So February had a bunch of rewatches, some of which I did not even include for completeness, but as you can see from this post there were more than just previous BP winners. It’s hard to confine myself to just BP winners sometimes….
February 6: The Social Network
A couple of my roommates hadn’t seen The Social Network, and given my undying love for late Fincher and this movie specifically, I’m never not up for rewatching The Social Network. This time around was great as usual, which is pretty impressive since it’s at least the fifth or sixth time I’ve seen this film. I didn’t pick up on many new things, but one thing did occur to me that never had before regarding JT’s casting. He plays Sean Parker, the founder of Napster which allowed people to illegally share music. He looses all his money by getting sued by the music industry, which made me wonder if JT ever sued Napster himself. I scanned the wikipedia about Napster and couldn’t find that Timberlake had much to do with it outside of being cast in this movie, but it still is kind of fun to think about and adds an extra layer to his casting in this movie. I always thought it was brilliant because of the larger than life presence he brings to the role, but considering the music industry aspect just makes that much more interesting (even if it doesn’t actually amount to much).
Last month I really felt like that I underrated McCabe & Mrs. Miller on first review, giving it a 3.5/4 rating instead of 4/4, and The Social Network falls under that same category. Really wish I had properly appreciated it on my first review.
February 7: Kramer vs. Kramer (listing for completeness)
February 10: 3 Women
3 Women, on the other hand, is a film I correctly rated on my first viewing. I don’t have too much else to say about it, except that watching it in the context of the class, I’ve noticed how Altman cannibalizes his own material in 3 Women. This is only fitting in film about the malleable nature of identity and how characters steal identities from each other. It’s further interesting that I counted references to the three films that we’ve watched in the class so far, further placing emphasis on the number three (obviously the three women of the title). They also all happen in order of the film’s being released.
- “You’re small like me” When Shelly Duvall’s character gets Pinky (Sissy Spacek) a bathing suit at the beginning of the film, she can’t find one that fits her. This is very similar to the part in McCabe when Julie Christie says the same thing to Shelly Duvall when she first comes to work in the whorehouse. This sort of transference, when Shelly Duvall in one film is the one being “broken in” to a new workplace, and in the later film becomes the one breaking in the other character, fits in perfectly with 3 Women‘s themes.
- “It’s okay with me” Elliott Gould’s catchphrase in The Long Goodbye, is repeated by Shelly Duvall in response to Pinky’s inquiry about having lunch together.
- After the break in 3 Women, when Pinky’s identity radically changes and becomes Mildred, she is seen painting her nails on her bed and listening to country music on the radio, in a clear reference to Nashville. I couldn’t tell if the music Mildred’s listening to is actually from Nashville or not, but regardless the scene feels very similar to the scene with Barbara Jean and her husband listening to the Opry on the radio in the hospital. Both culminate in arguments about power struggles in the relationships of the two people onscreen. (You can also take this further by referencing the 1980 film Coal Miner’s Daughter, in which Spacek plays Loretta Lynn, supposedly who Barbara Jean is based on in Nashville. Mind blown.)
I think the first reference to McCabe is the one that adds the most meaning to the film, but it’s still interesting to think about the other two happening in sequence in the movie. I don’t know if they make that much difference in the film, but it was interesting to pick them out. If there was ever a time for Altman to recycle stuff from his previous films, 3 Women, his “identity theft movie,” is such a brilliant time to do it.
Hopefully later in the semester I’ll be able to go back and review all of these Altman films (The Long Goodbye, Nashville) that I haven’t gotten to because of BP month. I’m really getting to become a fan of his.
February 13: Holes
Who doesn’t love the cinematic masterpiece that is Holes? That’s right, no one. I remember reading the book Holes as a kid, and I’m pretty sure it was one of the first things I read that wasn’t Harry Potter (which is saying a lot). As far as I can remember, it really is a great adaptation of the book (Louis Sachar aparently wrote the screenplay as well, so that explains it). The only thing that really sticks out is the early two thousands CGI on the yellow spotted lizards, but otherwise I really do like this film. It mostly runs on nostalgia probably, but it is a good film for kids that adults can also get behind. (The lake dries up because of RACISM, guys!) Anyway, I know Holes isn’t really a cinematic masterpiece, but I do love it. And the cast is objectively really good; even if you’re one of those people that has a problem with Shia LeBeouf you still have Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette, Dule Hill, John Voigt, Tim Blake Nelson, and Henry Winkler of all people.
So those were my rewatches for this month. I’m not gonna lie, Holes was probably the most satisfying out of all of those, even if it was just because I hadn’t seen it in a really really long time. This is probably the latest I have ever gotten one of these posts out, but hopefully in March I’ll be able to get on the ball with the blogging stuff.