Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Dry Season

I haven't much cared about film the past couple of weeks. Cinefest must have burned me out.

I didn't like Blood of a Poet. The "poetry" here is ham-fisted and stretched thin. Bleh.

I didn't like Trouble in Paradise. Honestly, I got distracted while watching it and started playing games on my iPhone. I don't care. I didn't see or hear anything that demanded my attention.

I've been falling asleep and not finishing Smallville episodes. Clark is still a whiny jerk and every other character is more interesting than he is.

I did enjoy sitting through Anatomy of a Murder on TCM the other morning while sitting in a hospital for work. I missed the last ten minutes, though, so I don't know whether the panties made a difference or not. It made me feel like I was getting punk'd by a Brandon Cut of the film. [update: Chris and Jeff filled me in]

The Paleface is one of my favorite Keaton shorts. I'm glad that the Howard bros liked it.

I agree with previous comments about The Trial of Joan of Arc. Especially Jeff's comments about the smoke in/through the cross. It's obvious, but I'll state it here anyhow, that Bresson is making the strong visual suggestion that Joan's suffering/death is now being united to the suffering and death of her Savior, becoming an acceptable Ascension Offering and rising to the heavens.

As expected, I fell asleep during The Narrow Margin. I should have put on a pot of coffee instead of busting out the Ruthless Rye. Ah well, y'all know how I feel about this one. It's a tight little piece of work. I'm sorry that the speakers sucked. I do think that the sound design is one of the greatest elements here.

Chris suggested we end the night with Homer the Heretic. Good call.

After the auto adventure, I couldn't get back to sleep so I finished the rest of the Season 4 disc 1. I watched part of disc 2 last night.

Treehouse of Horror III is uneven in the same way that so many of these Halloween episodes are. The zombie portion is a lot of fun, but the rest is forgettable. I loved the beginning nod to Hitch, but the party stories and the Kong homage were both stupid.

Star Trek XII: So Very Tired is probably my most anticipated film of 2012.

Scwarz does seem to be the writer I enjoy the most.

Really sick of Smallville, I've returned to BSG and watched the first four episodes of Season 4. Things are tense. I'm sensitive to spoilers here, so you guys get nothing, even though there's lots to discuss.

I'm thinking about a Breaking Bad marathon, re-watching every episode at least one more time before season 5 arrives.

There has been one true gem in the past month, Rohmer's Love in the Afternoon. What a fantastic way to end the Moral Tales!

I'm most interested in a crazy dream sequence that happens fairly early in the film. The protagonist daydreams of a magic amulet that gives him control over the hearts and minds of all of the women in Paris. This is Rohmer's purest expression of what comics artist Jeffrey Brown has so aptly named "Every Girl is the End of the World For Me," the overwhelming fact of modern urban and suburban life that each time we go out we see hundreds/thousands of attractive strangers of the opposite sex each day. How do our hearts navigate such a sea of anonymity and the little contacts each day, the fleeting smile of a passerby or the brushing finger of a sales clerk?

Love in the Afternoon is "about" adultery. A married man has an affair. As usual, Rohmer doesn't preach, but he does instruct as he explores communication and miscommunication, fidelity and infidelity.

I'd like to discuss the end, but I'll avoid spoilers until at least someone else in the group tackles Love in the Afternoon. Jeff? Chris? Ben?

I changed my mind:

What I didn't fully think through until reading an email from a friend is the way that Rohmer uses time in the film (and, of course, Tarkovsksy aptly noted that cinema is "sculpting in time"). The husband carves out a piece of time (the afternoon) in which to be unfaithful (everything short of sexual intercourse) to his wife. To "spoil" the ending, the husband in the end resists/flees immorality and returns to his wife IN THE AFTERNOON. He redeems the time which he had previously set aside for estrangement. A slice of time which had been named loneliness and lust is renamed LOVE.

I wrote all of the above about a week ago. I haven't watched anything but TV since. A couple of episodes of BSG. A couple of episodes of Justified. An episode of Robin Hood. Nothing really worth writing about.

I'm in that "contemplating quitting the blog" kind of funk. No, I'm not going to. No, this isn't a cry for help. I'm just being honest that I haven't been really excited about Film Club lately. Even Brandon's return hasn't been able to break the funk yet.

I am going to re-watch Breaking Bad. Screw Film Club. Breaking Bad Club is back.

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