My Week in Film (9/7 - 9/13)

Graduate First (1979)
(Directed by Maurice Pialat)

Pretty, pretty good. It follows several teenagers as they make their first steps into adulthood (or not). It's pretty damn unsentimental (which could be a plus or a negative depending on the mood - but I think the Pialat from last night helped me be in a bitter mood :lol: Smiley ). I really liked all the scenes of them just hanging out. There was one in particular where they all were in a hotel room sprawled on a couple of beds, just hanging out, smoking or whatever, you know, being french. And they're all laughing and whatnot. Then I also dug the kind of assumption that some of these characters would just go on to be stuck in this little town just like the parents are. One of the girls gets married because, hey, she doesn't want to finish up school and she doesn't like her parents and it seems like a good escape from all that. A couple of them try and go to Paris, one of them sleeps around too much, other does this, other does that. Lots of douche stuff going around, too, but that just comes with the territory. I particularly loved the ending and the way that it suggests all kinds of possible outcomes. Also, Pialat thinks nothing about a car's windows blatantly catching the reflection of the camera crew. Who gives a fuck about that!


Party Girl (1958)
(Directed by Nicholas Ray)

It's some kind of strange technicolor noir musical (okay, there are musical numbers, but it's not really a musical). Ray should've done more musical numbers, though. He's great at them. There's some fantastic interplay between Charisse's dancing and Ray's camera movement. Great stuff right there. The whole movie is I guess a throwback to 30s gangster pictures or something. Taylor's pretty good with his limp and with convincing juries to acquit murderers. Charisse isn't that great of an actress but she does well enough. Really, just watch it for the colors and for the artifice and leave the stupid story out of it. Eh, there's a tommy gun montage in there somewhere, too. Whatever. I had fun. It's like confetti or something. Leave me alone!


Love Exposure (2008)
(Directed by Sion Sono)

man, this movie is hilarious. Every movie should probably have metaphorical instant boners, right? Anyway, basically, Yu starts to find his priest dad distant from him. His dad starts forcing him to confess to him everyday, but Yu doesn't really have anything to say. So, he goes out into the world and starts committing sins that can he confess to his dad. This involves undergoing arduous training so that he can become a master at taking photos of girl's panties. Of course, this is barely the first hour or so. The film takes so many twists and turns and by one point, it actually becomes some kind of hilariously twisted romantic comedy (along with cross-dressing! lol!). Yeah. Of course, that's only strand of this massive 4-hour film which posits that admitting one's perversion is better than repressing it and that a faithful boner is as good as any way to express your love. There's also a bunch of stuff about how churches/religion can't really satisfy people's everyday needs or something. At the middle of it all, there's just one boy's extreme love story. And that's as simple as it gets. Sometimes it reminded me of Les Amants du Pont-Neuf in just the sheer exuberance and craziness that this dude's love manifests itself and at other points, it's just cheesy nonsense (king of the perverts! lol!). Everyone here's fucked up. The girls by their parents, the adults by religion (or something) and Yu... by love? There's a kind of repetitive lull late into the 3rd hour or so that basically consists of people calling Yu a pervert, but when the end is as awesome as it is, who cares. Also, I need download all these damn Yura Yura Teikoku songs. There's this one stretch where we get Yoko's backstory and it switches between these two or three songs and it's incredible (she hates men!). I don't think they were made for the movie though so it'll get my nod for best soundtrack. So fucking Awesome.


Dust in the Wind (1986)
(Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien)

It's a little more quiet and resigned than A Time to Live (it doesn't have the brawls, at least) but no slouch in terms of its oblique poetry. Its still distanced, but still manages to be highly emotionally resonant. Maybe it's because the images themselves seek to embody the emotions that underlie the scenes (maybe? I don't know, that seems like a good idea). I really dig how Hou sort of does away with any sense of time that may be building in the viewer. Two years pass by and you don't even realize it until later. Another year has passed without mention. Characters go back and forth between cities and you don't even realize it sometimes. The relationships are sometimes a little obscure, too, but sometimes the little glances inside the actions (helped by the framing or something), like the way that what's his face looks at Yuen when she drinks. There's this feeling for me that's inevitable. The way that the character grows up, goes to work and starts building his own life is very beautiful to me (and how he ends up smoking along with his father). This is one of those films that I think will finally start to hit me in like 3 or months or so. Whenever I'll think back on it, I'll just remember these fleeting images and feelings that make up all that I think is great in art and I'll finally relent and say it's a masterpiece or something. But, this is today. I can't live tomorrow inside my head.


One Hour With You (1932)
(Directed by Ernst Lubitsch)

Pretty wonderful. Just like Love Me Tonight, it had me grinning from ear to ear. The dialogue is dripping with innuendo. Pretty much everything they say is about how much they like to fuck each other. It's hilarious. Maurice Chevalier is as charming as ever. This time he does these little direct address things that are so funny. He starts singing about what people would do if they were in his situation, it's kind of adorable until you realize he's talking about cheating on his wife. McDonald is also great (although again not as great as she is in Love Me Tonight) By the inevitable conclusion, there's actually some quiet moments and some pain which surprised me which is why it bothered me when the film wrapped up all nice and easy. Anyway, a little infidelity never hurt anyone, right? RIGHT? Oh, you weirdos. You need to be smoother, people. So smooth. Make it smooth for roujin. Then I might like you.


Judge Priest (1934)
(Directed by John Ford)

So sweet and funny. I really love Will Rogers. It may or may not be one of my favorite performances ever. I'm still not sure. How can anyone not fall in love with his sweet and bumbling charm? I love the opening scene where he just listens to the arguments while reading the cartoons. Of course, that's when Stepin Fetchit is introduced and then it gets all weird. But then it gets subverted when Judge Priest starts asking what kind of bait he used to hook catfish. It's really funny. Actually, while Fetchit never stops being distracting, I really started to dig the funny relationship that Ford develops between both of them. Maybe it was around the time that Judge Priest impersonates Fetchit. That was hilarious. Anyway, it's kind of a precursor to Young Mr. Lincoln with all the courtroom stuff, except that it's not played for the beauty that Lincoln achieves just thru Fonda's characterization, but instead played for laughs. Although it's kind of amusing to me that everyone cheers valiantly because the dude fought for the south and Dixie is playing in the background. Weird people. Can't wait to see The Sun Shines Bright although I'll miss Will Rogers. God, that dude is amazing.


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Dust in the Wind

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