Daily notes 2017-04

2017-06-11
Re-watching: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Let me count the ways. I just love watching talented actors.

Who’s the mole? Maybe the one person dressed differently than the others.

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Heh… I never paid it any mind, but now I can’t help but notice the significance of that alarm blaring in the background during this entire scene. “ALERT!! MOLE!! ALERT!! MOLE!!”
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Smiley: “Who runs him, Bill?”
Haydon: “Percy? Who do you think? Karla runs him. Stands out a mile. Lower-class bloke with upper-class sources, must be a bounder..”
Smiley: “Bill-”
Haydon: “Percy sold out to Karla. Only possible explanation. Percy’s our house mole.”
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Bill’s entire profile is framed by this blood-red, tiered staircase.
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04-10
Rewatching: The Beyond

I love seeing foreigners do America.

It’s been some years. Start in 1927 Louisiana, where an evil warlock is tracked by locals to the hotel which was built over one of the “Seven Gates of Hell” or whatever. He is brutally murdered.

 

Find myself being very impressed with Fulci’s willingness to use extreme close ups to showcase special effects which aren’t fooling anybody. Reminds me of the way old video games like Metal Gear Solid (1998) treated themselves like cinema despite the fact that a zoomed-in pixelated face would appear to be risibly unacceptable to an audience. A lesson here…

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Direct homages to the raid on Curwen’s lair from The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and of the sinister goings-in in the Louisiana bayou from The Call of Cthulhu.

OK – after this little prequel episode, I’ve now watched almost all of the film. Twenty minutes left. Entire film has been composed of little but one death scene after another – I’m desperate for more story!

All done. Mostly it’s a story about exceptionally bad luck. Is it Lovecraftian? … … About halfway. Not strongly Lovecraftian by any means. It’s too plainly vague, superficial in its narrative interests. Plainly evident Fulci is overwhelmingly concerned with the mise-en-scene and the visceral viewing experience, hence the gratuitously lengthy and grotesque deaths. Fulci might think its in the spirit of Lovecraft, but I don’t think he succeeded.

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