Friday, August 12, 2016

The Tenth Man, Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil, Miss Sharon Jones!

The Tenth Man
Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil

Miss Sharon Jones!

The quickest of capsules on a weirdly quiet week, to be followed by a plethora of new releases this week:

A big thumbs down for Daniel Burman's headache-y, go-nowhere Argentine-Israeli mashup "The Tenth Man," with unappealing Alan Sabbagh as a schlemiel named Ariel who returns from New York to Buenos Aires to reconnect with his father, Usher, who's too busy running his charity to make time for his son. Usher puts Ariel to work upon his arrival, putting him in contact with Eva (Julieta Zylberberg), an Orthodox volunteer who never speaks. At a certain point in this aggressively Jewish movie, I looked around at the half dozen other people in the theater and wondered, "What are we doing here?"… I also dozed off during Pieter Van Huystee's documentary "Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil," about five Dutch experts' attempts to procure and verify or disprove the authenticity of many of Bosch's 25-30 surviving works for an exhibition commemorating the 500th anniversary of his death. The film touches on classical and technical art history, restoration, museum politics, even dendrology, but the ratio of the art itself to the talking heads should be higher… Finally, a rec for Barbara Kopple's biodoc "Miss Sharon Jones!", which would benefit from more backstory early on and more full-length performances by this soul singer with a voice aptly described as a freight train. Still, through Jones' poignant battle with cancer and chemotherapy, Kopple manages to paint a portrait of the mutual dependence among Jones, her band the Dap Kings, and their manager and assistant, and what six months of missed gigs and unreleased albums can mean.

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