Images: The Telephone Book (Nelson Lyon, 1971)

The Telephone Book Nelson Lyon, 1971


My Week in Film (3/1 - 3/7)

Three Comrades (1938)
(Directed by Frank Borzage)

With this and Little Man, What Now?, Borzage shows that while he's all about all-out romanticism, he does not ignore the real world. The setting is post-WW Germany, and its a confusing time. There are a bunch of anti-fascism (?) rallies and stuff and there's fighting going on in the city. Things are tough. The titular three comrades come back from the war, start up their own business and go about their life, but soon Margaret Sullavan shows up, charms everyone (roujin included) and the movie takes off. She's magnificent. She speaks in this husky, throaty way that just melts me, and the relationship between the three dudes was so great. They just sit around being the bestest buddies, supporting each other to ridiculous extents and drinking lots. That kind of stuff just speaks to me in ways I will never begin to understand. There are two things that bothered me: the chase through the snow, and the ending. The first seemed a little strange in the context of everything else. I dug how it looked, but it didn't really seem to fit in with the rest. The ending is ridiculously beautiful and heartfelt and I was moved, but it is beyond cheesy (and I'm not entirely sure on the motivation behind it). But, these are quibbles really. There's too much greatness here. It can't be ignored.

Couples Retreat (2009)
(Directed by Peter Billingsley)

I hate myself. Just a compendium of all these different things that I guess are supposed to be entertaining and "funny" but really are nothing but soul-killing and hateful. The whole Davis/Favreau storyline really just made me want to puke repeatedly into a bucket, and there's just this whole bunch of hollywood cynicism about relationships and about what happy endings mean and the emotional highs and lows are so telegraphed and calculated into the running time like it was done in some excel spreadsheet or something and I don't know. This movie is just terrible.

Shutter Island (2010)
(Directed by Martin Scorsese)

I feel like I have a very large blind spot in terms of whatever movies Scorsese is working off of and referencing. A lot of it seemed really hysteric and blah blah blah. I really have nothing to say about it.

Wheels on Meals (1984)*
(Directed by Sammo Hung)

So I watched this again with some friends but it didn't hold up too well. I mean, I was having fun with the general goofiness going on but the friends didn't seem to be having too much fun with it and that brought me down and the kind of buddy movieness of it stopped working for a while, which was sad. I guess Project A would be the best out of these then. I don't know. My mind has stopped working. No more questions.


Images: Couples Retreat (Peter Billingsley, 2009)

Couples Retreat Peter Billingsley, 2009

Images: Three Comrades (Frank Borzage, 1938)

Three Comrades Frank Borzage, 1938


My Week in Film (2/22 - 2/28)

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)*
(Directed by John Ford)

A high school classroom is not a good place to watch movies. Seriously. I remember really digging some parts when I was a junior in high school, and then spacing out and falling asleep and making jokes with the people I sat next to (this was probably the best class for that). So, although, I've seen this movie before, I hadn't really seen it. But, now, it's all clear. Well, not at all. Ford definitely goes all out. He's kinda showing off cuz that's how ridiculously beautiful this film is. Not only does he totally master all these dark as fuck scenes with characters barely resembling shadows but he shows why he's the ultimate landscape filmmaker. Sky battling Earth and winning. Seriously. He frames people against the skyline and it is an overwhelming experience. Sure, things get preachy, but Steinbeck's book had that, too. Basically, THE PEOPLE. They can run their own lives. They can...

"A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then... "

whoa, whoa, STEINBECK, what you doing there?

I'm not really sure what happened this week...

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... The Grapes of Wrath