Saturday, October 29, 2011

24-Hour Movie Marathon at the Jacob Burns Center! Yaaaay.

255) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) Dir: Howard Hawks Date Released: August 1953 Date Seen: June 18, 2011 Rating: 4.25/5

256) Point Blank (2010) Dir: Fred Cavaye Date Released: July 29, 2011 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 2.5/5

257) For All Mankind (1989) Dir: Al Reinert Date Released: November 1, 1989 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 4.75/5

258) Essene (1972) Dir: Frederick Wiseman Date Released: ??? Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 4.5/5

259) The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987) Dir: Kazuo Hara Date Released: May 15, 1988 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 4.25/5

260) Out for Justice (1991) Dir: John Flynn Date Released: April 12, 1991 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 1.5/5

261) Penny Whistle Blues (1952) Dir: Donald Swanson Date Released: February 5, 1952 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 1/5

262) Three Outlaw Samurai (1964) Dir: Hideo Gosha Not Yet Released Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 4/5

263) Night Shift (1982) Dir: Ron Howard Date Seen: July 30, 1982 Date Released: June 19, 2011 Rating: 3.5/5

RV!: Diary of a Country Priest (1951) Dir: Robert Bresson Date Released: April 5, 1954 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 4.5/5

264) Something Wild (1986) Dir: Jonathan Demme Date Released: November 7, 1986 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 4/5

265) Chimes at Midnight (1965) Dir: Orson Welles Date Released: March 17, 1967 Date Seen: June 19, 2011 Rating: 4.25/5

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: I don't know why but while I was enjoying the heck out of this film, I kept stubbornly thinking to myself, "His Girl Friday is better." Kind of besides the point...some flat-out amazing scenes and great comedic performances. I even think Marilyn Monroe is pretty good. So yeah, all in all, a real hoot. The new digital transfer looks great, too.

Point Blank: I remember thinking this movie was not spazzy or energetic enough to really work for me. But the black guy is good. Everything else...aggressively bland.

For All Mankind: Holy shit...stunning. The footage, combined with the perspective on how space travel makes you feel like you're confronting some darker aspect of your subconscious--wow. Really, just stunning.

Essene: My first Wiseman and boy, is it amazing. The intricate, heady discussions of faith and how we can be responsible for each other and ourselves in a secular world are always engaging. Wiseman films his subjects with such a keen understanding of character that I'm kind of amazed that this wasn't an fictional avant garde film.

The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On: I expected I'd like this but not this much. Punishing, immersive and very funny look at one man's obsessive quest for accountability. More of a character study than anything else but a very effective one.

Out for Justice: A slightly more respectable Steven Seagal film. But shit is shit.

Penny Whistle Blues: THAT'S RACIST.

Three Outlaw Samurai: A real pleasure. Gosha's action scenes are stellar and the characters are pretty involving. I would have thought I'd be too burnt-out at this point in the fest to care much about such formulaic characters. But Gosha's got it.

Night Shift: Deeply silly film carried mostly by a number of really good zingers and Henry Winkler's chemistry with a very young and charming Michael Keaton. Makes me want to watch the copy of Grand Theft Auto that's collecting dust on my shelf....shelves. Multiple shelves.

Diary of a Country Priest: I really liked this one but didn't see it for the great film it is until my second go-around. Complex character study made great by the story's immersive details and Bresson's keen eye for detail. He presents criss-crossing themes and ideas without ever skipping a beat. Can't wait to see A Man Escaped at Film Forum on my birthday....

Something Wild: Deceptively simple film that I know I need to revisit to fully appreciate. This one, more than any other Demme film, has however made me see Demme as a focussed auteur in ways that I previously just haven't seen. It's a blind spot on my part but now I can't wait to dig back into his filmography and rewatch the ones I know I like (Silence of the Lambs, The Manchurian Candidate) and see a lot of the ones I haven't even seen yet (Married to the MobSwimming to Cambodia).

Chimes at Midnight: I wish I was watching a better transfer of this because it was hard to make out a lot of the dialogue. But I found this to be genuinely impressive as a filmed version of several of Shakespeare's history plays, plays which I should add are generally hard to adapt in any medium. Welles clearly knew how to make a singular narrative out of these plays, divoting between Hal's story line and Falstaff's with great ease. Really can't wait to rewatch this.


  1. Someone actually had a print of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT!!?? You lucky man, you!