Highbrow Interests

Just looking forward to checking out a few lesser-known-but-praised-in-my-favorite-film-magazine directors and their recent films.

“Breathing” (2011) dir. by Karl Markovics

AAAAND I also read an interview on FilmComment (a magazine I try to collect) with director David Cronenberg about his recent film starring Robert Pattinson and Paul Giamatti and now I just HAVE to see it.

“Cronenberg’s depiction of slow death by disassociation is as chilling as daily life is today. Like Videodrome, Cosmopolis is a zeitgeist movie in which a new technology brings forth a “new flesh.” ” -Amy Taubin in her FilmComment article

“Cosmopolis” (2012) dir. by David Cronenberg


saw this, after nearly a year of anticipation… (i missed it in theaters, but now on Netflix)

 JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (2011) dir. by David Gelb

In addition to getting an ‘insider’s look’ on Jiro Ono’s craft and the workings of his sushi restaurant and its chefs, this documentary slowly unfolds into a more intimate story about Jiro’s personal history and his relationship with his sons. It peels back the layers of Jiro’s story and how he became the ‘world’s greatest sushi chef’ and delicately reveals the family troubles that he endured as both circumstance and sacrifice in order to consistently persevere in his philosophy of ‘dedicating one’s life to mastering one’s skill’. The way the story unfolds and goes on its tangents, like with the sons, for example, is sewn in the film very smoothly and naturally…it never seemed irrelevant or excessive.

The grand orchestral music that is used in scenes of the chefs cooking and preparing the food, shot in slow-motion, are some of my favorites. Every movement is showcased and allowed its own grand moment, even something as banal as stirring rice or heating pieces of seaweed. I felt the heaviness and intensity of the close-up shots in which Jiro places a finished sushi piece on a plate. It may be cliche to say this, but the music definitely added to the sense of the sushi craft being a performance, a carefully choreographed performance. Even the food critic admits that “Jiro’s sushi course is like a concerto.”

I really liked the way Gelb’s filming and editing brings out the complementary mood of Jiro’s philosophy of simplicity, minimalism, and purity. Nothing too elaborate, very standard documentary shots and clips, no narrator, and in this way, the camera is a silent observer, although it gets a much closer and intimate look into Jiro’s sushi and his personal life.

It didn’t disappoint my long wait. 🙂


ALSO. In case you somehow don’t know about it yet, the 3-director, 6-plot film “CLOUD ATLAS” is coming out soon, October 26 for wide release, I think. 2 of the directors are the Wachowski siblings, who also did “The Matrix” series.

Its almost 3 hours long, which sounds like a decent time length for a film that has a 5-minute trailer that leaves you still wondering “WHAT IS GOING ON.” at the end. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and it got a lot of praise for being mentally intense and complex and emotionally gripping, which is what I like to hear.