I didn’t expect to be away this long, but with one thing and another, it was probably for the best. For some reason I just could not get excited about writing reviews, but after a lengthy break I’m ready to get back to it! I will be posting again on the 25th (this Sunday), and I have a lot of other posts lined up. Until then, I’ll just fill you in on all of the stuff I watched that won’t get a post due to my lack of motivation in the past few weeks.
My film class finished up, and unfortunately I won’t be taking one in the fall But in the last few classes we watched some interesting and not so interesting films:
Mrs. Miniver (1942) I thought was very good; I enjoyed it immensely despite its somewhat propagandistic attitude towards WWII and I especially liked how cute the kids were. It’s a charming film and as far as I can tell earned its award for Best Picture that year. I may come back to it in February for Best Picture month.
We also watched The Mirror (1975) which is a Russian art film that I did not like at all. It had some haunting images but they made little sense when the film was taken as a whole. It was sort of stream of consciousness and probably only really makes sense to the director, Tarkovsky. I fell asleep in the middle so I can’t put it on my “All the Films” list, and really have no desire to visit it again as I’m sure the same thing would happen.
Eraserhead (1977) was the next film we saw and man, was that weird. At least I could follow it somewhat and stay awake, unlike The Mirror. I would be open to watching it again, just not any time soon. After watching it, I researched Lynch a bit and I have to say I really like that he doesn’t feel the need to have to explain the films he makes. After all, that’s where the critics and the bloggers come in, right? And this way we can’t be wrong! Anyway, the film had some gross things in it, but also its fair share of unbelievably funny moments. Not that they were incredibly hilarious, but in that they were mildly humorous because they were so out of place and strange that you didn’t expect them to be there, so laughing was really the only way to respond. Not sure I’m rushing out to watch anymore of Lynch’s films any time soon, but he is pretty interesting, I’ll give him that.
And on out final day we discussed animation; we saw several shorts including “Meat Love” which surprisingly emotional. You should all watch it; it’s only about a minute long. For the feature we saw Dumbo (1941), which seems like an odd choice but I think it was chosen for the last day because it was so short. I harbor a great prejudice against Disney films and animated films in general, mostly because the Disney films I saw as a child (Snow White, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, etc) scared the pants off me, so I never went back to revisit them. I really need to correct this, so I’m thinking of doing an animated month sometime in the future. Anyway, Dumbo was surprisingly trippy, as Dumbo and his mouse friend unsuspectingly get drunk and hallucinate pink elephants marching around. Why they felt the need to put that in the film, I’ll never know. It was pretty sad how everyone hated Dumbo because of his ears, and also how his mom was locked away for trying to defend him. It is a Disney film after all, so it had a happy ending, not to worry.
And that ended my film class. I also went to the theater a couple of times, first to see Mean Streets (1973), and I did actually start a review on that, but there’s no way I could finish that now after seeing it back in July! I thought the film was pretty good, but I had a hard time getting a overarching point out of it so its probably for the best that I write my review on a second viewing sometime in the future. It was great seeing it in the theater though. The coordinator for the theater came out and told us a story about Scorsese visiting the theater and showing Out of the Past to the cast of Shutter Island while they were filming it. Major fangirling occurred at the point. It’s pretty awesome because Roger Ebert actually mentioned that Scorsese did this in his review of Shutter Island.
I also saw a few new releases. I was able to catch a free advance screening of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, a film I was eager to see because of the casting of Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. I’m a big fan of both of them and they did a great job in the film. There was also and Q&A with the director, David Lowery, via Skype which was very interesting. I enjoyed the film at the time, but found it to be rather forgettable when all was said and done.
Then I saw Fruitvale Station, which I’m pretty sure I’ll be reviewing soon, as I still remember most of what I need to write it. So for now I’ll just say that it was pretty good, but the picture quality in the theater sucked and I don’t know whether to blame them or whether the film was just shot that way because it was low budget/trying to achieve a sense of realism. It was grainy and I was not pleased, considering my gift card actually had less on it than I thought so I ended up having to pay for it after all. Now that my gift cards are used up, I most likely won’t be going to that theater anymore, so take that! But at least some good came out of this: I saw the trailers for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and 12 Years a Slave on the big screen and they were even more fantastic! I wasn’t going to see the Mandela movie before, but I definitely am now! And I’m so excited for 12 Years a Slave it isn’t even funny; I’m going out on a limb here and saying that at this moment I’m predicting it will win Best Picture for 2013. GASP!
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters was the most recent new release I saw. I wasn’t planning on seeing that one, but my mom and sister took me so that meant my ticket was paid for, and I never pass that up! I’m a big fan of the books, but I remember The Lightening Thief movie really disappointing me. I think this one was better, and I’ll be reviewing it as well.
I also caught The Prestige (2006) which my sister had DVRed for me, so I’ll be reviewing that soon as well. Chris Nolan is five for five in my book! My sister and I were discussing the twisty plot for a good while after we finished watching it; it’ll be really hard to avoid spoilers in my review. I also watched about a million episodes of Castle, which usually happens when I go home, and am almost done with the first season of Star Trek!
So, that’s what I’ve been doing. You’ll notice that that doesn’t include any Hitchcock films. I’ve decided to abandon my marathon idea and just watch Hitchcock films as I go along, rather like I’ve been doing with Scorsese and Kubrick. I am trying to get through them all, but I don’t think I can really do them all marathon style as I’ve gotten most of Hitchcock’s really famous films already and am less excited about reviewing the rest of them. I did sign up for the directorial debuts blogathon that is being jointly hosted by Chris at Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop and Mark at Three Rows Back so that should be fun. I picked Hitchcock’s debut: The Pleasure Garden (1929). I also really have to get on my Third Obstruction post; I haven’t worked on it at all yet and August is drawing to a close rapidly. I have also joined The Gish Sisters Blogathon held by The Motion Pictures, and Movies, Silently, covering Duel in the Sun. I’ve been meaning to watch it sense I saw portions of A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies which mentioned it heavily. Luckily for me, Lillian Gish happened to be in it, so it all worked out great.
I also think I’m going to stop with the Quote of the Day posts for a while. I’m literally running out of quotes. I’m having a harder and harder time of thinking of them and since I have to put them up every day it’s like a constant chore. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring them back after I get back into the swing of things, because I know a lot of people like them, and I like them a lot as well.
Lastly, I would like to say thanks to the couple of new followers I got even though I wasn’t even posting, as well as the people who still commented when I was gone. Thank you for not abandoning my blog even when I did! But I’m back now, so I’ll get back to those comments as soon as possible.
So I’ll be back on Sunday the 25th with all of this stuff! Sorry for the constant announcements and counter announcements, but I promise that I am actually back now and will do all of the things I said I would do. So thanks for bearing with me and I’ll see you on the 25th!