Daily Archives: January 17, 2008

Cassandra’s Dream

After making his best and smoothest drama (Match Point) in England, Woody Allen returns there for one of his most clueless and awkward, outfitted with a standard-issue Philip Glass score. In both cases Allen’s usual hang-ups about class and money lead to conventionally complicated murder plots. Two economically challenged cockney brothers in south Londona garage mechanic and compulsive gambler (Colin Farrell) and a more settled sort who runs the family restaurant (Ewan McGregor)get pushed into killing a businessman who’s threatening to expose their rich uncle (Tom Wilkinson). With Hayley Atwell and Sally Hawkins. PG-13, 108 min. (JR)… Read more »

My Second Brother

Shohei Imamura’s fourth feature (1959) was his last assigned project before the more personal Pigs and Battleships. Based on the diary of a ten-year-old Korean girl, which became a best seller in Japan, it focuses on her and her three siblings’ impoverished life in a coal-mining town. Imamura shot in black-and-white ‘Scope, doing a great deal with the scenic mountain and seaside settings, but he also lays it on rather thick at times with melodramatic overacting, especially among the adults. A former assistant to Yasujiro Ozu who often tried to be as unlike his former master as possible, Imamura tended to revel in excess of this kind even with relatively impersonal projects. I might have appreciated the social nuances more if I… Read more »