My Week in Film (5/18 - 5/24)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
(Directed by David Lynch)

uh... wtf

I hated about the first 50 minutes of this movie with some exceptions. I found the whole symbol/code/signifier whatever nonsense with the "she's my mother's sister's girl" part funny. But then came the interminable Chris Isaak and Jack Bauer part which lasted for about 25 minutes. And the part where David Bowie shows up going like "we're not gonna talk about Judy at all" is pretty hilarous and fucking insanely creepy. Differing planes of reality blend together at once in a nightmarish couple of minutes where I guess we're taken into the black lodge (?) cuz BOB is there and so is The Man From Another Place("This is a formica table!") and that kid who looks like David Lynch. Anyway, waves of static, crazy audio, jeezuz, it's creepy. But that's like two minutes of the movie. Then it settles in to the story of Laura Palmer. I love that story. It's a painful and harrowing story and the movie sort of gets that right because there are moments that are incredibly painful. But they sort of blend into each other awkwardly. Sheryl Lee's performance isn't that bad (as pix suggested), it's just that she has a tendency to go all crazy-eyed to suggest fear or craziness or whatever. Hysterical. LOL. Ray Wise is okay and sometimes really creepy. So, yeah. Da Re is still bad. Things happen, Laura Palmer does coke, gets naked, people cuss. It's R-rated Twin Peaks. But I liked the suggestion of the series. I found that sad and painful by itself. Do I really need to see it? I'm not sure. But those moments are moving. Maybe only because of the series. I don't know. Anyway, the ending is a stunner. Maybe I'm missing something...


Eraserhead (1977)
(Directed by David Lynch)

nothing else matters
when I turn it up loud

I don't care very much about what this movie's actually about. I got the vibe of industrial decay feeding into fears of parenthood or whatever. That's not why I like this movie. I like how this movie looks and how this movie sounds. Let's start with the sound. It's overwhelming. My favorite part of the movie may be those first 15 or so minutes when it's just crazy sonic shit going on. I turned up the speaker and I let all that wash over me. The images are good, too. Lots of things just poking out/emerging from the darkness. It's sharp as hell and effortlessly creepy and intense. I could've done with less talking and more awesomeness but that's just me. I'm surprised so many people like this movie though. It is just cuz of all the weird shit? That's the least interesting part...


National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
(Directed by Jon Turteltaub)

This movie is pretty dumb. That was to be expected. It doesn't reach Next levels of awfulness but it is worse than the first film mainly just because I remember the actress being hotter? I don't know. Also, they wasted Helen Mirren (still hot!) in a dumb role. I don't know. Cage isn't even that great here. He only has that staged argument scene where he pulls out the English accent to mock some guy. That was gold. The rest was boring crap.

One thought: these fucking puzzles are the simplest things in the world, apparently. I mean, it takes everyone like 10 seconds to figure out the clues.


Bankgok Dangerous (2008)
(Directed by Pang Bros)

heart 2 heart!

I don't think I actually finished this. Fell asleep near the end. My friends told me the ending though and I'm already picturing it in my head and it's hilarious. This is probably worse than Next. Well, when you get to the bottom of it, they're both awful films. This one is probably worse as it's a complete failure of aesthetics and story and acting (well, Cage is Cage which = good but...). This film is just total trash. Not even enjoyably so (although I kept making remarks about how the story is actually about American imperialism and how the American government trains and builds up foreign governments so they can fight their own battles). Of course, I was only joking... I mean, Cage has a heart to heart with an elephant? what...


The Lady Eve (1941)
(Directed by Preston Sturges)


Well, not Fonda. He's a straight man. This is all Stanwyck's show and she's at turns hilarious and sexy and dangerous and awesome. I love how confident she is as she easily ropes Fonda into her web. Of course, she falls in love with him and then all kinds of awesome shits happen. It's not as clever or as funny as Palm Beach and the actors (nor the story) appeal to me as much as that film does, but the film does work wonderfully on its own. I love the Stanny's father in the background and their whole relationship and how they call each other by their first name (hi, ebert!). Things happen, awesome things, but it just isn't all that consistently funny or engaging (I'm gonna blame this on Fonda, yes, I am!).


The Girlfriend Experience (2009)
(Directed by Steven Soderbergh)

The economy is an interesting topic of conversation. Well, I guess it was on everyone's mind at the time this shit was made cuz this is all that people talk about. This was pretty fascinating. Not really because of Grey since she's a cold and distant presence (therefore engaging and not engaging) but because of how it's done. I guess, formally, she fits since the film's cinematography and tone is glacial and objective (weird shit son). I like the mixed up chronology (kind of), liked some of the music, hated the vegas trip and how it was done (or is that how they imagined it was like?). Now I'm waiting for Sasha Grey to be in Soderbergh's other movies like Luis Guzman. Or maybe he'll do a remake of Anal Cavity Search.


Ninotchka (1939)
(Directed by Ernst Lubitsch)

This was pretty wonderful though at almost 2 hours, it does drag. The beginning drags is too long in hindsight since it only serves to develop the story and delay the awesomeness of Garbo. At first, I wasn't really into her cuz her accent was annoying. But, soon enough, she wormed her way into my grinch heart and everything coasted after that. Well, not really. I liked how sexy it was and how Garbo acknowledges the dude's advances all while remaining in her Stalinist-mode. And she reciprocates. I find it disturbing how hot these movies are. He's got the touch. Girl, you know it's true.


The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
(Directed by Lotte Reiniger)

It took me like 4 or 5 months to actually pay attention to duder and watch this. I'm very glad I did. I knew the style of animation would appeal to me just from the screenshots but what I didn't know is how much I would like it in motion. It works perfectly. I love the way the limbs unfold kind of awkwardly and still end up in these really awesome poses. At first, I had doubts about the nature of the story - it seemed to me the title should've been The Sexual Shenanigans of Prince Achmed but then it settled down into this really great story with wizards, witches, spirits, magic lamps, awesomeness. It reminded me of stories I would make up when I was a little kid. They were filled with great challenges, foreign kingdoms, and quick storytelling. Awesomeness, too. You should all check this out for this list thingie. srsly.


Made of Honor (2008)
(Directed by Paul Weiland)

Everything you would expect... but somehow just a little worse. Dempsey is good, though. He's kind of charming in obvious ways. The movie gives him pretty much nothing to do and he gets by on his charm and his smile and his general likability. I think someone mentioned that he seems too old for his parts. I like that for some reason. I don't know what it is. MUST RESIST THESE URGES. Anyway, I feel as if I've seen this movie before. Maybe it's a remake. You know how these things work.


Blue Velvet (1986)*
(Directed by David Lynch)

I have to stop rewatching things.

I remember this being extremely creepy and bizarre and all that stuff. But it's actually pretty normal. I mean, the content is rather extreme but the way in which it's presented is rather straightforward which threw me off. That's not to suggest that it's not as good, just less interesting to me. Anyway, the story is about the underbelly of these American towns and the darkness which Dale Cooper finds under it (I do feel Twin Peaks does this better). It's good shit. Never powerful or emotionally involving for me. Just good and engaging. Probably my favorite part of the film to me is when Dale Cooper comes back to Dorothy's place and finds... well, he finds certain people there. It's the one moment in the film where everything comes together for me. The lurid danger that was at the edges for me comes into clear focus. The scenes with Hopper are pretty good although he gets annoying after a while. His encounters with Rossellini are certainly arresting and harrowing... but I don't know. It feels awkward to me. It's still really good, it's just my expectations/memory/selfish needs getting the better of me.


Mulholland Dr. (2001)*
(Directed by David Lynch)

However, sometimes rewatches yield great, great pleasures. I remember thinking that after watching it the first time a million years ago, I had figured out its narrative and how it all worked out. Now, well, I think it makes sense to me although there are a few scenes which probably disprove everything or whatever. Anyway, it doesn't matter. This film is just so much fun and I love the way that the film locks into place and whips back its narrative with all the doublings and all that awesome shit. It's probably Lynch's most satisfying and fully-formed thingie majigger (maybe also his funniest?). Its statements on Hollywood, other shit, IDENTITY (LOL) and whatever do nothing for me but the way that the film is constructed and shot and all that stuff gets me going in a different million directions. you blow my mind, hey!


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Mulholland Dr.

1 comment:

face said...

I think you liked Eraserhead for the same reasons most do (certainly why I do). It really is amazing sound and quite a few great visuals. It does a great job of expressing the atmosphere of an industrial neighborhood, but that's not to important and the parenthood stuff is good, but the craft is what makes the film great. The weirdness is completely immaterial.