In the Realm of PN1997

Thursday, June 16, 2005

It's Not Just Me

David Edelstein from Slate has some interesting insights about Spielberg. Not coincidentally, he uses my favorite Spielberg-related word: "manipulated."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Trouble with Glib Comments

In a previous post, I made a rather glib comment about AFI's nasty habit of coming up with attention getting lists. Little did I know that they are about to announce 100 Years...100 Movies Quotes. Will "Match Me, Sydney" win?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Lucky Brits

Reading June's Sight and Sound and came across an ad for a new boxed set: Laid Bare with all 4 of Lukas Moodysson's films: Show Me Love, Together, Lilya 4-Ever, and A Hole in My Heart.

We're luck enough to have Show Me Love and Together in our collection, but neither Lilya 4-Ever nor A Hole in My Heart have been released in the U.S. I was lucky enough to have seen Lilya at last year's Philly Film Festival. Well, lucky may not be the right word. Lilya is a hell of a movie, but it's a tough watch because of how disturbing and depressing it is. Hole is supposed to be even moreso, but I wouldn't know since it wasn't released here.

Lilya is especially difficult after seeing Show Me Love and Together which are much more upbeat, especially Together which is quite funny (which is why I refer to him has Lukas Moodswingysson, at least in my head). Show Me Love is kind of like thirteen, but good.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Time Magazine's All-Time 100 Movies

I guess as a self-proclaimed movie guru, I feel quasi-obligated to comment on Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Movies. I’m not a big fan of lists like this. AFI went crazy over the past few years compiling lists (have they done the 100 Best Dog Movies yet?). These lists are by nature subjective. Richard Corliss, one of the authors of Time’s list, gives a good explanation of the list and, thankfully, he and Richard Schickel don’t take themselves too seriously in trying to develop some kind of authoritative list.

Although, I am not a big fan of these list, I am, alas, strangely compelled to look at them. They give me some idea of the cultural significance (or at least the cultural popularity) of these works. More importantly, high profile lists may incite movie companies to release some classic films that have not previously been released on DVD, especially some cool pre-code stuff like Baby Face.

A lot of obvious titles make the list (Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Godfather, blah, blah, blah), but the list goes out on a limb with some titles for good or ill:

Of the movies that one doesn’t often see on such lists--
The Good (aka movies I’m glad made the list):

  • The Lady Eve—Almost as good as Sullivan’s Travels, say, where’s ST?
  • Detour—OK, it probably really doesn’t belong on any list except for “Cool Low-Budget Flicks,” but I applaud the author’s for having the nerve.
  • Out of the Past—You have no idea how happy the movie guru is that OotP is on this list. Though it’s still not Robert Mitchum at his best. I prefer him creepy like Night of the Hunter or Cape Fear. Oh how breathless I get trying to convince people to watch the original Cape Fear instead of Scorsese’s schlock. And speaking of Jacques Tourneur, how about Cat People instead of Detour as the token Cool Low-Budget Flick? And speaking of Cool Low-Budget Flicks, where’s Night of the Living Dead?
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers—The original, natch.
  • Sweet Smell of Success—The movie guru is too happy for words, except, perhaps, “Match me, Sydney.”
  • A Hard Day’s Night—Before Monty Python, there was the Beatles.
  • The Fly—Only one Cronenberg? No Videodrome? No Crash? What gives?
  • City of God—A bit surprising this made the list, but it is rather good.

The Ill (aka movies I would not have put on the list):

  • It’s A Wonderful Life—Isn’t about time to admit we’re all pretty sick of this movie?
  • In a Lonely Place—I like IaLP, but top 100? Bogart’s better in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Gloria Grahame’s better in The Big Heat.
  • Closely Watched Trains—Also like CWT and yes it’s important historically, but it feels slight.
  • Schindler’s List—Though I have to say I’m soooo happy that Saving Private Ryan isn’t on this list and neither is Jaws, but is a Spielberg free list too much to ask for?
  • Talk to Her—Another film I like, but if Almodovar makes any lists shouldn’t it be for Women on the Verge or All About My Mother?
  • Finding Nemo—who did what now? For a list short on animated films, this shouldn't make the cut. Yeah it's funny. Yeah it's a technical breakthrough, but where's Hayao Miyazaki? Though the movie guru is happy to see a shortage of Disney pap. (What? First he disses Spielberg, now Disney?)

Other observations:

  • I would never argue to remove any Kurosawa films, so nothing against Yojimbo or Ikiru, but Seven Samaurai really, really has to be on any list. Really.
  • And not one single movie with Parker Posey? Put Henry Fool on the list and I’d be doubly-happy, being a Hal Hartly fan as well.
  • Am I seeing correctly, only 1 Hitchcock? No Vertigo? No Rebecca?
  • 8.5, OK, but I'm a bigger La Dolce Vita fan and only partly because of Anita Ekberg in the fountain.
  • And please, one Richard Widmark hitting hard times film: Night and the City or Pick-up on South Street. One of the great pleasure in life is watching RW crumble under the weight of the world.
  • And one three-hour epic Bollywood movie about cricket.

So, just some knee-jerk observations. I’d probably have more if I thought about it, but I’m not going to.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More Me and You

The trailer for Me and You and Everyone We Know, which I was incredibly fond of at the film festival, is available at the Apple site. Click above to see it. It's coming out in limited release on June 17th.