Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I'll write a couple of words about each of the six stories in Athos in America. First: So Long, Mary Ann. It's quite influenced by the film noir Raw Deal, directed by Anthony Mann, with cinematography by the great John Alton. It has some of the same story elements: a prison escape, a couple on the run, a love triangle. It's a good film, but in my head I saw an other ending. There's also my version of the ultimate film noir bad guy. And yes, I stole the title from Leonard Cohen, just changing it from Marianne to Mary Ann.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
It's a neo-noir that tries a bit too hard to be stylish. The characters never seem like real, three-dimensional people, and the voiceover used in the film gets pretty annoying. The first hour of the film is a bit boring, actually, and then it gets really bugfuck crazy the last half hour. A very intense performance from Oldman as the cop, and Olin as the ultimate femme fatale is also very good.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
A man, Isaach De Bankolé, is sent on a cryptic mission somewhere in Spain. Also starring John Hurt, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch.
You don't speak Spanish, right? The film is almost hypnotic in it's slowness - visually it's amazing, but is it enigmatic or is it arty, is it deep or is it pretentious? I ended up actually enjoying the film, more so than Jarmusch's previous film, Broken Flowers. It's right on the edge of being boring, but there is also some humour. When the nude girl shows up it's almost like a parody of a French art film. There's a referances to Godard's Contempt and also to other movies, like Kaurismäki's La Vie de Bohème. I have no idea what it's really about, but that's okay. I liked the journey. And Spain shore looks purty on film.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
madmen in stone houses
lepers steaming love and song
frogs trying to figure
sway with me, sad things --
fingers split on a forge
old age like breakfast shell
used books, used people
used flowers, used love
I need you
I need you
I need you:
it has run away
like a horse or a dog,
dead or lost
Monday, August 15, 2011
He heard her call his name. He said nothing. He lay there becoming small, smaller, vanishing. The room became a window, a facade, a group of buildings, squares and sections, in the end all of Rome. His ecstasy was beyond knowing. The roofs of the great cathedrals shone in the winter air.
And the story Am Strande von Tanger:
Later, in bed, he listens to her sobs. He tries to comfort her but he cannot. Her back is turned to him. She will not answer.
She has small breasts and large nipples. Also, as she herself says, a rather large behind. Her father has three secretaries. Hamburg is close to the sea.
I ripped off, or tried to, as best I could, this ending in one of my own stories, a one page strip that can be found on page 56 in Pocket Full of Rain.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Just got my copy of "Norman Saunders", published by The Illustrated Press, a collection of his illustration work, from pulp and men's magazines to Topps trading cards. There's also sketches from China that he did during World War 2 and from Europe that he did on travels later in life. It's all great stuff. The book is a big, fat 360 page hardcover, so don't drop it on your foot.
Friday, August 12, 2011
It's Tim Burton's first film and possibly his funniest. The Burtonesque touch is there right from the beginning, but there's also a pre CGI charm that is often missing from his later films. The film is obviously made on a low budget but has a lot of imagination. I'd say the Alamo and the biker bar sequences are my favourites. Re-watching it now, I had forgotten the bit with Twisted Sister.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Baltimore, 1959. A group of guys get together at a diner, talking about life and girls and stuff. Starring a lot of actors who then went on to become famous, written and directed by Barry Levinson.
Okay, so it's mostly about guys talking, Seinfeld The Movie, sort of, but that's fine, Levinson is very good with the way people speak. The film is capturing a time and a place without getting too nostalgic. It's a bit strange to see these actors back when they were young and goodlooking - Mickey Rourke had moviestar written all over him - so it's almost impossible to watch the film without thinking about the progress of time and aging.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Those aren't pillows! It's a pretty safe, non-edgy comedy extolling middle class values like marriage and apple pie, it's practically a feelgood movie for chrissake that you could see with your grandmother, is there even the utterance of a "fuck" in the film?, oh yeah, there's the great car rental scene with Steve Martin, okay, but really, it's the kind of mainstream Hollywood film that you would feel slightly embarrassed to be seen walking out of at age 17 when you saw yourself as a rebel, but less so at the age where you'd rather see a oh, I don't know, Billy Joel concert than one with Marilyn Manson or whoever is the equivalent of Marilyn Manson these days.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
It's a cop movie that takes it's time. The first action sequence comes at 70 minutes. This was back in the days when there didn't have to be a car crashing into a helicopter full of zombies right after the title sequence or the audience will fall asleep. The film is rather carried by the chemistry between Quaid and Barkin. Being set in New Orleans, there's also some great cajun music. Maybe not a classic but a fun film.
Monday, August 8, 2011
It starts out as a pretty simple Cops and Robbers film, or Cops and Counterfeiters, actually, but then becomes something more interesting, more of an existential does the end justify the means? sort of thing. The film has a dated 80s aesthetic to it, and it doesn't help that the score is by synth popgroup Wang Chung, but besides that it holds up quite well. If you wanted a bad guy in the 80s you could do worse than hire Willem Dafoe, there's a great car chase, and the film should take it's place somewhere between Point Blank and Heat on the list of the best portrayals of Los Angeles.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
It's a pretty good film. It came out in 83 but has a 70s feel to it, showing a run down Chicago. The cinematography is very moody, and Penn, in one of his first roles, gives a this guy is gonna be a moviestar-performance.