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"It wasn't made for human beings, it's only good for snakes and funerals" [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Reality on the run

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Final post... [Jan. 25th, 2012|02:57 am]
Reality on the run
Hi everybody,

The reality is this: I cannot stop blogging every film I see. It is just out of the question. However that does not change the fact that nobody cares about Livejournal. Nobody, except, as some sources have it, people whose apartments smell. So! I implore you, if this auto-film-babbling ever gave you even just a little bit of amusement, then please continue to follow this project in its new form. Ladies and gentlemen. I present to you:

Snakes and Funerals

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Monkey Business (Howard Hawks, 1952) [Jan. 10th, 2012|09:30 am]
Reality on the run
Molly and I set out to watch a film called Far From Vietnam but there was a problem with the pirated copy having only Spanish subtitles. So we got a Netflix account (we were horrified to find they'd gotten rid of the queue, which is like half the reason Netflix makes sense). We looked at this and thought, Grant, Hawks, Marilyn, shouldn't be too bad.

(It was a little bad).

But it had a monkey.
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People Will Talk (Joseph L. Mankiewicz. 1951) [Jan. 9th, 2012|10:25 pm]
Reality on the run
I loved this! Cary Grant used up to his full potential. Funny and wholsome but with a hint of darkness. I dont' know what to day. I'm supposed to live up to my New Year's resolution and stop using Livejournal (and Hotmail) and replace with Wordpress or something. But not until I finish posting for the remaining 2011-watched films. One more to go, then the top ten, and then it's goodbye Russian spam-bots!
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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Speilberg, 2001) [Dec. 25th, 2011|12:07 am]
Reality on the run
I don't care how terrible this movie is. I was so so triggered by it. In a cold and dreary and boozy Christmas DVD viewing, the holiday blues hit me like a mack truck. I have spent time watching films like La Verite (suicide by pills), Shame (attempted suicide by wrist-cutting), Another Year (drinking with dread-filled abandon), Sans toit ni loi (death by falling in a random ditch), Lovable (dying alone), The Hustler (more wrist-cutting), Monsieur Hire (leaping to your death from a roof), and Vertigo (leaping to your death only not really) and still these depressing narratives were exhilarating and exciting in their way. No, it takes an odd and sentimental hunk of junk like A.I. to really bum me out.
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Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011) [Dec. 24th, 2011|01:47 pm]
Reality on the run
[Current Location |varsity cinemas]

What disappointment! Shame does away with everything that made Hunger so refreshing. The use of cinematic realism, the contemplative pacing, the argumentative and compelling style. I also think of the negative consequences of setting a film in America, which already has a dangerously taboo and repressive attitude toward sex in some circles, and portraying sex as a pathology.

Now I know from reading Gabor Mate that addiction rarely has a lot to do with the substance itself. No one is addicted to a deck of cards, but gambling can ruin someone's life. And I know that McQueen is not moralizing or trying to make some kind of anti-sex statement, but what kind of statement is he making? It felt more like an Aronofsky at times with its vignettes over heavy handed music.

Aaaah, I wanted to like this more!
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The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011) [Dec. 17th, 2011|06:38 pm]
Reality on the run
This was a weirdly scatological take on civil rights.
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When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner, 1989) [Dec. 17th, 2011|05:17 pm]
Reality on the run
"Meg Ryan is a remarkable actor" Damien once said, "she actually has negative charisma. She has the ability to actually sap charisma from other actors."

Jenna said, "Fuck you, I like Meg Ryan."

So after I had to watch Sleepless in Seattle she began to speak the praises of *this* movie.

We watched it on computers. Before and after my trip to America.

And it wasn't as bad as I allowed myself to decide it was.
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Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai, 1994) [Dec. 7th, 2011|03:09 pm]
Reality on the run
I had forgotten completely about the drug smuggling portion of this. Jenna asked, "do you think that Faye returns to him?" (1) and I thought no. Yet I couldn't completely place why. Maybe it's that the not-so-directness of her approach. Her motivations only seemed half-formed in the film. Her desire to escape seems pretty unspecific ("maybe California"). Even when she writes the ticket to the cop played by Tony Leung she says, "where do you want to go?"

Do not put your faith in such unspecific people!

1. A quick search on imdb reveals that the actor that plays Faye is named Faye Wong
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La Vérité (Hentri-Georges Clouzot, 1960) [Nov. 16th, 2011|04:31 pm]
Reality on the run
[Current Location |bell lightbox]

Grace Paily has this short story that contains a discussion as to whether the author has a commitment to honesty in the form of tragic endings "truth first. No hope" her bed-ridden father says after hearing the story of a heroin addicted mother permanently estranged from her son. "No it's not like that, Pa" the character replies, "it's a different world now, Pa. People can change."

In the films of Hentri-Georges Clouzot nobody can change, truth is obscured, and there is no clear good and bad.

Having only seen the two films, this and Manon, what I see are people who are recklessly intertwined and perhaps ultimately resolved to have extraordinarily passionate and unhappy lives together. This is where Clouzot's cinema creeps in. Not so much in the mounting dread, but in the soft, tender moments that the doomed couples snatch from their sad story. The sweet but brief moments of repose.
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The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) [Nov. 6th, 2011|04:58 pm]
Reality on the run
The Night of the Hunter is like a storybook. It's like Where the Wild Things Are mixed with The Big Bad Wolf. It's a misfit film enough that you don't know if it's going to end terribly or not. It seems plausible that any horrible thing might happen.

The river song was sublime.

The outsider-ness of the production is off putting though. It's so out of synch with films of its time. But it's so glossy. Every shot is so immaculate and amazing. It vergers on a kind of stylized horror that excites you but leaves you wondering what's really going on. Leavesyou wondering what's all this for? What is Charles Laughton saying with this film? M is an obvious comparison: child predator, eerie society, dark shadows. But M spoke to the social reality it came out of. It sneakily singled out fascism, commented on mass media, and creeped you out. The Night of the Hunter just...creeps you out.

But the river song was really something.
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