Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Christmas Story

It was a beautiful day today - 70 degrees out, sun and a light breeze that picked up a lot at night. It was pretty unfathomable that I had to watch A Christmas Story in that kind of weather! The movie was directed by Bob Clark in 1983, and was not received very well. Now, it's pretty much a classic, a staple of the holidays that is notorious for airing in 24 hour blocks.

To try to make the movie viewing more...Christmasy, I had my friend Barry over. I put up some little Christmas trees and made some cheap cookies from Target with red and green sprinkles. It didn't really make it feel Christmasy at all - not even with the movie on - which was sort of shocking to me! Anthony and I usually put this movie on whenever we put up Christmas decorations, so I always associate it with strong feelings of the holidays. I still like the movie, but it didn't make me yearn for Christmas like it normally does.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Children of Paradise

There was actually sort of sun today, and blue skies! I wanted to go read outside, but I realized that my movie, Children of Paradise, directed by Marcel Carné in 1945, was over 3 hours long. I was pretty saddened by this news, at first. Who wants to sit in a cold basement when they could be outside in the sun? Not me, at least.

When I finally sat down to watch it, I became pretty involved in the film. It's really long, yes, but it has a great story. It's sort of an epic length romance, marketed to American audiences as "The French answer to Gone with the Wind". It sounds stupid, but it makes a certain amount of sense. There are strong female women at the center of both of these films, trying to get what they want out of life - but it doesn't always go their way. A lot of the story revolves around theater performances (Wikipedia says that "Paradis" is a French colloquial name for the balcony in theaters), which is added a really interesting dynamic. I really enjoyed this movie, despite all of my earlier reservations.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Buster Keaton/College

Well, my migraine-addled mission tonight was to watch a Buster Keaton film. I seem to get bad headaches and then watch silent films, and end up feeling sort of soothed by them, since they are easy on the eyes and ears. I didn't have to watch a particular film - Ebert simply had an entry in his book for Buster Keaton. I really like him, though, so instead of just skipping it, I decided to watch one of his films. I sort of just selected on at random that was streaming on Netflix, and I ended up watching College, directed by James W. Horne in 1927. It seems that according to IMDB, "In an interview with author Kevin Brownlow, Buster Keaton said that he directed almost all of this film and that credited co-director James W. Horne did virtually none of it. Keaton said that his business manager talked him into using Horne, but that Horne proved "absolutely worthless to me... I don't know why we had him."  Something interesting to consider.

For this, I'll write a tiny bit about the movie I watched, but I'll give more time to Keaton himself. Thus the famous picture of him from The General :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia



I'm just going to try out this post using a jump, I think it's a good idea, but now is the time to tell me if you hate it, before I update the older entries!

I somehow let so much of the day get away from me - I didn't even eat dinner until 9pm. I found some time to watch Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, directed by Sam Peckinpah in 1974.  This was my first time watching this movie, and I was really excited to see it, since I love The Wild Bunch so much. I know that critics, and the public, really hated this movie when it came out. It is disturbing and violent, especially for 1974. Roger Ebert's defense of the film has become almost legendary - he was pretty much the only critic to support it when it came out. Over time, people have come around and given this film the credit that I think it deserves.

Questions!

I considered making a poll of some kind for this, but I think all of like, three people regularly read my blog, so I thought it was just easier to ask. Please feel free to answer in the comments or email me, your answers will be very helpful!

  • What do you think about the format of my posts? 
  • Would you prefer that I keep the bulk of the posts under a jump (i.e. a brief part of the post followed by a "read more" sort of link)? This means you'd have to click through to see the whole post, but you could also more easily browse around through the recent posts. 
  • Would you like it if I embedded movie trailers instead of linking to them? On a vaguely similar note, would you like links to buy/rent the films? I stopped doing it since Amazon Associates no longer works for Illinois residents.  
    • And finally, do you like that I do brief summaries of the movies, or would you rather I omit that part?

    Thanks! If you have any other comments about my weird format, let me know!

    Here are some random pictures of Nikita, so there is some sort of incentive to read this post.


    Posing. I wish these were from today, that would mean the weather was not depressing.

    Lazy bum.

    She thought it would be helpful to my photography if she started ripping up grass instead of looking cute.

    Fail.

    Daaaw :)

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Today I obviously watched The Bridge on the River Kwai, directed by David Lean in 1957. I haven't seen this movie until now, and I was moderately excited to watch it. Moderately because it's almost three hours long, and I was tired and pouty. Ebert's essay sounds sort of unenthusiastic about the whole thing, but I really loved this movie. I was just so interested in the characters and plot, it didn't feel that long to me at all. I always heard mumblings about how so many people love this movie, and I really understand why now. After I watched it, my mom told me it was one of my her dad's favorite films. I miss him, but it felt really nice and special to watch it and think of him :)

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Breathless

    Sometimes I hate writing about important, famous movies - it's much harder to find something new or interesting to say than it is for lesser known ones. Such is the case with Breathless, directed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1960. It was a hugely influential film, and everything from the editing to the characters have inspired numerous films. Ebert mentions that it is about as influential as Citizen Kane, which makes sense to me, although I know much less about this movie than Kane. I've seen a lot of the films that he brings up (mostly the New Hollywood movies I've talked about here - Bonnie and Clyde especially), and I do see where the filmmakers took their inspiration. However, where I heard for ages what things Citizen Kane did, I never heard about Breathless, so I have a harder time making any definitive statements about it. Plus, Ebert says about all there is to say about the movie's influence, so I'll try to keep this mostly about my reaction. For anyone who is sick of French New Wave, the weird spree of it will be over for a little while tomorrow. :)

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Bob le Flambeur

    Happy Easter, to those who celebrate! My family does, but not in a religious way. We get together for a huge, delicious brunch, and relaxing together We also celebrated my cousin Jess' 21st birthday, since she was home from college. It was a lot of fun, and I didn't really feel like coming home and settling down to something serious.  

    The art for this movie looks so much more interesting than how I felt the actual movie was. Blah, had it been a different day, I might have been in more of a mood for a slow, moody film, but today, I really wasn't. I wanted something a bit distracting, maybe fun or dramatic, where this was all image and surl. So, today's movie was Bob le Flambeur (Bob the Gambler or High Roller), directed by Jean-Pierre Melville in 1955. To be honest, I think I just wanted to watch the Hawks game like a doofus. I'd still rather be doing that. I think this is just a movie that I need to re-visit on another day, in a different mood, you know?

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    The Blue Kite

    I feel stupid writing this review. I guess I didn't get a very good education in high school, because I have zero knowledge of the historical events depicted in this film. Today I watched The Blue Kite, directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang in 1993. It was infamously banned in China for it's political leanings. I feel really bad that I didn't have any historical background for this film, and if I did learn about these at some point, I clearly forgot immediately. I know that my appreciation for the movie would have been enriched, had I known anything about the actual events. I was still able to appreciate and like the film, however. I liked that it focused not on the politics of what happened, but on normal people, and there was a certain tone to the movie that I really liked.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    The Birth of a Nation

    Today's movie is the infamous Birth of A Nation, directed in 1915 by D.W. Griffith. This is, as it is for all people-who-write-about-movies, a really hard movie to write about. Ebert mentions in his essay that he didn't pick this movie for the first book because he was avoiding it. Look at the art for this move. Can you tell why?
    The film is legendary for not only it's contribution to cinema, but for it's abhorrent racism. It's a difficult line that many film historians and fans walk. Do you laud the racist film for how great it is technically? Or do you condemn the entire thing for it's misguided plot? I think most people tend to fall somewhere in the middle - before they write about how many new and interesting things it did, they attack the plot. For me, I feel similar. I have a hard time stomaching the racism, but I do understand how huge on an impact it had on modern film. It is great for it's technical aspects, not at all for it's plot - and I have to sort of take the movie for what it is, however personally uncomfortable I might feel.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    The Big Heat

    I think it's clear at this point that I pretty much have a huge soft spot for film noir. Today's movie is no exception. I watched The Big Heat, directed by Fritz Lang in 1953. It has a fantastically dark plot, and great acting. I was really impressed with the whole thing - it was a great movie to watch and seemed to have some new ideas thrown in.

    The plot is a bit convoluted, and I'd rather make a short post and save you the plot summary. Basically, the main character of the film, Bannion, is a good cop in a town full of bad people. He is so driven in his pursuits, however, that he doesn't seem to notice how his actions affect others. He rushes headlong into all situations, and seems clueless about what his actions mean for other people. He endangers people around him, and doesn't seem to realize that. Even after his wife dies because of him, he continues on his path, not seeming to link her death with is doings.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Being There

    Hrm, it seems that everyone I know except me has seen and loved this movie. Thanks for sharing, guys. :/ Today I watched Being There, directed in Hal Ashby. It stars the incredible Peter Sellers, and it was his last film. I somehow never saw or heard of this film before, but I really loved it. Sellers was brilliant, although I usually feel that way about him. In his review of the film, Ebert says that Sellers was, "an actor who once told me he had "absolutely no personality at all. I am a chameleon. When I am not playing a role, I am nobody.'"" (Great Movies II, 50). How fascinating. I always thought he had an incredible ability to fully embody all of his characters. You know how some actors always look like themselves, or like other characters they have played? I never get this with Sellers, he just seemed to morph into his roles. It was so cool to watch him do this in another great film. I loved the story of this movie, and it was really fun to watch. It was a little oddly sad for a comedy, but I loved that about it. It genuinely had a feeling to it, that lasted consistently for the whole film.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Beat the Devil

    Many people don't have an appetite for campy movies. I grew up watching them, since my dad loves all forms of strange, campy movies. I don't know many people who watched The Abominable Dr. Phibes when they were 13 or 14, aside from myself. For some reason, in a film noir class in college, my professor screened Phibes for us. He asked us if anyone had seen it before, and as I expected, I was the only person with their hand up. He started the movie and sat down next to me. "How in hell did you see this?" he asked me. "It's one of my dad's favorite movies, and I watched it with him a while ago," I told him. He smiled and said, "Your dad has great taste in movies!" While that may be a debatable fact, I have him to thank for my love for stupid campy movies. And today, I got to watch one that Ebert enjoys - Beat the Devil, directed in 1953 by John Huston. It was, oddly enough, written by Huston and Truman Capote. It's a strange film, with a stupid nonsense plot. It's mostly fun to watch to just see all of the characters, and to see how the actors can barely take it seriously while filming it.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    The Bank Dick

    It was a bit of an odd day in Chicago today - I went to sleep with my window open and woke up to snow on the ground as I shivered in my bed. It's all pretty much melted now, though, so hopefully spring and nice weather and continue on. Although the rest of the week is supposed to be cloudy and rainy, which means I can't partake in my favorite hobby of sitting outside and reading, with Nikita. :)

    Today I watched another movie that I knew nothing about, but fell in love with. I watch The Bank Dick, directed by Edward F. Cline in 1940. It was written by W.C. Fields (who stars in it, obviously), but under an alias - Mahatma Kane Jeeves (as in "My hat, my cane, Jeeves!"). I know that W.C. Fields is famous, but I have never seen any of his movies today. I was really blown away by how funny it was! It was a short little film, but everything in it was hilarious and witty, and I loved the climatic car chase at the end.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Au Hasard Balthazar

    Today was a lovely day - beautiful day, full of fun things. It was hard to come inside and watch a film, especially a sad, contemplative sort of film. It was a wonderful movie, but it certainly wasn't a light or easy movie to watch. I watched Au Hasard Balthazar, directed in 1966 by Robert Bresson (who also directed Pickpocket, which I loved). I really love Bresson's style. It's very restrained, but it works really well. I really enjoyed how subtle this movie was - how much meaning and emotion I felt while watching it even though the moments were so small.

    The film is about two lives as they run parallel. One is Marie, a young farm girl, who grows up over the course of the film. The other is Balthazar, a donkey that Marie takes care of. She is separated from him for much of the movie, and many people in the village own him. Some are kind, some are very cruel (and by some I mean most). They cross paths every now and then, and she is always tender and kind to him. People are not very kind to her either, in her life. It's hard to watch people be cruel, especially when Balthazar is so stoic.

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Annie Hall

    Today's movie is Annie Hall, directed by Woody Allen in 1977. I was really looking forward to watching this - I've really enjoyed watching his movies, and since I have seen so few of his movies, I've been really excited to watch them as they come up for my project. Annie Hall was really, really great. The dialogue was really fresh and funny, there are tons of dorky, intellectual references that I was laughing disgustingly at, the acting is great, and the style of the whole movie is so cool! Unfortunately, I didn't see the last 8 minutes of this movie - the DVD that Netflix sent me was actually cracked and bubbling. I'm shocked that it played at all, but it somehow limped along until it gave up right before the end. I read a summary of the end on Wikipedia, but it's pretty frustrating, since that's not anywhere near a good as really watching it.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Amarcord

    Oh, Friday nights, when I'd rather be drinking wine, watching Kitchen Nightmares, Fringe, or screwing around on my phone. Instead, I sat down and watched Amarcord, directed by Federico Fellini in 1973. It's a good movie...I wasn't astonished by it, but I was also really scatterbrained when watching it. A day full of bad moods will do that to you. I really enjoyed it, though. I liked how even though there were so many characters, you felt really connected to them. The movie is really funny at parts, also, which helped to make you feel closer to the characters.  

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Amadeus



    I'm pretty astounded that I haven't seen this movie before. I have been in choirs and taken private voice lessons for many, many years, and somehow had no idea that this movie existed. You would think that someone who sings from Mozart operas would be drawn to a film about the man. I always saw the movie at rental stores, but I never (as stupid as this sounds) knew what it was from just glancing at the box art. In my senior year of high school, I actually went to Europe, to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, to sing and tour. We went to tons of places that Mozart lived and performed. We sang his works in churches, at Catholic mass. I guess I didn't pay much attention on the tours, though. I am pretty sure I spent most of my time taking bad "photography" and eating too many imposter Mozartkugel (little known fact - you can buy these guys at World Market - for me, the taste of them so strongly brings me back to that fun trip that I like buying a few every now and then, for nostalgia). So, with all of that in mind, I sat down today and watched the three hour long director's cut of Amadeus, directed in 1984 by MiloŇ° Forman. I didn't pick the director's cut for any reason other than it was streaming on Netflix, but I read up a bit about what was added in and I (ignorantly, of course) felt that the extra scenes were a positive thing.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Alien

    I have many dorky friends who read comic books, go to wide ranges of conventions, and play WoW with regularity (I include myself in this). There is often much discussion about if Alien or Aliens is a better movie. I have never really been able to participate. in this debate. I know I saw both movies, but it was a long time ago. For sure at least 10 years ago. I think I saw Aliens first, and was perpetually confused about how the two films were different but was too afraid of being shunned by my nerd friends to ask anyone to clarify for me. The time has come, my friends. Tonight I watched Alien, directed in 1979 by Ridley Scott. Like I said, it's been a long time, and since I haven't seen Aliens for equally as long (not counting snippets on cable and such), I still can't debate which movie is better. But I can say I finally understand why they are different, finally! I actually really liked the movie - I liked that it had more on an emphasis on slow, creepy horror instead of just gore and shooting. There is also a psychological element to the film that really gets stuck in my head when I see scenes from the film or think about it.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    Maybe I'm in a bad mood today that I can't detect, but I was pretty unenthusiastic about today's movie. I watched The Adventures of Robin Hood, directed by Michael Curtiz in 1938. I've seen the Blu-ray floating around for cheap a few times and considered buying it blind because I knew I'd have to watch it for this project. I'm glad I passed it up, because this movie didn't really do much for me. I never really saw Robin Hood movies - the only one I saw was Robin Hood: Men in Tights when I was way too young to get any of the jokes (but still found parts of it funny, which may explain my shameful, vague, like of the movie now), so this film doesn't bring up any sort of nostalgia or anything like that. I really thought it looked great and the Technicolor was stunning, but the plot was meh and the acting was meh. I just feel meh about the whole thing. That's just my dumb opinion, though. I think I have shared before that I'm not a big "adventure" movie fan, which is why I love the weird, anti-adventure movies I've watched for this project like Aguirre.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    12 Angry Men

    It was fitting that today I watched 12 Angry Men, directed by the incredible Sidney Lumet in 1957. He passed away on April 9th of this year, and he left behind many beautiful films. I've seen many of his movies and I've really enjoyed them. It was nice to watch one of his great movies today, and reflect back on him and his career.

    I really like this movie - I've seen it before, and I also went to see the play version when I was in high school. A lot of my friends were in the performance, and I remember them being pretty incredible and really enjoying it. Since I remember going to see them, it makes me feel sort of nostalgic to watch this, like, "Awww, I miss that sort of stuff!" I guess it makes this movie feel a little closer to my heart, since it brings back nice memories.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Written on the Wind

    85 degrees today - sunny and windy, but perfect weather. It was so nice to sit with all the windows open and wear summer clothes again. I am so stuffed from eating the best meal - beer brats (fake ones) with natural sauerkraut, grilled veggie skewers (zucchini and summer squash, portobello mushrooms, various peppers, onions, mmmm), and grilled fingerling potatoes and onions. Eaten with a cold glass of great beer from Half Acre brewery, which Anthony and I toured yesterday. It was so hard to sit inside and watch a movie during all of this weather, though. I also have family in from Colorado, and after I finish writing this, I'm going to head over to everyone for a bit. So I hope you understand if I keep my post short.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    A Woman Under the Influence

    Today I watched A Woman Under the Influence, directed in 1974 by John Cassavetes. I really liked watching this movie, although it's not really a pleasant film or an easy film to watch. I really like it's drama, though, and I have a soft spot for movies in which the characters don't really fit in to the roles that society wants them to have.

    The film follows Mabel, a woman who is bit little mad. She is married to Nick, who is a construction worker of some kind. They have three kids together but little privacy - they sleep on a pull-out bed in the dining room. When Nick and Mabel are alone, they seem really tender, but they often both fighting with each other and other people. Mabel is deemed insane by people in the film - and maybe she is, a little. She talks too fast and too much. She makes others uncomfortable by invading their personal space. She drinks too much, too fast. Later in the film she does seem to suffer from total breakdown, and Nick has her hospitalized. Of course, that's not the end of the film. While Mabel is gone, we see how insane Nick is (forcing the kids to "play" on the beach and then sharing his six-pack of beer with them). Sometimes, as Ebert mentions, two sort of crazy people sort of fit well together.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Woman in the Dunes



    Today I watched a rather strange and surreal movie, Woman in the Dunes, directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara in 1964. It's a really interesting film, and I sort of liked it. Sort of, as in it seemed really weird, but I couldn't help but enjoy it. It is a really long movie, though, and moves slowly.

    The film is about an insect-collecting man who is trying to find relaxation in the sand dunes far away from Tokyo. He misses his last bus back, but some villagers tell him that he can stay in a house that is down in a pit basically. He agrees, and climbs down the rope ladder into the pit. A widow lives there by herself, but she is young. During the night, the man notices that she is shoveling the sand. When he tries to leave in the morning, the rope ladder is gone. He is trapped. The woman tells him that they have to shovel the sand (it is pulled up by ropes to the villagers at night, who sell it, under the table, to be used in construction, since it's too salty, technically, for construction). If they don't, their house will become buried in sand. And the house next to theirs will then be in danger. He tries refusing to work, and tries to escape, but he is always returned to the pit. He becomes the widow's lover, but he still wants to leave, badly.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    The Wizard of Oz

    I can't remember the last time I watched today's movie - The Wizard of Oz, directed in 1939 by Victor Fleming. I think I liked it when I was a kid. I know I saw it, since I have always remembered the plot of the whole thing. I don't really remember my actual feelings about it, though, and neither do my parents. Thanks, guys. :/ My only Wizard of Oz related memory was when I was three and went to a haunted house that was at our public library. When I came out of it, there were people in costumes talking to the kids. Someone was dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West, and she screeched at me "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!" Having not seen the movie, I took her threat seriously and began to cry. I had a little dog at home - how did she know? I imagine I was comforted when saw the movie and learned she could be defeated with water.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Wings of Desire

    I was in a pretty awful mood today, and I lazed around the house reading Ann Rule (uh, yes I am currently paying back my loans for my English literature major, why do you ask?) instead of watching my film. I finally got myself to sit down and watch it, and I'm so glad I did. I watched Wings Of Desire (the German title is The Sky over Berlin), directed in 1987 by Wim Wenders. I didn't really do anything other than mash buttons on my remote before watching it, so I had no idea what it was about going into it. I'm sort of glad that I didn't, personally - the plot, what little there was, was borrowed from heavily for the Hollywood film City of Angels. Yunno, with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan or something. I didn't see it, and  it makes me feel tired to even think about it. Since Wings of Desire is slow and moody, there isn't much plot, so all plot summaries sound like City of Angels. Please do not confuses these movies and see what I presume is a bad Nic Cage film instead.
    Wings of Desire made my mood...better. It was pensive and rambling enough to fit my state of mind, but somehow optimistic and uplifting enough to make me feel better. It really worked for me, and I felt...touched by it, I guess. I loved everything, from the vague plot to the striking cinematography - but most of all I loved the dialogue, which was, in essence, simply poetry spoken by the characters. It also had Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This movie was made for me to love, apparently.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    The Wild Bunch

    Another post that I keep putting off writing. Not because I hated the movie - I love The Wild Bunch. I just watched it earlier, had to leave for an appointment, and didn't write before I left. Now that I'm home I want to be lazy and screw around watching stuff on my DVR. In case I wasn't lazy enough today, blah.

    Today I watched The Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah in 1969. It's a fantastic western - gritty and violent,  with a great plot. I feel like I always say I hate westerns and then I wind up watching the ones I like for this project. I mean, I'm glad I don't have to watch a whole haul of American westerns, but it seems hypocritical if 90% of the westerns I watch for this project are ones that I already love and are prefaced with my normal cry of "but I hate them!" This film has so much of what I like about westerns - it uses the time period as a backdrop for a great story, and it deals with that era without any romanticism or fantasy. It is, as Peckinpah himself has said, "...not fun and games and cowboys and Indians. It's a terrible, ugly thing" (From here). I feel a deep love for him for saying this, since I'm always whining about realism in westerns, or something like that.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Vertigo

    For some reason, I feel overwhelmingly tired, so I'll keep this post a bit short. Although I had a really great, relaxing day, nothing seemed to go right this evening, even the movie watching - the DVD kept skipping since it was really scratched. It was one of those nights, which maybe has left me a little drained. Passing out in bed sounds really good right about now, hopefully no one will mind a bit shorter of a post. :)

    Today's movie was Vertigo, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1958. It's one of his most highly praised and discussed films. It is also, as Ebert mentions and I have noticed, one of least trying for the female character out of all of his films. Hitchcock was a bit infamous for how he treated women in cinema - his movies with his blond women, always humiliated or abused in some way. This movie is slightly more sympathetic, showing much more of the pain and emotions that she experiences.

    Sort of Spring

    It's finally starting to feel vaguely like spring - things are sort of green, there is much rain, it's occasionally warm out, the whole deal.
    Spent pretty much the whole day relaxing and reading, which I needed so badly. Nikita and I adventured outside for a bit as well. :)
    She needs a haircut. Badly.

    Fuzzes!

    Lacking a real vase-type thing, I horribly used a mug for these guys.
    So cutes!

    My blog was really lacking in Nikita pictures, so I had to remedy it. Hope everyone is experience a bit of nice spring weather themselves!

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    The Up Documentaries

    It's taken me almost a full week to watch all of these documentaries. I keep talking about these films, but I have so little dsire to sit down and write about them. I discovered recently that I lost something, a necklace I really loved, and so badly want to look for it and pout instead of working. I hate that feeling, when you lose something. First world problems up in here.

    Anyway, the series, simply called the "Up" series, is directed by Michael Apted, and the first one was made in 1964. The first film is a bunch of interviews with some seven-year-old kids in Britain, and the filmmakers check back with this same group of kids every seven years to see how they are doing. The last one I watched as 49 Up, made in 2006. They still plan to do these films, the next one, 56 Up, is slated for next year. It was really interesting to watch all of these in one go - and sort of strange, in a way, to see people grow from 7 to 49 in the span of 6 days. Ebert writes in his review, " I feel as if I know these subjects, and indeed I do know them better than many of the people I work with every day, because I know what they dreamed of at 7, their hopes at 14, the problems they faced in their early 20s, and their marriages, their jobs, their children, even their adulteries" (The Great Movies, 475), and I felt that way today, at the end of all the films!