Daily notes 2016

08-21
Re-watching: In the Mouth of Madness

Re-watched: In the Mouth of Madness

There are things I like very much about In the Mouth of Madness, but I won’t pretend for a minute it isn’t a pitiful mess. Starting with the entire notion of “fiction coming to life,” etc. I never took this premise as seriously as the film wanted because I think it’s terrible… but for whatever reason during this screening I did find myself getting involved (after 20 years and extremely lowered expectations). Finally, working with the film, I did see its appeal. It’s like getting high – you’re not gaining wisdom, you’re now just dumb enough to be amazed by things you already understood (though that libidinous spark is a force of nature and not to be ignored…).

It can be a very attractive film – one of my favorite qualities, Carpenter’s beautiful wide 90s photography by, of course, Kibbe. Maybe it’s because I was born in the 90s, but I don’t feel I’ll ever get over the beauty of 90s cinematography – photography’s last hurrah, I daresay. Anyway, here are some screencaps I wanted to take. Really I just wanted a place to put these pics.

The Living Painting
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Never gave any thought to this woman, who appears in a small number of frames during Cane-inspired hallucinations. Finally paid enough attention to realize she is actually the woman from the portrait, coming to life. Needless to say I was happier not knowing.
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The Black Church
It’s really utterly enormous. Sadly little exists to communicate this perspective to the viewer – I think a very long shot that showed how minuscule the humans were beneath its bulk would’ve done the trick (Trent does narrate that the church swallows things).
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One warped child
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“The Old Sanctuary”
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Very pretty in here – very Silent Hill! (always high praise) Carpenter is smart in not giving us a good understanding of the space inside this church. Horror seems contingent on what you do not show.
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And some various other attractive images.
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08-10
Currently watching: Love & Friendship
I sensed Wes Anderson when Stillman Returned ( https://killerstencil.com/2012/04/16/film-review-damsels-in-distress ) and my suspicions have been confirmed, though it’s an odd mishmash since Stillman isn’t half as naturally-inclined towards the crafts involved in filmmaking as Anderson (who looks like a jazz prodigy in comparison), his quirks seemingly all involving text, verbosity and charm. And, of course, mannered, labored dialogue the likes of Stillman’s couldn’t be more smug (meant snug. Did I say smug?) than in period Britain, so I daresay Whit should take up residence there. But about 20 minutes into the film I was dismayed to find myself muttering,
“Boy there sure are a lot of talky, uninflected, taking-place-in-a-vacuum, shot-reverse-shot expository scenes…”

04-04
Currently watching: The Fast and the Furious
Boy, cops sure are nice when you need ’em.
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Lessons learned:
1) Cool people drink Coronas and lame people drink decaf iced cappuccinos.
2) Black guys lose races.
3) Vin Diesel will probably be carrying every one of these films.
4) Even archetype blondie California boys can be named O’Connor.
5) You don’t need a lot of driving to make a driving film.
6) Replace skydiving with driving and you’ve got your Point Break remake, right down to teen heartthrob undercover.
7) Life is a highway – at least in southern California. It’s the exact same thing as living in rural nowhere except it’s hotter.
8) Boys will be boys, much more often than they will be with girls.

03-23
Just screened: 10 Cloverfield Lane
Are you people serious with these ratings? Is it that easy to get into your pants?

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