I'm not abandoning my project, I promise!
For the next few days I'm going to be watching the documentaries that are part of the Up series. It started with 7 Up, which I watched on Monday, and I'm going to watch them all up to 49 Up. If you're not familiar with this series, it follow a group of kids as they grow up, touching base with them every seven years. From what I can gather, a lot of what makes them so famous is their use of film, of chronicling lives this way. The first documentary was made in 1964, long before reality TV, so it was a really new idea to film people this way, and to watch their lives so closely. They have been really interesting so far - I'll post about them when I finish watching all of them!
Other than that, I've mostly been full of surl. Not surly, as that implies that I have actually been able to express my distaste for what's been going on in my life. No, I've just been congested with surl, and from a cold I picked up at work. Lots of stupid things have been going on, but hopefully once it's all over and resolved it will have all worked out for the better. But while it's going on it's quite ugh.
Anyway, if I have time, I'll try to produce some sort of content, but otherwise, I'll let you know what I think about the Up series after about an entire week of watching them. :)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Tonight I watched Trouble in Paradise, directed by Ernst Lubitsch in 1932. The movie is about Lily, a beautiful pickpocket, who falls in love with Gaston, a suave jewel thief. Over dinner, the tease each other by stealing different things from each other until Lily leaps into his lap and calls him Darling. They decided to rip off a woman who runs a perfume empire, Madame Mariette Colet, but Gaston finds himself torn between his feelings for the two women.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The plot of the movie is about as hokey as you would imagine for a musical, romantic comedy. John "Lucky" misses his own wedding, and promises his bride, Margaret, and her father, that he'll come with a token of $25,000 for them. He leaves for New York to gamble, where he meets Penny Carol, a beautiful dancer who he is taken with at first sight. He pretends to be a horrible dancer so she will teach him, and his antics get her fired. He quickly launches into an astounding dance number to win her job back. They become dance partners and perform, and of course, a romance blossoms. But what of the weird orchestra leader who lusts after Penny? And what about Lucky's fiance? Drama! Comedy!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Tonight I watched the movie Sweet Smell of Success, directed by Alexander Mackendrick in 1957. The movie is about J.J., a Broadway columnist for a newspaper, and Sidney Falco, a struggling press agent. J.J. convinces him to break up an affair that he disapproves of, one between J.J.'s sister and a musician. The strange relationships that build this film are really fascinating to watch, be it the odd one between J.J. and Falco, or J.J. and his sister.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Frank Darabont, who seems on only directed Stephen King adaptions (and most recently and strangely he produced The Walking Dead TV Show). I always feel like I'll just be disappointed when I see movie that people talk about in such glowing terms. I don't doubt their taste, I just tend to become more critical and surly. I'm not alone in this feeling. I worked on a short film for DePaul my senior year, working on production design and creating a set for a drug addict to live in. During shooting in the apartment, I became tired of the sheer cattiness of production design and resigned myself to just PA. I sulked in the cockroach-infested hallway with my friend Rick. Between our bouts of whining and confirming into the walkie-talkie that we had "this shit locked down", we complained about movies. Specifically, ones we had never seen. We both immediately named The Shawshank Redemption. It was so talked about that we both felt it couldn't possibly be that good when we watched it. I'm not going to say I wasn't right, because this is by no means my favorite movie. But it was for sure a great movie, and an exceptional movie. The story was sort of contrite, but it felt really good to watch it. It did a lot of cool things with pacing and tone and cinematography. There were some parts that felt meh to be, but overall, I was really impressed with the movie, and I understand (to some extent) why everyone loves it so much. I can see why people name it as a favorite. My favorite movies that I tend to actually declare "my favoritst" are the ones that sort of opened my mind to something new. A movie that I saw something different in, or I have a really strong, good, memory about. I often name my favorite movie as being the first movie I saw where I "got" film analysis, and I was like, "Oh, movies can mean things!" Anyway, on to the actual film at hand.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
After a long enough stretch of time, and my mind open enough to re-visit them, I finally sort of fell in love with these movies again. Pulp Fiction is an incredible movie - for so many reasons. It helped that I watched it again when I had seen more films, and I knew the genres that Tarantino was referencing; when I was mature enough to think about the meaning of the plot and characters instead of just "heh, foot massage!" Of course, like all other very famous and loved movies, there is so much analysis on this now that it's tiring to me. So I'll skip over that, if you want to find it, the internet is here for you.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I think Alfred Hitchock's most famous film (in my small social circle) is Psycho, which he directed in 1960. Oddly enough, there is a point where it's sort of like Citizen Kane - a lot of people haven't actually watched it. I think it has had that strange effect where people feel like they have seen the whole movie already, even if they haven't. Cultural consciousness. People have seen the shower scene, either parodied or in pieces, and its like, "Why else do I watch this movie? I know the main plot." I always feel sort of bad when I see this happen to movies, but it's so hard to avoid it when a film become famous or notorious in any way. I wish I had an explanation for why I know so many people who have never seen this movie, but I don't. Maybe modern horror has de-sensitized and spoiled people. Maybe people actually do feel like they have seen this film already, like I was pondering. Maybe black and white is off-putting. I have no idea, but it is a little more interesting to think about than the normal "the Bates house represented the ego, id, and the superego!"
Sunday, March 6, 2011
I understand that part of the reason this movie is on the list is the animation - which I get, it's beautiful looking. I rented the Blu-ray that had just been restored and it was really shocking, how great it looked. I loved that I could see all of the little brush strokes on all of the drawings. I don't ever remember the film looking so tedious and hand-crafted, and it was really cool to see that. It looked great, and if I was one of those people who had patience for children, I could see sharing it with them, the sort of excitement that you might feel in that. I get it, I guess, I just don't really relate to it or anything.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
I don't want to admit this, but I must. I have heard a lot about Bergman. I know what films were inspired by his work and why. I know he is important and to be ooohed and awwwwed over. But I have never watched one of his films. They always sound good, if not upsetting, and I just never find myself in the mood for one. It's always like, "Shall I watch another documentary on climbing Everest, or a Bergman? Eeeeeeh, documentary it is." Weirder movies tend to deeply affect my mood. I don't have an explanation, I just seem to feel the emotions from them for longer, so I tend to put them off, since I know I'll be affected. I mean, after I watched Antichrist, I saw for almost an hour just staring at the black TV screen, thinking, wondering. I subjected Anthony to Eraserhead once, and we both felt sick to our stomachs afterwards for a few hours. We're weird. So Bergman, despite my knowledge that I need to watch his films, always settled at the bottom of my list. Sorry, Film Professors. Sorry, Ingmar Bergman.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The film is about Mark Lewis, a guy who works on a camera crew pulling focus during the day but murders women and films their murders at night. Like all serial killers in movies, he is obsessed with his parents - his father, a psychologist, used Mark as a guinea pig in experiments about fear. I found the movie to be really creepy and fascinating. Mark is so smooth and cool but such a freak. He kills people with a knife that is concealed in his camera tripod, which is such a strange idea but it works so very well.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
So I'm always happy when I see Louise Brooks, since she reminds me of all of the fun, long nights with my friends. The movie was directed in 1929 by Georg Wilhelm Pabst. It's a German silent film, and although I really like to watch it, I understand that it's meh and off-putting to most people. It's also pretty long - 2 hours and 11 minutes was the version I watched tonight, so it takes a commitment to focus during it.