Less than reviews

My Octopus Teacher, a Netflix special.  Overly sentimental for commercial reasons, and is there any film that so shoehorns a series of encounters into an overly crude narrative?  Nonetheless the footage of the octopus and her environment (yes her) is amazing and I definitely recommend this one.

Teheran, an Israeli TV show on Apple Plus.  From the writer of Fauda, it concerns Israeli agents working in Teheran, under precarious circumstances of course.  Not deep, and at times implausible in plot, but very high production values and agitated in the good sense of that term.  I am glad it is only eight episodes.

Gimme Some Truth, two-CD collection of earlier songs by John Lennon, remastered by his son Sean.  Good, classic selections, but this remaster is the greatest sonic crime I have heard in centuries, indeed millennia.  The album Plastic Ono Band, for instance, had one of the most special sounds of the LP era, somehow both spare and “wall of sound” at the same time, but now it just plods and thuds and the space surrounding it sounds empty.  How could Yoko Ono have let this one get through?  I won’t even give you the link.

Seven Samurai, by Kurosawa.  Ran is his peak achievement, then perhaps Ikiru (also one of the best movies about bureaucracy), and the much underrated late Kurosawa movies.  But this one is actually a drag,  Hollywood Westerns have improved on the plot, and the three hours of artificial face-mugging wears thin pretty quickly.

Yi Yi, 2000 Taiwanese movie directed by Edward Yang.  Rented out a theater to see this one again, Alex T. came too.  Not regretted, to say the least, one of the better movies.  But given the length and the methods of dramatic construction, I do not recommend that you watch it at home.  Just get a small (masked) group together, as indeed we did.


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