Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer is nearly over

Batman Under the Red Hood is as good as anything else that the WB/DC animation studios have produced so far.  Which is pretty darn hood.  I mean good.

I like Treme after two episodes.  I'll keep watching and report back here eventually.

Abbot and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is fun enough.  The girls liked the invisibility tricks.

Beep, Beep is a classic Chuck Jones Roadrunner short.  Obviously, it's fantastic.

Now, definitely the best thing I've watched all month, maybe all year, is Teshigahara's short film Hokusai, about the artist of the same name.  I'll write about it if I watch it again soon.

Brandon, I don't know what that whole Ghost/Dragon tiff was all about.  I think I just wanted to argue about something.  I feel lukewarm toward both films, but of the two I do prefer Ghost.  And I did write positively about it when I was bashing Inception.  So I'm not sure why I started picking on you for defending it.

I haven't paid any attention to recent festival listings (I'm just now catching up with Cinema Scope's Cannes coverage), but I am aware of Tree of Life evidently being pushed back and have also heard a few rumours about Malick's next project.  I haven't heard much about True Grit, but it's all I want for Christmas.

I enjoyed your Greenberg thoughts and only want to comment on this one line: 
{I think your observation about the “life is wasted on people” is interesting but I don’t think it works only because, whoever that fetus was, it was never given the distinction of being considered a person.}

I agree that the fetus does not register as a person (and, by extension, does not even register as a life).  That's part of my point.  This life (the fetus specifically stands in for new life) is wasted (literally killed and trashed) on people (Florence and Greenberg show no understanding).

Basically, my point was that there is new life growing inside and the only response that our characters can think of is to kill it.  That's the obvious and only solution to them.  If that's not a striking metaphor for Greenberg's (and also Florence's) heart condition, then I'm at a loss to describe what this sequence is doing in the film.  I just don't know whether this is conscious or unconscious on the part of Baumbach.

I own a copy of Lake of Fire, but have been dreading watching it.  I'll get to it eventually.

Finally, I know I wasn't going to bring up Edge of Darkness anymore, but I wanted to comment on this:
{I think that those scenes shot on an abnormally nice camcorder are scripted in ways that felt phony. I wanted to be crying and anything less felt like a failure on the director’s part.}

I disagree.  I know I talked a lot about emotions in regards to Edge, but I never felt like crying during the film (okay, one exception almost had me in tears; when our hero first hunches over his daughter's body, he tries to pray, but his tongue trips over every prayer he tries to summon to his lips - that moment rang heart-achingly true).  I don't think that those camcorder scenes are meant to elicit tears.  They are there to illustrate our protagonist's interior state.  Even before his daughter's death, he was living with memories of her (instead of her) as his reality.  If I remember right, one of those camcorder scenes even precedes the daughter's death.  All that said, I agree that the Gibson-Winstone interactions are central.

Enough for now.

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