I watched Susperia the other day, which is a 70s horror movie by Dario Argento. It is considered to be a classic. It is the first part of a trilogy called “Three Mothers,” thirty years in the making. I have the second part from Netflix sitting at home. According to Rolling Stone, part three will be released this summer amidst all the big budget summer movies. The film is very strange and -very- 70s. The special effects are not very good, but the setting is very vivid. I’m not that into horror films, but this one was fun to watch. Some more threes: Three movies
Yesterday was a great Valentine’s day. I looked forward to it for two weeks and I wasn’t disappointed. First we woke up at 6:30 AM (gawd) and baked our usual v-day cookies. Then that evening we went out to eat steak at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse. Which was yummy. Last, we went to see another Bollywood movie, Jodhaa Akbar. Essentially, Jodhaa Akbar is a love story between the Muslim Mughal Emperor and his Hindi wife in 16th century India. It stars Aishwarya Rai, who I think is terribly beautiful. The movie was widely anticipated, and we didn’t get good seats because the theater was so full.
I’ve seen two really good movies this weekend. In the Valley of Elah and Eastern Promises. In the Valley of Elah, directed by Paul Haggis, was very moving and disturbing to me. Much more so than the movie Crash, which I felt ended up reinforcing white privilege as much as challenging racism. One review called the movie “lacerating.” That’s a great word to describe it. I can’t say much about the film because just describing it will give too many spoilers. Apparently, it is based on a true story, however. One of the themes of the film is how the young soldiers in Iraq deal
I watched Spartacus on hi-def tonight. My husband was completely oblivious during the oysters or snails scene, which made me chuckle. Wikipedia has a nice entry on Spartacus. The entry explains that Anthony Hopkins dubbed Olivier’s lines when the film was remastered to include the Oysters or Snails scene with Tony Curtis.
I saw the movie Jesus Camp yesterday. It depicts Evangelicals teaching their kids to be soldiers for Jesus. They even pray over a cardboard effigy of George Bush, asking for Jesus to help Bush lead us to a right wing country. George Bush is not God’s representative on earth. If anything, he’s a false prophet bringing the apocalypse closer, which I suppose most Evangelicals think is a great thing. Thankfully, Jesus Camp has closed down. Of course, the scandal with Ted Haggard, who is featured in the film, might have had something to do with the camp closing. Here’s Jon Daily on Ted Haggard.
Trevor Fehrman on the Pussy Troll scene from Clerks II: Was there ever a scene where you couldn’t keep a straight face delivering your lines? Yes, the pussy troll scene. [laughs] Yeah, that’s what I was thinking of. What the hell was that? The pussy troll scene was one of those scenes that is a real nothing ventured, nothing gained scenario. When I first read the script I thought, “Whew, he didn’t fuck it up.” The second thought was, “How are we going to make this scene work?” There are a couple of golden rules that always exist in comedy. There’s the rule of three
I enjoyed V for Vendetta yesterday. The Wachowskis’ commentary on the Bush regime is obvious, whereas in the Matrix movies, the philosophy is garbled and multifarious. What’s equally interesting is the reviewers’ commentary. You can tell who is conservative and who is liberal by their take on the movie. In any event, one reviewer made a very disheartening comment: But this is not the movie, and these are not the times, for sophisticated arguments. If now is not the time for sophisticated arguments, then precisely when would that time be? Have we really become so dumb that any movie wanting to make a political point
I don’t like scary movies, but the Skeleton Key was fun to watch because it was based outside of New Orleans. What a fabulous cast — Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Kate Hudson. The movie wasn’t terribly scary, thank goodness. I love Gena Rowlands, so that made it entertaining. I agree with the Tomato Meter’s 39 rating, but I think some of the reviews were unfair. In any case, the Slant review made a nice point about race in the film: In the tradition of Angel Heart, it looks to stir cultural anxiety by introducing a pretty white thing into a sinister world where “black” magic
Mira Nair’s films evoke the feeling of lush reds and yellows. That is such a prevalent visual theme in the four films I’ve seen by her: Mississippi Masala (1992) Kama Sutra (1997) Monsoon Wedding (2002) Vanity Fair (2004) I saw Vanity Fair last night. It was better than expected, and better than the critics rated it. But then, I LOVED Kama Sutra. Of those I’ve seen, Kama Sutra is my favorite, mostly that’s due to the director’s commentary. On the one hand, Kama Sutra is somewhat inaccessible to American audiences. OTOH, I love this film because I do find it most accessible compared to some
The women on either side of the imaginary moral divide are both gorgeous and potent, both capable of cruel violence, and both dedicated to their own desires. And both understand themselves as victims of masculine oppression. The stakes of their conflict have to do with a derivative, Joker-style gimmick in the toxic makeup (as the deadmeat doctor who cooks up the cream puts it, “I can’t live with turning people into monsters”). Even the final showdown between Laurel and Catwoman is staged so they throw each other through giant images of beautiful models. Got it: the beauty industry is bad. But if it can help you look like Berry or Stone, or even better, pay you like it pays them, well, its faults might be intermittently overlooked.
– Cynthia Fuchs’ review of Catwoman