TSP2018: Isle of Dogs

Isle of Dogs. Wes Anderson. 2018.

Hey, it’s a Wes Anderson film, so of course Tilda Swinton is in here somewhere. It’s an animated film, but she does the voice of Oracle. (She has like four lines in the film, and two of them are “what?”)

And… I love Wes Anderson, but it’s weird. Not because it’s an animated film about excessively anthropomorphic dogs being exiled to a trash island, but because it’s set in Japan for no particular obvious reason. As the film progressed I started thinking “Orientalism?” and paused it to bing it, and I’m not the first. The weirdest thing is that most of the time when the Japanese humans talk, there’s no subtitles, rendering them effectively speechless.

I did like the disgusting sushi check scene.

I think this film shows how dependent Anderson is on his wonderful troupe of actors to pull off his charming films. But others obviously disagree: This has a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Is this my most controversial take on a film ever!??!  Probably.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2015: B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989

B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989. Jörg A. Hoppe. 2015.

Hey! This is another part of my project to see whether all the films of a moderately famous actor are available in these modern days. (Spoiler: No.) It’s been a couple of years since the last one, so I thought I’d just do mop-up of Swinton’s newer films, but I think I managed to score one of her older ones, too.

This is one of those hybrid documentary movies where you have old footage intercut with new footage (that has cleverly been made to look like it was shot on old, cheap, film stock). It’s a schtick I’m not really that comfortable with watching: I find that my head is spending 93% of its capacity trying to determine which scenes are new and which are old, which doesn’t leave me with much eye/hand coordination to drink the requisite glasses of beer.

Because this isn’t really that interesting. It’s a personal nostalgic trip for the narrator (who is a television presenter), but it’s a fun scene after fun scene with not much of a narrative thread.

And I could have done without the clips from the Jorg Buttgereit films.

(Tilda Swinton’s appearance in this film consist of a couple of seconds from the Cycling the Frame film.)

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP1994: Visions of Heaven and Hell

Hey!  It’s time for that yearly Google session to try to find the missing films for my Tilda Swinton project. Unfortunately, nothing new seems to be available (although The Dilapidated Dwelling seems to have been available on Youtube for a bit of time before being deleted).  Boo!

But a kind reader had pointed me towards the last two episodes of Visions of Heaven and Hell on Youtube, so I saw that one, at least.  One more down.

TSP2016: Hail, Caesar

Oh, CGI. Boo.

So colour corrected.

Hail, Caesar. Ethan Coen. 2016.

Hm… on the one hand, this film is very much like if Mel Brooks wanted to make a Wes Anderson movie. On the other hand, there are fun scenes like the Gene Kelly sailor scene. On the fourth hand, there’s the horrible CGI-looking (even if it might not have been) version of the Busby Berkeley scene.

So… not firing on all cylinders, but have any Coen film ever done that? Very, very good-natured, though. It’s like almost very good.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.