Apr. 4th, 2010

Occupe

Apr. 4th, 2010 02:47 pm
zustifer: (Klaus Nomi)
Hot Fuzz (with commentary)(2007), Edgar Wright. Mar 25, 8pm. View count: Two.

Sik San (AKA God of Cookery, 1996), Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee. Mar 28, 8pm. View count: Three.

Alphaville (1965), Jean-Luc Godard. Mar 30, 8pm. View count: Three (possibly four).

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1963), Roy William Neill. Apr 3, 3pm. View count: One.

The Big Knife (1955), Robert Aldrich. Apr 3, 9pm. View count: One.


Hot Fuzz previously written up. (I'm glad that my first watching of this was within my writeup span!) Um, we watched this with commentary, even though we hadn't seen it in several years. This may have been a bad move. However, we learned a few fun things about the production, and, well, I guess we'll have to watch it again!

God of Cookery I still love -- its wackiness is mostly just right for me. Obviously I'm missing out on a lot of the HK film in-jokes, but what're you gonna do. I still like it.

Alphaville is still good -- it really is an amusing mishmash of styles, concepts, and themes. Its willingness to try weird things (one of my favorite parts, the still-frame fight most of the way through, is one of these things) combined with its obviously low budget (shooting in public places, &c) always puts me in mind of a student film -- and what student film is not Godardian? I ask you. I found out this time that one of my other favorite parts, the voice of Alpha 60, is actually a man with throat cancer (it's some kind of voicebox, apparently)! It is the best voice for an AI. Also apparently Alpha 60 is an australian fashion label?
The ideas are surprisingly normal: destroy the AI with ideas it can't understand, Mad Scientist avec Beautiful Daughter (thank you, Heinlein, sigh), dystopia with thought control. But with Godard's weird attention to sound and signage, his wacky character names, and the totally unsupported 'space' dialog (and his constant fixation on ladies in various states of undress/subjugation) make it unusual and pretty great.
In closing: There's no sci-fi like a low-budget Godard sci-fi.

Sherlock Holmes is actually a pretty terrible example of the body of work, even with Basil Rathbone. This story was, with no explanation, transported to the 1940s and crammed into the war effort, but the actual problem was that the writing was just kinda hacky and lackluster. Nothing terribly exciting ever happened, and even Basil Rathbone barely got to do anything cool except for dressing up in a few interesting disguises. Inspector Lestrade usually had his mouth open.

The Big Knife is an obvious stage play adaptation (few sets, all about the dialog), which I would have minded less if it had all been more motivated. Young Jack Palance is the protagonist, and he seems to be an actor who does boxing pictures. However, the script treats him as some kind of creative who is longing to express himself. This is weird because we never see an inkling of this, except for the fact that he talks like a weird, idiom-loving writer sometimes (he makes a lot of bird-related metaphors). This is sort of baffling, and mixed in with the kinda stereotyped characters, some scenery-chewing by his boss (the head of the studio), and a weirdly-integrated subplot about a starlet who won't stop spreading information that Jack Palance doesn't want public (but he doesn't actually seem to care?)... it's all a little not-gelled-together. Not unfun, in parts, but not a great film.

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Karla Z

February 2012

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