Thursday, October 27, 2011

My moviegoing: 2004

Nick Broomfield & Joan Churchill's Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My moviegoing: 2004

Gillo Pontecorvo's The Wide Blue Road (1957)
Austin Film Society's Italian Cinema 1948-1970 series
I prefer Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers and Burn! to the soggy melodrama of this film's narrative, but pleasures can be found in its striking use of color and light, the detailed visual storytelling of its dynamite fishing scenes, and Yves Montand's performance in the lead role.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

American movies, 1970-1979

from Woody Allen's Interiors (1978)
In my estimation, this is Allen's first bad movie. I agree with conventional opinion that the film is a dreary Ingmar Bergman knockoff, though I think the cast and cinematography are first-rate.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My moviegoing: 2004

from Robert Altman's The Company (2003)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Charles Napier R.I.P.

I'm still a regular filmgoer and there are still plenty of filmmakers and actors I'm excited about, but I tend to get the biggest charge out of movies made between 1895 and 1984. It's a bummer to see so many of my favorite character actors and filmmakers die each year even though that's the natural course of life. Charles Napier was one of those character actors of note. Most obituaries are so reductive and incomplete, and Napier's are no exception. Reading them, one gets the sense that the only notable facts in Napier's life are his square jaw and performances in Rambo and The Blues Brothers (though the latter is definitely worth pointing out). He did so much more than that, and he was so much more than a square jaw. A regular for both Russ Meyer and Jonathan Demme, he brought an unselfconscious ease and lived-in delivery to a series of interesting characters.

Highly recommended:
Supervixens (Russ Meyer, 1975)
Citizen's Band (Jonathan Demme, 1977)
The Blues Brothers (John Landis, 1980)
Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, 1980)
Something Wild (Jonathan Demme, 1986)
Married to the Mob (Jonathan Demme, 1988)
Maniac Cop 2 (William Lustig, 1990)
The Grifters (Stephen Frears, 1990)

The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
voice work on "The Critic" (1994-5)
The Cable Guy (Ben Stiller, 1996)
several voices on "The Simpsons" (2001-5)
an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2007)

A few I still need to see:
Cherry, Harry & Raquel! (Russ Meyer, 1970)
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Russ Meyer, 1970)
Last Embrace (Jonathan Demme, 1979)
Swing Shift (Jonathan Demme, 1984)
Miami Blues (George Armitage, 1990)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

American movies, 1970-1979

from Martin Scorsese's New York, New York (1977)

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