Monday, September 20, 2010

American movies, 1970-1979

from Thomas McGuane's 92 in the Shade (1975)

McGuane is a novelist and occasional screenwriter, but he only directed one movie and happily admits to not knowing what the hell he was doing. That's one reason why this film, adapted from his own novel, is so enjoyable. A seasoned veteran would have imposed some structure, order, and plot on this loping, meandering, loose, shaggy, hungover, messy collection of character actors fucking around in the Florida Keys, and we all know and agree that plot is as goddamn useless as a fish with titties, to paraphrase R. Kelly. The other reason this film is so enjoyable is that it stars Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Margot Kidder, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, William Hickey, and Joe Spinell. It's never been released on DVD, which is a crying shame. It's no masterpiece, but imperfections are underrated.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My moviegoing: 2003

from Angela Christlieb & Stephen Kijak's Cinemania (2002)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kevin McCarthy R.I.P.

Another movie legend is dead. Actor Kevin McCarthy died yesterday at age 96.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956)
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (Robert Altman, 1976)
Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)
The Howling (Joe Dante, 1981)
Twilight Zone: The Movie (Joe Dante's segment, 1983)
Innerspace (Joe Dante, 1987)
UHF (Jay Levey, 1989)
Matinee (Joe Dante, 1993)

Claude Chabrol R.I.P.

One of the greatest filmmakers in the world died today. Claude Chabrol began his career as a critic for the film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema, alongside his contemporaries Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Melville, Agnes Varda, Eric Rohmer, Alain Resnais, Luc Moullet, Bertrand Tavernier, and Jacques Demy. These critics all became pioneering filmmakers of the French New Wave in the late 1950s/early 1960s (except Tavernier, who didn't start making movies until the 1970s). Chabrol specialized in offbeat crime and/or psychological thrillers and was often compared to Hitchcock, though his style was clearly his own. He made at least four of my favorite films, and several others I can easily recommend.
The masterpieces, from the top:
Les bonnes femmes (1960)
Le boucher (1970)
La rupture (1970)
La ceremonie (1995)

Also recommended:
"La muette," from the anthology film Six in Paris (1965)
Wedding in Blood (1973)
Story of Women (1988)
L'enfer (1994)
The Bridesmaid (2004)

Monday, September 06, 2010

American movies, 1970-1979

from Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My moviegoing: 2003

from Claire Denis' Friday Night (2002)

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