Brand_w_original

Off beat like Jazz

by Cinemacannon

Created 08/04/12

Edit List

Indefinable, but brilliant.

  • Step into the mind of cinema's most unnerving director. Guy Maddin's Brand Upon The Brain is like a passageway to memories and byways of the past, and the present. The Black Notch Island is where this takes places, Home to protagonist Guy, who returns to his precious island after a long absence, to spruce the lighthouse up with a bucket of paint. In the process he begins to unravel his past he longed for. With strokes of Joseph Von Sternberg, and a couple of coats of Bunuel, expressionism tied with underling eroticism, Maddin penetrates his own soul, and bears it for us to see in his fantasy of the past.

  • Absurd as it is true. Soderbergh breaks even with an experimental comedy like no other. A film which marks its statement at the beginning, "In the event that you find certain ideas or scenes confusing, this is your fault, not ours" takes us to the life of a struggling office drones to his doppelgänger, a lover lorn dentist. Crashing comicly into other venomously hilarious characters, a scatter worded exterminator, to a meek existential motivational speaker. The twists and ties really don't matter, it's just the chaos and confusion, the breakdown of language and film itself are at stake in this outlandish comedy.

  • Take your ideas, and sell them to Putney Swope! Or better yet, get ready to lose them. Robert Downey creates a unique film experience with a hip to the grip comedy about a token black man who takes over an advertising agency, and fires all the white employees. He turns it around into a brother run company called Truth and Soul. An unbalanced narrative, dressed in a molotov cocktail thrown at the advertising agencies. Putney Swope blurs the line from political correctness, to political absurdity.

  • Just when you thought we were safe. Think again.. Photographer turned filmmaker William Klein's Mr Freedom will make sure you sleep uncomfortably at night. Knowing that those swiss reds in France are taken down. In this all around flag waving comedy about a cartoonish superhero decked out in american style football attire, with an attitude to make Abraham Lincoln crawl back to his grave. Mr. freedom is sent to France to fight off invading Communism, he recruits some of the finest and most bizarre bunch of french freedom fighters ever assembled. A gut busting tickler about modern america. Laying waste to anything that could be closely patriotic.

  • Klein does it again with a sci-com chuckle about modern living. Claudine and Jean-Michele are considered the perfect couple. To prove it, they are tested to live in a model home, with constant surveillance and monitoring daily, and the most up to date technology at there finger tips. A totalitarian comedy of manners, and the break down, or illusion of perfection.

  • What else can be said about Robert Downey Sr. A lot more most likely. Babo73 takes a fever dream and trades it for a political rabble about the feeble president of the United Status, and his ultimate decisions upon war, money, political unification. Shoot almost in a new wave style, but without art to constrain it. A revolutionary comic alternate universe? Or a truthful exaggeration of an american nightmare we all know to well? This is Downeys first excursion into the work of film, and it still stands as one of the most brutally funny of the bunch.

  • Downey's jaunty comedy about an everyday man. An Odyssey of a film that takes Walter into a trip into the most absurd corners of our human mind. Photographs and blips of film bunch together, creating a loose reality in the film. A gonzo narrative, joking with art at every corner. What is interesting is, in reality it's just the same as the film itself. Random and always unpredictable. Downey casts his wife Elsie to play all the women roles, and it almost seems to be a dedication to the wild and energetic relationship with such a creative significant other. 'You can't kill true love'

  • Jarman's vison of England in the grasp of the Thatcher age couldn't have came out to be more darkly humorous and gloriously punk than any film to date. Jubilee has cameos to prove it, Adam Ant, Jordan, and Toyah Wilcox.A handful of punk legends are spread out in this revolutionary fire ball of the world gone mad, and I refer to anger.

29 comments

  • By Aaron
    October 19, 2012
    02:51 PM

    I just experienced Schizopolis, which is the only film on this list that I have experienced. Your comments make me want to experience all these films. Thank you.
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      October 21, 2012
      01:26 AM

      Thank you Aaron. I'm glad I inspired you to plunge the depths of criterion. Really, I'm always unsure if what I say gets to anyone. Thanks again!
  • By Craig J. Clark
    January 04, 2013
    11:12 AM

    Great list! I'd really like to know what you have to say about Jubilee, though. And maybe throw in Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell while you're at it.
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      January 05, 2013
      11:15 PM

      Jubilee is intense, but beautiful, pure punk in a time of major transition in England
    • By Cinemacannon
      January 06, 2013
      01:06 AM

      Thanks Craign!
    • By Cinemacannon
      January 06, 2013
      01:07 AM

      Ha, Craig*
    • By Craig J. Clark
      January 07, 2013
      11:21 AM

      The description wasn't showing up before, but it's there now. And I don't think Eno actually appears in the film. He just supplied some of the music.
    • By Cinemacannon
      January 10, 2013
      02:00 PM

      You're right Clark, I made the alterations. Thanks again!
  • By Matthew G
    January 04, 2013
    03:11 PM

    I highly recommend Zazie dans le metro if you haven't seen it. It might be accurately referred to as Free Jazz...
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      January 05, 2013
      11:17 PM

      I really need too see Zanie. I know William Klein did the art direction for it, that hooks me enough.
  • By Kurt
    January 04, 2013
    04:02 PM

    Nice list, I love Brand Upon the Brain!. Just picked up Maddin's new film Keyhole, a cool surreal mashup on the gangster and haunted house genre. I read your profile and I'm glad to see that your a fan of Todd Solondz. It's also kinda funny that you have exactly as many Criterion films as I do. All Hail to Criterion!
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      January 05, 2013
      11:20 PM

      Thanks Kurt, I love Maddin. Keyhole is great. Dramatizing a house is maybe his most personal move. Todd Solondz is most likely my favorite of all. Dark Horse was one of my top ten films of 2012. I do have a lot, honestly, I've slowed down, thanks, man!
  • By skeletonlipstick
    January 07, 2013
    12:43 AM

    great list! I definitely need to see schizopolis
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      January 07, 2013
      12:48 AM

      Thanks Mr. Lipstick, schizopolis still blows my mind to this day. See it today.
  • By DUDElaundrey
    January 11, 2013
    11:45 AM

    great list. i love all these films, yet i havent seen the robert downey ones. you have interested me tho
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      January 11, 2013
      06:45 PM

      Thanks Dr. You need to see downey's films. They're all great, but Putney Swope will never leave my favorite list. Glad to have sparked your interest.
  • By MRA
    January 16, 2013
    11:59 PM

    What could you say for someone who likes Ahmad Jamal, Monk, Davis (On the Corner//Live-Evil-esque shit) and on occasion the brotzmann, you know, the sonny rollins drug induced shit, ugh and even guitar works by pat metheny or john mclaughlin, Aldi Meola or George Benson (im throwing these names around very loosely) & I want to know if you know your jazz :) (asshole smiley face-but w serious undertones) : I haven't seen any of the ones you listed so suggest something please and thankyou
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      January 17, 2013
      12:53 AM

      I have not heard of any of the names you mentioned, except John McLaughlin. I didn't use the title of this literally, I wanted to play on the off-time feel of these films, of course Im sure there are jazz groups that are more stright forward structure, not off-timed. Sorry if I offended your definition of the word. You might like Shadows by John Cassavetes. I have heard of different jazz bands that were off timed in structure, I have a friend who showed me a few, I guess that where I stand. See one of the one I suggested in this list, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
  • By MRA
    January 27, 2013
    10:24 PM

    Shadows is in my mind; a real beautiful film. Don't worry you didn't offend me, just wanted to talk about jazz that's all, I still highly recommend 'On the corner' by Miles Davis, or "Mwandishi by Herbie Hancock even, I think you'd like Sun Ra. Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk are favorites, hell even Chet Baker. Though what most draws me into your list is the Downey Sr. & William Klein, I hope to see their films soon. godspeed.
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By nondiatonic
      February 17, 2013
      12:50 AM

      In the spirit of this list: Albert Ayler
  • By Spiderland
    February 22, 2013
    12:05 PM

    Been intrigued by the descriptions of those Klein and Downey Sr. films for a minute. This list has convinced me to finally order the sets. Glad it's pay day!Thanks!
    Reply
  • By Cinemacannon
    February 22, 2013
    02:49 PM

    Awesome, Spider. I'm glad I peaked your interest. You made my day!
    Reply
  • By futurestar
    April 02, 2013
    06:01 PM

    a lot of films I know have been offered through Eclipse/Criterion. I commend your sense of adventure to go where not many I know have ever been. thanks for hipping us to possible new likes.
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      April 02, 2013
      10:43 PM

      Anytime, man. I have a pension for indefinable and off beat films. Thanks
  • By Peter_Wilson
    January 20, 2014
    09:06 AM

    Very impressive list you''ve got here. And as always I love your comments, you say so much with so little.
    Reply
    • Or using your Criterion.com account.

      You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.

    • By Cinemacannon
      January 20, 2014
      11:38 AM

      As always, Jack.I try to keep it short and sweet. Your "Favorite Edition" list is one of the most brilliant ideas for a list I've seen so far.
    • By Peter_Wilson
      January 22, 2014
      06:28 PM

      Thank's, I'm so glad to hear that. I was wondering what some of your favorite non criterion film's are?
    • By Cinemacannon
      January 22, 2014
      08:02 PM

      Lets see: Palindromes, The American Astronaut, Flight of the Navigator, This is England, Epidemic, Marat/Sade, The Thing 1982, come and see, Saddest music in the world, and so much more
    • By Peter_Wilson
      January 22, 2014
      10:35 PM

      I'll definetely have to check some of those out.

Or using your Criterion.com account.

You are logged in to your Criterion.com account as . Log out.