Sunday, March 4, 2018

plato's cave fifty six (being a film journal)

Russell Mulcahy - Highlander - 1986
One strange film. First time watching. Found it to be an atypical 80s film. Sean Connery and his echoed voice from the bathroom opening the film is very nice. Also Clancy Brown, guy is a serious actor. NYC in the 80s, what a place.

Sergio Leone - The Good the Bad and the Ugly - 1967
Watched this over and over as a young man. The lines enter the brain before the ear hears them. Never gets old. Fucking Morricone too, from semi-kitsch to avant'garde, great score.

Arthur Penn - Night Moves - 1975
Reminded me that I don't watch film for plot and that that is acceptable.  Plots tend to be secondary for this viewer. Think of Raymond Chandler and The Big Sleep. Night Moves' plot is a bit of a headscratcher... the details... doesn't matter, actually adds to the enjoyment of the film. If ever unsure of Gene Hackman as one of the greats, this film will convince you.  Melanie Griffith's raison d'être in her early films must have been être nu.

John Huston - Fat City - 1972
Third time watching. One great film. Boxing films have a special place in this viewers world. Has some really great boxing scenes, not virtuosic like Raging Bull, much more subtle and contemplative. Stacy Keach is a heavy actor, he even gets in there deeper than Jeff Bridges. That cleft lip really sets him apart as well. Nothing like the scene early on of Keach shadow boxing. Conrad L. Hall photographed this film, works from him include Cool Hand Luke, In Cold Blood, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Day of the Locust, Marathon Man, and Tequila Sunrise.

Mike Hodges - Get Carter - 1971
Nearly perfect film with Michael Caine. Caine, a London gangster, goes home to the North of England to avenge his brothers death and is warned not to. Reminded me of Red Riding trilogy where they say we do what we want in the North. Such a great ending.

Jerzy Skolimowski - The Shout - 1978
Second time seeing this strange film. John Hurt works as a musician recording and even just making strange avant'garde sound with his mic and equipment. Alan Bates performs Merzbow or Masonna out of his mouth and kills. Very unusual film editing by Barrie Vince, extreme but quite subtle.

Lawrence Kasdan - Body Heat - 1981
This film fits in a bit with the previous post on the strange period in film around 1980-84. 3rd time viewing, love the film. William Hurt is such a wonderful actor, especially in this role. Others would include Altered States, Eyewitness, Gorky Park, Kiss of the Spider Woman (still have not watched all the way through), Broadcast News, Alice, Smoke, and A History of Violence..

John Milius - Red Dawn - 1984
Confirms my views on many examples of 80s cinema. Some of the worst acting ever put to celluloid, except for the brief appearance of Harry Dean Stanton. Saw this as a kid but didn't have a memory of it. 
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

Kathryn Bigelow & Monty Montgomery - The Loveless - 1981
First feature role for Willem Dafoe (he had small part in Heaven's Gate), and first feature of Kathryn Bigelow.  Monty Montgomery is the strange cowboy in Mulholland Drive "A man's attitude... a man's attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin' you agree with?" Pretty good film, had not seen it before. Defoe is really great in it. They surely watched some Kenneth Anger films, he has a strong presence in the film.

Michael Cimino - Desperate Hours - 1990
First time seeing. I love Cimino's Deerhunter and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Have not taken to his other films. Good performances by some of my favorite actors - Elias Koteas, Anthony Hopkins and Mickey Rourke. Dean Norris pops up in it as well.

Taylor Sheridan - Wind River - 2017
Second time seeing this. Very fine film.

Jim Jarmusch - Stranger Than Paradise - 1984
A film I use to watch often in my 20s. Had been 15+ years since last viewing. Lurie and Edson seemed like old dudes to me when I was in my 20s, now a couple of hip kids. Funny. Great film now as the first time I saw it.

No comments: