About Me

My name is Adam Greene. I’m 32 years old. I work in film/television in a minor capacity at this point. When that capacity changes you all will know because I won’t be able to shut up about it. I write this blog to help organize my thoughts on film and to keep writing in as thoughtful a manner as possible.

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Responses

  1. Do you ever watch a sports movie? A Sci-fi flick?

  2. Currently residing in my DVD player is a Science Fiction movie called “Stalker”. I do not, however, watch sports movies but that isn’t because I’m against them it has more to do with the fact that they are poorly made.

  3. SEEN “Frozen River” Yet?

  4. I came upon your blog rather unintentionally as I was doing an image search for mountains for my work and saw a picture from The Holy Mountain. Interested, I skimmed through several of your reviews… I agree with some things, but 3 stars for Holy Mountain and 5 for Dark Knight? Did you watch either of these? Dark Knight was the most boring superhero film I have ever seen… a big, bloated, plotless, depthless meandering mess that only gets away with it because of its ties to a tragedy (see Titanic). If Ledger hadn’t died and the film weren’t so oppressively “dark” this would have received about as much clout as Superman IV: The Quest for More Money. Christopher Nolan made his first passable movie with Batman Begins, but it was primarily because its plot contained meaty, subversive subtext; the enemy within against the covert forces of evil. Its followup was brainwashed then retreated over every well-intentioned point from the first, and turned Bruce Wayne into George W. It turned insidious forces that easily buy power in corrupt governments into a lone, motiveless terrorist. On the other end of the spectrum, we have The Holy Mountain… a spiritual journey, whose political messages are aimed more at unmasking fascist evil; the evil that we all perpetuate by remaining blind, self-absorbed, dog-eat-dog fools with little more on our numbs minds than money and pleasure. As with Rome (as beautifully realized in Fellini’s far less enlightening mish-mash from ’69, “Fellini-Satyricon”), we are becoming nothing more than thieves and whores and bored bourgeois spectators for spectacle. Jodorowsky fervently sought to change people through enlightenment (the highest aspiration of any artist) and made a film that is far more entertaining than you give credit. I have seen The Holy Mountain three times over the last year or so, and one of those instances was with the commentary that you mentioned. The really wonderful thing about the film is that, after listening to the highly detailed commentary that lists all Jodorowsky’s inspirations and intentions of symbols and themes, I understood all of it without needing to know the specifics. If you pay attention (and not to the actors… sheesh… so it takes you out of the movie more when someone takes a fresh approach to a character than when someone you’ve seen millions of times plays yet another character with the same voice and mannerisms? … children of mainstream…), you’ll enjoy it as well. Granted, after watching it the third time I realized I never really had to watch it again, but that just makes Jodorowsky a unique storyteller. He packs an enormous amount into his work, but gives you enough time to understand it all. By comparison, Nolan is one of the worst filmmakers alive… one of a breed of insecure directors that adds texture–not meaning–to his films to distract people long enough to pick their pockets of a few bucks. Of course, it doesn’t take long when people are constantly scratching for the next new bit of shiny distraction that they can love intensely and without reason for half a beat, then drop and look for the next.

  5. Josh,

    Thanks for reading. I’m glad that you found a couple of things to read on the site and hopefully you’ll come back in the future and explore some of my other reviews.

    While my rating of The Holy Mountain may not be with your thinking of the film, I appreciate the film and its supporters. If you decided to explore my reviews further, then I think you’ll see that my tastes are decidedly not mainstream, in spite of my love for films like Dark Knight. I seek out and enjoy many films with different perspectives (thus I watched The Holy Mountain), but when something veers too far to the avante garde I lose interest. I can see how you would translate poor performances with a “fresh approach” but I think that is a cop-out. We can agree to disagree.

    To my gushing response to Dark Knight, I can only say that I appreciate a well made genre movie and I put the aforementioned movie easily at the top of its particular genre.

    Thanks again for reading. I hope you come back.
    Adam

  6. Well, personal taste is subjective… As for the acting, there was only 1 “actor” in the whole film. Similar to Fellini or Herzog, Jodorowsky cast real people to play versions of themselves, thus imbuing their roles with things an “actor” might never have dreamed. That’s why saying they have a fresh approach to their characters is anything BUT a copout. In my opinion, it is far more of an offense to gush (in similar fashion as nearly every other reviewer) to some overblown piece of mainstream garbage that is an extremely poorly-fashioned genre movie. That isn’t to say that every movie of its ilk should be entered into with grave reservations and a readiness to pounce upon any little flaw (if that were true, I would have walked out of the theatre after the first 15 minutes of Dark Knight), but it is important to give the same amount of attention and scrutiny to these movies as it would to an “art house” film… perhaps even more so, since these films are made for mass consumption and therefore could be dangerous to the collective conscious. That’s all I will say about that, because I think we both understand a great amount of our differing views on quality could be chalked up to opinion.

    On a more constructive note, I highly recommend the following films:

    Underground (1995 – Yugoslavia – When war profiteers in WWII-ravaged Yugoslavia are discovered by the government, they hide friends and family in the basement of a safe-house and put them to work manufacturing weapons; their most profitable scheme yet. Fifteen years after the war’s end, they still pump propaganda into their “slaves” in the basement, who grow more patriotically crazed with each passing day…)

    Monte Grande: What is Life? (2004 – Switzerland – Fascinating and enlightening documentary about the late scientist and philosopher, Francisco J. Varela–one of the finest thinkers of our age. Includes interviews with Varela and family and friends, including the Dalai Lama.)

    The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002 – USA – Terrifying documentary about one of our most insidious politicians that uncovers previously-sealed documents which show Kissinger as one of the primary architects of many covert military actions that led to the slaughter of innumerable innocents, including the Vietnam war.)

    Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die (1981 – Netherlands – Fantastic documentary about Italian director, author and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini’s life and ultimate murder; many of which believe was due to his published statements calling out the corruption [and those responsible for it] in the Italian government.)

    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985 – USA – The best biopic ever created weaves together the life of Japan’s most prolific author, poet and playwright with 4 of his works; gorgeously realized in the style of Kabuki theatre. Like Pasolini, Yukio Mishima was another artist who stood up against the corruption of his homeland [i.e. patriot], but he did it in a bit more of a hostile fashion by holding a military figure hostage and demanding to deliver a speech to his troops.)

    That’s all I have time for right now.

  7. Josh,
    Thanks for the recommendations. I am aware of most of them and some are high on my list of movies to see (I own a copy of Underground). Mishima, in particular, is something I am anxious to see after I read a review in Cinemascope magazine. Monte Grande: What is Life? sounds interesting and I’ll seek it out.

    As to the acting debate, I find many films with non-actors great. Ratcatcher, directed by Lynne Ramsay, and Ballast, directed by Lance Hammer as a recent example, both use many nonprofessionals and the performances are believable and moving. I think the style of filmmaking that Jodorowsky is striving for something more mythic and less “realistic” and I find that style to take me out of the story but I think it was an artistic choice (like Bresson) rather than lack of ability (like a porno).

    Thanks again for reading and participating. Do you have a blog? Ever thought about it? While we may disagree on some things I always like to be introduced to a someone’s cinematic ideas especially when they differ from the mainstream.

  8. Mishima is certainly worth seeking out, especially as it is only one of two films I can think of that is far better as released in a different form than what was shown in theaters (the other being Brazil). The original version’s voiceover narration was recorded by Roy Scheider… Evidently the motivation for this was Shrader’s hope that the narration would be internalized a bit more by audiences and hearing it in their own language would be helpful, when it was of course horribly jarring to hear a Japanese patriot’s words being read by a nasal, metallic-twanged cowboy. Thankfully, Shrader recorded Ken Ogata (who played Mishima) doing the same voiceover in Japanese for audiences in Japan, and Criterion (bless their souls!) reinstated this previously unheard narration (as it was banned in Japan well before its release) so that we may have an uninterrupted flow of language in this remarkable film.

    I also suggest you try Jodorowsky’s least avant garde Psycho-esque horror film from 1989, Santa Sangre (Holy Blood), and I would steer well clear of his most avant garde film, Fando y Lis (might only be watchable on acid).

    I had a film score and DVD review site a good decade ago, but my taste in music and film underwent drastic changes after a certain point and I let it all pass away. Since then I have moved on to more personal projects and haven’t had much time to relinquish to anything else. That being said, I admire the tenacity required to do such a thing and the dedication to a much-derided form of writing; critique. After all, it’s what keeps us all on our toes and honest.

  9. hey, nice reviews, but i’m wondering… do you listen to ween? gene and dean are the stallions, mang.

  10. Yeah, I’m a big Ween fan. You have to like a band a lot if you’re going to rip them off when you name your blog. Right?

    Thanks for reading.

  11. I like the new blog header. I liked the old one better, but I’m trying to get the idea out there that I don’t fear change (which I totally do) so – “great new blog header!”

    🙂

  12. How about some new blog entries?


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