Monday, October 3, 2011

Home alone Film Fest.

As I re-read the heading to this post I realize it maybe a little misleading.
No I didn't watch all the home alone films back to back, although the first two hold a place in my heart (Home Alone was the first movie I ever purchased, with my paper route money)
NO, what I am referring to here is what I watched while my other half was out of town.

I'm not sure how the rest of the world views this trait in me, but when left to my own devices the first thing I tend to thing of is - what movie should I watch first, that no one else is gonna wanna see -  Or more aptly, - what should I watch that Megan isn't gonna wanna watch :) -

This saturday Started with
CLAIRE'S KNEE, an incredibly simple but poetic french film by Eric Rohmer.  It's broken up structure and hand written titles add the to simplicity of it's story and theme, love and trust.   It was a lot of talking, not a lot of action, and really good.  Like all of Rohmer's films I've seen it leaves you wondering when movies made the transition from talking about real life, philosophy and human nature, to merely debating pop-culture as a form of dialogue. (this isn't refering to everything, but perhaps it's watching the older film that makes it's lack of pop culture, both current and old, stand out)

Next up  DRIVE.   This is my kind of movie.  Man is this good.  While I missed the launch at TIFF it was worth the wait (and a few dollars cheaper too).  Gosling shows us, yet again, that he can really friggin' act.  And my personal favourite name in all of directing Nicholas Wingding Refn, also shows us yet again, that he can virtually do no wrong behind the camera.   The pace is amazing, the dialogue sparse to allow the actions to tell us all we need to know.  The powerhouse explosions of violence catch you off guard almost every time they explode onto the screen.  The music adds such a mood that it makes skyline shots of LA seem almost new again.   I was so impressed I went out after the screening and bought the book, which half way through is as good as the movie.
The great "What Criterion Should Tomas Buy Today" twitter debate came to an end when I settled on the blue ray edition of "WAGES OF FEAR" and thank goodness I did.  What a thriller.
Here's what makes it stand out, and why I think the majority today wouldn't care for it.
All the tension is in the story.  The editing is flawless, but is never used to trick tension, like in most modern thrillers, it's there to drive the story.  Longer takes, wider shots and slower cuts really put you in the position of someone driving a truck full of nytro over a bumpy road ALL DAY LONG...  Man, I almost couldn't take parts of it, and I was just watching someone drive...  Amazing.  Not to overshadow the performances, or the great black and white camera work, but the winner for me was the restrained editing.  AND, then, as if just to thank me / play with my head, the last moments of the film are an extreme example of what it could have been like, if they had wanted to FORCE tension on you as it cuts manically from a party to reckless driving - I was getting that weird tingling feeling in the back of my legs when it got to that moment and contemplated pausing the movie to take a breather. Almost in the same way "Irreversible" pushes you through the mid-point one shot rape scene when you're so used to lots of movement "Wages Of Fear" knows it's audience is not expecting jump cuts, and goes for the throat.
      Thanks so much to those that helped me in the selection of what BD to purchase.  All suggestions where taken under consideration and after nearly 45 minutes I finally made my purchase.

NEXT was the first two episodes of "The Lion's Roar" the 6 hr doc about MGM that comes as a bonus with the Wizard of Oz BD.  I actually bought OZ because of this, and have not been disappointed by my decision.  I look forward to watch OZ soon, but so far having Patrick Stewart take me through MGM's beginnings has been worth the price of admission.  Highly recommended for anyone that wants to know more about one of Hollywoods greatest studios.

And that was it.  Then I slept and ate chicken wings.
mmmm chicken wings.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Rohmer I've seen so far (in particular "My Night With Maud") - it's amazing what you can do when you have smart people talk about smart things.

    I'm still thinking about "Drive", but unfortunately not in a good way...Something didn't settle well with me - I like many of the individual parts, but it just doesn't come together well as a whole. Even the music (except for Martinez's great score) didn't work for me.

    Can't go wrong with Wages Of Fear (though catch up with Onibaba if you can and Kuroneko too). The slow opening caught me off guard the first time I saw it, but it makes perfect sense in hindsight. And the ending is one of the oddest and even most random ones around - though it too seems to fit after some consideration. The stuffin the middle is flat out brilliant.

    I actually got "The Lion's Roar" when I bought the "That's Entertainment" box set a few years ago (obviously not BluRay though). It really is an entertaining walk through the history of the studio and Stewart is terrific as the host. They shoulda had him read all the credits at the end too - his voice is like comfort food.