Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Few Things Film...

Notes from the weekend of 05/18:
-Guy Maddin's Brand Upon The Brain! screened to a packed crowd at the Music Box in Chicago. Interlocutor Crispin Glover narrated intermittently while three Foley artists created the ambient film score. This was a live performance as much as a recorded screening. The cut of Maddin's picture crackled to life like memories from childhood, the kind that you dig up and re-run for your own indulgence, or perhaps shocked amusement. It was in fact black and white images like these that bring us through "Guy Maddin's" story, based on his life of yore. A father with odd scientific habits, and his mother with over-protective tendencies are punctuated by a score of crashed dishes, the turn of a hand crank, water bubbling in a pan, or (my favorite) the twist of fresh celery stalks to imitate the a dead man's limbs being straightened. At this point it was almost a full sensory experience with the sight of the picture, the sound of the ripping stalk, and the misty smell of celery water wafting through the air of the first few rows of seats.

From the weekend of 05/25:
-No actual film screenings (I am sad to report), for (I am glad to report) we congregated for Scarlett Cinema's own Beth Zdriluk's wedding in Toronto. Hats off to Beth and new hubby Nick!

From the weekend of 06/01:
-Hit a rough patch with dear Mr. Eastwood, whose film Space Cowboys from 2000 brought my love for Clint to a momentary halt. From the same guy who gave us recent gems like Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, and Million Dollar Baby, this was an intense letdown. Though this is why the randomness of Space Cowboys is not so random on this critic's Netflix queue, because as an Eastwood admirer I am obligated to know what he's done before--even if it is a story that boasts absurdities like shooting Tommy Lee Jones to the moon on a "six gun" nuclear satellite rig. No, I am not kidding, that actually happened and Eastwood framed it with such sincerity!

Anticipations for the weekend of 06/08:
-Jacques Rivette's leaner Out 1: Spectre (1972) is playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. It is a mere 255 minutes of his original (and much lengthier) 1971 piece, "the cinephile's holy grail" per Dennis Lim, Out 1, which clocks in at 746 minutes. Dang!


Matt Hauske said...
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Matt Hauske said...

Space Cowboys is a piece of shit. Anyone who says otherwise is probably named Mike Anderson.

P.L. Kerpius said...


Well, I do wonder what he thinks. But I can't imagine he'd like it! No, he couldn't! Could he?

Michael J. Anderson said...

Let me put it this way, "Space Cowboys" is Eastwood's third best film thus far this decade - behind only "Mystic River" and "Million Dollar Baby." Why would I make such a lofty claim (putting it ahead of his highly-acclaimed Iwo Jima pictures; it's personal, they are less so)? In short, "Space Cowboys" is first-person, autobiographical cinema, a statement of Eastwood's continued aptitude and indeed importance as he was approaching his seventh decade. "Space Cowboys" is old man cinema, from an old man who was making clear his unwillingness to go quietly into the autumn of his years. And what came after? Some of the best work he ever made.

Then again, my name is Mike Anderson, so there you go.

R. Emmet Sweeney said...

I support "Mike Anderson" in his support of Space Cowboys. The old man jokes are funny.

Karen said...

On a separate Eastwood note-- I am only now beginning to catch up on my backlog viewing of Clint's oeuvre! Just watched Fistful of Dollars for the first time this past weekend! Woo hoo!