Friday, January 18, 2008

A Critic's Hat Trick

Manohla Dargis continues her fine work for the New York Times with three sharp reviews today.

On Cloverfield:
Smart as Tater Tots and just as differentiated, Rob and his ragtag crew behave like people who have never watched a monster movie or the genre-savvy "Scream" flicks or even an episode of "Lost" (Hello, Mr. Abrams!), much less experienced the real horrors of Sept. 11.
And on Cassandra's Dream (which she praises, overall):
Mr. Allen sets this scene during a rainstorm, which echoes the similarly climactic moment in "Match Point," when the secret lovers kiss and set destiny on its brutal path. Like all filmmakers, Mr. Allen steals from himself like a magpie, which wouldn't be grounds for criticism if he were a more dedicated and careful thief.
And lastly, on Still Life, which I'm eager to see:
Antonioni's influence on Mr. Jia is pronounced, evident in the younger filmmaker's manipulation of real time and the ways he expresses his ideas with images rather than through dialogue and narrative. The drifting, rootless men and women in many of his movies, and the wide-open, nominally empty landscapes through which they on occasion wander, further underscore the resemblances between the filmmakers.


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