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By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30: Anna Karenina, actor Keira Knightley

7 Responses to “DP/30: Anna Karenina, actor Keira Knightley”

  1. Lex says:

    LOOK AT HER. The world’s most perfect and CHARMING woman.

  2. NightTale says:

    I thought she was frighteningly good in Anna Karenina. It really takes a fearless actress to play such an unlikable/complex character. She deserves praise for playing such a role and I hope AMPAS gives her a second Oscar nomination.

  3. Not David Bordwell says:

    I would like to point out that she played an equally unlikable/complex character without fear in Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD without all this effusive praise. She was already astonishing in that film, but now she gets the Oscar buzz? Perplexing.

  4. Actionman says:

    Sooooooo disgusted that AK hasn’t opened in my area. What are they doing with the release of this supposedly groundbreaking adaptation?

    She’s stunningly beautiful, and hugely talented, a rare combo. Have always been a massive fan. Domino POWER.

  5. Lex says:

    Anna Karenina is terrific, big Joe Wright fan, and Keira is one of my absolute favorites (and the only woman for whom I’d maybe take a pass on K-Stew), but quick stylistic question about AK:

    This is a minority opinion, but anyone else think its stylistic “audacity” is being maybe overstated? Reviews both pro- and con talk at length about its formalistic quirks, like the “staged” elements and going backstage, etc. Anyone else feel like those were kind of neither here nor there? Honestly, 95% of the movie seemed to play like a really good, invested, visceral period movie, and then every 25 minutes or so they’d break the fourth wall just a smidge, and you kinda go, “Okay, fine, going with it, whatever,” then it returns to the big epic movie that it is.

    Just everyone talking about how CRA-A-A-AZY Wright’s choice to do that is, but it’s hardly what I remember about the movie, and didn’t seem to add or detract in any real way. Honestly think a lot of casual viewers wouldn’t even notice it.

  6. Mike says:

    Lex, I haven’t seen AK, but I remember bits and pieces of Atonement in a similar way. I remember the weird score–which used the typewriter–and how I thought it was clever at first, but then overused. The same with the long uncut shot on the beach in Dunkirk. His flair for the dramatic feels too calculated sometimes, and adds little to the whole work.

  7. Actionman says:

    That shot at Dunkirk is a fucking marvel of filmmaking, and his one-take-fight with Bana in Hanna was supreme. Joe Wright feels like he came from the same school as Mendes.

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“We now have a situation where audiences very often prefer commercial trash to Bergman’s Persona or Bresson’s L’Argent. Professionals find themselves shrugging, and predicting that serious, significant works will have no success with the general public. What is the explanation? Decline of taste or impoverishment of repertoire? Neither and both. It is simply that cinema now exists, and is evolving, under new conditions. That total, enthralling impression which once overwhelmed the audiences of the 1930s was explained by the universal delight of those who were witnessing and rejoicing over the birth of a new art form, which furthermore had recently acquired sound. By the very fact of its existence this new art, which displayed a new kind of wholeness, a new kind of image, and revealed hitherto unexplored areas of reality, could not but astound its audiences and turn them into passionate enthusiasts.

Less than twenty years now separate us from the twenty-first century. In the course of its existence, through its peaks and troughs, cinema has travelled a long and tortuous path. The relationship that has grown up between artistic films and the commercial cinema is not an easy one, and the gulf between the two becomes wider every day. Nonetheless, films are being made all the time that are undoubtedly landmarks in the history of cinema. Audiences have become more discerning in their attitude to films. Cinema as such long ago ceased to amaze them as a new and original phenomenon; and at the same time it is expected to answer a far wider range of individual needs. Audiences have developed their likes and dislikes. That means that the filmmaker in turn has an audience that is constant, his own circle. Divergence of taste on the part of audiences can be extreme, and this is in no way regrettable or alarming; the fact that people have their own aesthetic criteria indicates a growth of self-awareness.

Directors are going deeper into the areas which concern them. There are faithful audiences and favorite directors, so that there is no question of thinking in terms of unqualified success with the public—that is, if one is talking about cinema not as commercial entertainment but as art. Indeed, mass popularity suggests what is known as mass culture, and not art.”
~ Andrei Tarkovsky, “Sculpting In Time”

“People seem to be watching [fewer] movies, which I think is a mistake on people’s parts, and they seem to be making more of them, which I think is okay. Some of these movies are very good. When you look at the quality of Sundance movies right now, they are a lot better than they were when I was a kid. I do think that there have been improvements artistically, but it’s tough. We’ve got a system that’s built for less movies in terms of how many curatorial standard-bearers we have in the states. It’s time for us to expand our ideas of where we find our great films in America, but that said, it’s a real hustle. I’m so happy that Factory 25 exists. If it didn’t exist, there would be so many movies that wouldn’t ever get distributed because Matt Grady is the only person who has seen the commercial potential in them. He’s preserving a very special moment in independent film history that the commercial system is not going to be preserving. He’s figuring out how to make enough money on it to save these films and get them onto people’s shelves.”
~ Homemakers‘ Colin Healey On Indie Distribution