bad about the Kaurismäki film. TMWAP as the only one I’ve seen, but I really liked it.