Daily notes 2011-04

4-20
Currently watching: Cul-de-sac

4-18
Currently watching: Eureka
Roeg loves zooms and total insanity. I cannot help but feel that Hackman does not belong in this universe.

4-17
Re-watching: Zombie

Currently watching: Life During Wartime
Have never been able to stand Todd Solondz, in a very pronounced way. For my tastes, he’s simply a crap writer. Somehow I thought this film would be different – all that praise, yet again.. Clearly I need to pay more attention to where this praise originates.
Here we have this freckle-faced little boy in his Tim Burton Floridian neighborhood, and every single line of dialogue in this film comes off like a 1950’s television cliche. Ciaran Hinds provides my own shining light, it is HAPPINESS to see him. In fact, I find that I just keep wanting to take stills of him.
Now there’s something you don’t see every day.

4-15
Currently watching: God’s Country
Midwestern nursing home, 1970’s. Looks about right to me. Watching this, all I can think of is how much richer a filmmaker Herzog is than Malle.

4-14
Currently watching: An Education
Alternate title: Dancing with a Scoundrel. It’s well-made enough but I’m simply not in my early 20’s anymore. Carey Mulligan is literally the definition of winsome.
Oh, I like these two. Mr. and Mrs. Scum.

4-12
Currently watching: Showgirls
This film is way more interesting than I could’ve imagined.

Currently watching: Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Die for honor!

4-7
Currently watching: Things We Lost in the Fire
Why do people always hold wakes in the early afternoon? Especially if it’s overcast… can’t imagine anything more dreary than a humid, windless, soft-lit Sunday at 1pm… try to imagine what you’d do after the wake. Any wake I’m in charge of will take place late in the day in a well-ventilated space.
This is actually really funny (nigh-intentionally). Del Toro is wonderful. The DP can be found at your local Wal-Mart on a shelf with 100 others. (I really shouldn’t say such things… I’ve already learned that the people who make these movies use the internet and have feelings that can be hurt. Just assuming, again, that nobody reads this…)This feels a lot like Iñárritu, except perhaps smaller, like wannabe literary fiction. Also has that American Beauty scoring which, you know, for me is a DEATH SENTENCE.

Currently watching: The Golden Coach

4-5
Currently watching: Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets
FINALLY, SHUJI TERAYAMA! This is a great opening – a full minute of black silence, then this anonymous fellow comes on and mocks the audience. Suggests the man put his hand on the leg of his female companion. “But don’t worry if you can’t, nobody knows who you are.”

I am going into this film with heavy, heavy bias for a few reasons. 1) I just have a feeling that I’m going to really really love this guy. 2) I was formerly obsessed (and still largely appreciative) of an anime series called Shoujo Kakumei Utena, roughly translating to “Girl Revolution Utena,” whose score was composed by J.A. Seazer, who I was to later learn is Terayama’s primary composer. Seazer’s contribution to the anime was a series of wholly singular “psychedelic dueling choruses” of an epic nature – which is more or less exactly what I, David Ashley, want – to view, and to make myself. I know I’m going to like Terayama, so I’m pretty prejudiced. The little snippets I’ve encountered only drive this fact home. And it doesn’t hurt that some avatars I respect seem to cherish this man as well.

Weeping nightmare of sex.

OK. Uncle. It’s a little weird for me.

Currently watching: True Grit
The remake feels less and less important with each day, and seeing the original most certainly magnifies this feeling.

4-4
Currently watching: Morvern Callar
I know just how she feels.

Love the soundtrack.

Currently watching: The Living Daylights
John Glen is a grossly useless lemming, but I stand corrected – Dalton is one hell of a Bond, actually. I really am despising John Glen… but of course I realize my energy should be directed at the damn producers who kept employing this whatever man to helm their growing mega-franchise.

Oh, and I’m very glad to see John Terry as the occasionally white-skinned Felix Leiter. This same year would find him playing chess with Kubrick, five years later would be doing his best to buoy Dan O’Bannon’s unfortuante Lovecraft efforts, and twenty years later would be Fincher’s San Francisco newspaper editor. The 1987 hairstyles seen here can only be seen with merciful eyes.

1987, Afghanistan, Mujahideen… good times!

4-3
Currently watching: Never Say Never Again
One of these things is not like the other.

Currently watching: Essential Killing

4-2
Re-watching: Celebrity
Branagh may be the best Woody facsimile to date.

Currently watching: Sliver
If films/scripts are representations of alter-egos, Eszterhas is one hell of a deviant. I suppose the main problem with this film is that so many actions and motivations are based on perverse impulses… Berenger’s continuous creep presence, Stone’s continuing allowance of rather alarming breaches of her privacy… I mean, one could argue that she’s a victim who is reliving acts of betrayal (it’s probably a major story element)… but I dunno. If I’ve noticed one theme in Eszterhas’s work so far, it’s betrayal. Or maybe that was just his thing in the early 90’s… Jagged Edge, Basic Instinct, and this all have betrayal as a central theme. Interesting. Well – maybe. Eszterhas wants to give audiences the ability to experience vicarious thrills of an eccentric nature. He’s a voyeur’s voyeur.

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