19 thoughts on “Video – “MANNY: The Movie” – Official Documentary Trailer 2014 (Narrated by Liam Neeson)

  1. I hope this isn’t as saccharine as the recent Klitschko doc. The trailer leaves me thinking I’d better give it a miss — but only because I like Pacquiao. 😉

      • The film has its moments but is pretty much the usual feel-good hagiography.

        There’s some likable material on the family’s early bleak years living near Chernobyl. One segment has Wladdy standing in a old shattered army barracks showing us where the (extended) family crammed itself into one tiny room. The place looks as grim as if it came out of the Stalker video games, if you know those. He recalls, almost as an afterthought to talking about their deprivations, how one day his older brother appeared in the narrow hallway where they’d play with a surprise: two sets of boxing gloves.

        Where boxing is the focus, I liked the film. Would that there was more boxing in it! I did not like at all the heavy-handed political positioning of Vitali as the savior of the Ukraine. There’s a long, cloying segment that feels like a pitch to western corporations and governments; Vitali, it says to them, is your stooge-in-waiting. By way of underscoring the point, he has the idiocy to be driving in a nice ride around Florida — one of the ground zeros of our recent economic meltdown — praising the greatness of our system.

        Setting that aside along with some mawkish family stuff, this isn’t exactly a bad film. It’s just compromised sufficiently to feel like a carefully manicured view of the Klitschkos — a piece of vanity that sometimes rises above itself but just as often takes a knee.

      • Very interesting review! I must check it out sometime nevertheless

        And I’m not too familiar with the Stalker video games, but the great Tarkovsky film theyre modelled after is one of my favourite ever movies 😛

  2. Cheers, Jeremy. Yeah, by all means, see it for yourself.

    The Stalker game series is a loose adaptation of the source material for Tarkovsky’s mastepiece, the novel Roadside Picnic. It’s atmospheric as video games go, but can’t hold a candle to the real thing! The Tarkovsky film and the Strugatsky Brothers book are absolute favorites of mine. 🙂 There’s a smashing new translation too:

    http://www.amazon.com/Roadside-Picnic-Rediscovered-Classics-Strugatsky/dp/1613743416

      • Small world isn’t it, ha ha.

        Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Resnais — my film giants. As my gram worked the cinema ticket box, I’d see the flicks and the (taped) closed-circuit Ali fights too. Streaming, 1960s-style. 😉

      • Not a bad grandmother to have! And yes, evidently a very small world haha

        I also admire Kubrick, and Resnais (although I have to see more of his films), but my other favourites are Malick, De Palma & the likes of Bergman, Hitchcock, Bertolucci, Ferrara, Korine, David Lynch and Bresson.

  3. Yeah, I love all of those guys. Ferrara’s King of New York and The Funeral are extraordinary; he doesn’t get nearly enough credit, but he has a talent at least equal to Scorsese. I caught Korine’s Spring Break last year. For me it’s the most interesting and subversive US film since Lynch’s Inland Empire and damn near an act of magic that our premiere louche outsider could get it made on a decent budget with former Disney stars, ha ha. Good to be reminded of the others you mention — I need to see more Malick, Bertolucci and Bresson (and more Antonioni, Fellini, Ozu, the list is endless). What I need is a brain implant that lets me watch boxing with one eye and movies with the other. 😉

    • haha you and I have a ridiculous amount in common

      Ferrara is a master. My fave of his is The Addiction, closely followed by Bad Lieu.

      Yeah, it’s quite crazy to see Korine working on the fringes of the mainstream. I thought Spring Breakers was fascinating but flawed. Franco’s performance was extraordinary, and the ‘Britney Spears piano scene’ was pure Korine brilliance! Gummo remains clearly his best film imo

      I love all of Malick’s films so cant really recommend you one in particular there 😛 My fave Bertolucci is The Conformist, and Bresson is Lancelot du Lac

      The list is indeed endless! Two more filmmakers to add to it are Carlos Reygadas (Post Tenebras Lux) and Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Uzak), who imo are the closest thing to Tarkovsky currently going on.

      • Great! I’ll look into Reygadas and Ceylan, two new names for me.

        Yeah, Spring Breakers isn’t a masterpiece. It’s what it manages to say about who we are now, how this screwed up society works, what it’s selling in its rites of passage, that’s so compelling within the limits of a supposed crowd-pleaser. Just how far it travels from what mainstream tastes want or can handle can be seen on IMDb, where many reviews angrily denounce it as some kind of sacrilege, ha ha.

        Of world-class directors working now, I’m fondest of Haneke and Tarr. I’ve seen all of Haneke and rate him unreservedly, a master; loved The White Ribbon. Tarr, I guess, has recently called it quits. Haven’t got round to the final one (financed here in Minnesota of all places), but I will do — his Werckmeister Harmoniak is in my personal top ten.

        Like anything by Iñárritu? Amores Perros is brilliant.

        I also have a sweet tooth for clever horror films, eg, Antonia Bird’s Ravenous and some of Miike’s deranged stuff like Audition. Never enough good horror!

      • Pretty much agree with your take on Spring Breakers, will be very interesting to see where Korine goes from here and how he parlays the success of this film.

        Although I havent seen all of his work, I too think Haneke is fantastic: Amour, The White Ribbon and Hidden are brilliant. I presume youre aware of the hilarious fake Haneke twitter page which got quite a lot of media coverage in the UK, and an acknowledgement from Haneke himself?

        haha I CANNOT believe you are bringing up Inarritu and Tarr, another two of my absolute favourites! You simply must see The Turin Horse, Tarr’s masterfully bleak final statement. That was financed in Minnesota?! (Also, I rate the opening scene of Werckmeister among the greatest in cinema history)

        Random recommendations: since you like Inarittu, youll probably like his ex co-writer Arriaga’s feature The Burning Plain, and a film Arriaga wrote which was directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

        Speaking of Minnesota, are you a Coens fan?

        For horror, I love De Palma’s Carrie, Kubrick’s The Shining and Roeg’s Dont Look Now…I havent seen any Miike so must change that!

  4. Everyone goes straight to the lurid Miike which is terrific stomach-lurching fun. Audition, Dead or Alive (first ten minutes is pure transgressive genius), etc. But as you sample him keep an eye out for The Bird People In China. He is capable of the oddly lyrical, too.

    I’ve watched the opening of WH by Tarr many, many times and own the soundtrack for good measure. 🙂 For my money an equally unforgettable passage is the fascists storming the medical center, only to find the ghostly sight that awaits them. Turin Horse is top of my list to watch next. Yes, financed by no less than http://www.wercwerkworks.com which has a Solondz and the likable Ginsberg biopic Howl to its credit too.

    Right, the little I read about that Haneke fake in the Guardian was amusing. I’m utterly bored by Twitter unless it’s used for absurdist/Situationist fun.

    Admired Three Burials and will see The Burning Plain. Thanks for the tip.

    The Coens are an institution in these parts. For my generation they are the heights of Minnesota culture and even if they long ago left it they remain our F. Scott Fitzgeralds, our Dylans. Hard to pick favorites from an embarrassment of riches but I love Miller’s Crossing. It gets so much right, indelibly. “Tommy! I’m praying to you. I can’t die. I can’t die! Out here in the woods! Like a dumb animal!”

    • Cool, I will have to check out Miike

      Werckmeister is truly amazing, and that scene you mention is also unforgettable…not to mention Vig’s masterful soundtrack. I trust youve seen Satantango?

      Fair play to the Minnesota financiers then! I happen to love Todd Solondz also, Happiness is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. I rewatched it recently after the tragic death of Hoffmann

      I recommend scrolling thru it — https://twitter.com/Michael_Haneke And the real Haneke’s reaction — http://movieline.com/2013/01/15/michael-haneke-amour-parody-twitter-account-golden-globes/

      You need to join twitter if only to follow him…and me of course! I think youd enjoy the boxing discussions that go on there

      I’m glad to hear the Coens are revered there. I’ve seen everything by them except Hudsucker Proxy, and my favourites are No Country and, you guessed it, Miller’s Crossing (the toupee joke!)

  5. Ha, ha, that toupee business is a hoot. Since you like that, you’ll enjoy Hudsucker Proxy which is done in a screwball mode — practically a lost Preston Sturges film. I rate No Country but didn’t find it a patch on the novel (itself a novelized film script). I just don’t think McCarthy is all that filmable, too much is lost without the narrative voice. Case in point: Hillcoat’s The Road. Very competent and even artful but losing what makes the book astonishing; a timeless, agonized voice. There’s always talk of how to film Blood Meridian but without at least twelve hours running time and, say, exhuming and reviving Peckinpah and Leone and stitching Sam’s head next to Sergio’s, I don’t see it being done properly.

    Thanks for the links! Yes, I’m sure I’d like the boxing discussions. Fortunately your site was easily found due to your linking on The Ring’s blog.

    Haven’t seen Satantango yet. Did you watch it in parts or straight through in a day?

    • Cool, I’ve only seen the one Sturges film, Sullivan’s Travels, so must see more some day

      I’d rate No Country up there with my fave novel adaptations, but then again, I havent read the novel. I’ve heard great things about Blood Meridian, but hated the film version of The Road

      Haha yes my shameless linking on The Ring, I’m glad someone enjoyed it anyway!

      Satantango is an amazing experience. I have it on DVD and have watched it twice, each time splitting it up into two sitting on consecutive days.

      Have you seen The Man from London and Damnation? I havent seen any of Tarr’s early work pre-Damnation, but would love to see his version of Macbeth in particular

      Speaking of Tarr, here’s a short film he made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkxBoGYu1-w

  6. Beautiful. I love Vig’s music in that haunting short. Thanks.

    I have seen Man From London, yes, and rated it, though haven’t yet seen Damnation.

    According to what I’ve just read, his Macbeth consists entirely of two shots! Talk about minimalism. My favorite film version is still Polanski’s.

  7. I have only begun watching this dialogue and career overview, but it looks to be a real treat for Tarr admirers, and was conducted in my town:

    • Thanks, will check out that interview.

      Youre welcome, Vig’s music is consistently amazing. His version of Macbeth does sound hugely intriguing. I quite like Polanski’s version, but feel it’s very flawed.

      Damnation is magnificent, you simply must see it asap

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