Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Releases: Ajami, Terribly Happy and Falling Awake

Not a great week for films reviewed by me. Probably the most significant is the Israeli offering Ajami, which was just rewarded for being too clever with its narrative dicing and not probing enough in its investigation of a multi-ethnic Jaffa neigborhood with an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. I may be one of the only people who wasn't wowed by this one and although there is a lot to be impressed with, let's face it, when you get right down to it, Ajami is pretty thin gruel to be making any bold claims about. Also submitted for Best Foreign Film consideration (although unsuccessfully) was Danish director Henrik Ruben Genz's Terribly Happy, another film that didn't quite come off despite its share of merits. Still, both of these offerings (reviewed for Slant Magazine) are far better than the film I covered for The L, Falling Awake, a completely misguided film about a Bronx youth caught between his love of busking in Manhattan parks and the lures of his own rough-and-tumble neighborhood.


kenjfuj said...

In more positive news: Jia Zhangke retrospective at MoMA in March! Boo-yeah! I've been waiting for this for a while now—if nothing else, so I at least have a shot to finally see Platform on a big screen. Because I think maybe I might respond to it better on a big screen.

andrew schenker said...

I know! I saw that too. Also, finally a chance to catch up with Useless.

kenjfuj said...

Indeed. Also heard (from a Twitter source) that MoMA will be screening Jia's thesis film, which I don't know much about.