Let the Eagle Soar!! Catharsis in a packed theater. No, I don’t buy everything Moore is selling, but I buy much of it. And my heart rate was up during most of the film. I left with a headache and Ann cried at the part you were supposed to cry at. This is not gotcha journalism, it is one man’s anguished cry against injustice.
Friedkin was famously quoted as telling Henri-Georges Clouzot that he wanted to do a remake of his favorite film The Wages of Fear that would be inferior to the original. He suceeded. He didn’t make an awful film; there are many remarkable sequences. But this film lacks the sharp charactirizations (although it spends 45 minutes showing convoluted backstory unseesn in the French version) and white-knuckle suspense the setting deserves. Friedkin’s version, with its multimillion dollar budget, has flabbergasting photography and great montages. Plus, a neato Tangerine Dream score. I’m glad I saw this important, noble failure of 1970s cinema.
Keeping time, time, time/With a sort of Runic rhyme
From the tintinnabulation/That so musically wells
Hats off to Wren Britton and the gift he gave Ann last week: the swinginest alarm clock ever. Not only is it sleek and light, but it can wake you up to three different kinds of cathedral bells. AND it can drift you off to sleep with the sounds off the ocean, a babbling brook, or a riiibbiting forest!
I am being very generous with my grade. Here’s why: I enjoyed this. I enjoyed this bad movie. This movie is 100% implausible; the characters are either unmotivated and underwritten or their plot points are jammed in with the subtlety of an offshore oil rig. That said, when you are in each scene it is good fun to watch. Kinda like watching an old movie on TV and thinking, “boy, this is corny, but it’s how they did it back then.” Also, there’s a fine line between verisimilitude and ungodly product placement.
The annual San Antonio Abate hit my block this week. I did a pretty good job of avoiding the assholes that run the stands and the trash that are drawn to it. But, alas, on its final night my insatiable desire for fried spheres of dough caked in powdered sugar won out and I made a quick pilgrimage. Here’s the thing about zeppole: there’s no other food that gives me heartburn as I am actually eating it. I go on a zeppole bender once a year — when these yamheads have their parade in my front yard. Thank God it is only once a year. Anyway, the first photo is from my window, the rest are down in the shit.
It takes a man of true conviction to admit that one of the most noxious, contemptable people in the public forum has created a work of genius. I hate Quentin Tarantino. If I read of his disappearance tomorrow I’d dance for joy. Just the other day Ann had a thing on IFC with some press conference with him and I demanded she change the channel before I throw up. Still, if you haven’t seen this movie in a while (last time for me, I think, was 1999) it still is fucking incredible. Every scene is a gem. Samuel L. Jackson’s performance is note perfect. The surf guitar rock is some of the most inspired soundtrack use in cinema history. And the scene with the gimp is just insane. Like Eddie Van Halen, another genius that inspired legions of odious imitators, it is easy to blame Quentin for the god-awful hackwork so many other people turned in after this was made. But let’s call a spade a spade: Pulp Fiction was wild and innovative ten years ago and it has not aged a day. It is fantastic, so much so that for a minute I was thinking I might eventually rent Kill Bill Volume II.
Alvin Toffler defined Future Shock as a physical condition that is affecting us due to the unnatural, exponentially paced change in our technology and environment. I suffered from it today. I was meeting Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz in Chelsea, kind’ve randomly on the street before heading to a party (more on this very odd party later.) She has no cell phone. And I was beset with a queasiness knowing that I was just out there — on 23rd street, with no way of contacting her. What if she wrote the address down wrong? How would I get ahold of her? How long would I have to wait before it would be appropriate for me to cut and run and go to the party without her? She got there on time and it was no big deal, but I can’t remember the last time having to wait for someone who had no cell phone. The disconnected feeling, the helplesness was most unsettling.
Band of Italian resistance scurry around trying to outwit Nazis. I know this is one of the most respected movies ever, and maybe its naturalistic elements were remarkable for its time, but it’s only so-so today. And the tone is odd: half the time you follow a wacky Rowan Atkinson-like priest making goofy faces, the rest of the time is spent watching people get tortured. It’s not a bad movie by any stretch, but I was expecting more.
Great date movie. More Harold and Maude than Welcome to the Dollhouse or “Freaks and Geeks,” and this is a welcomed change. Ann loved the costumes (especially his boots) and the W.T. set. I loved the Dragonslayer poster and title sequence. We both loved the Ultrachrist!-style dance number ending. And neither of us particularly minded that there was absolutely no point to this movie at all. Maybe someone will explain the Elvis Costello connection to me. “You’re such an idiot!!”
Hip-hop should’ve hung up the gloves right after the release of this work of absolute genius.
Not only are titles not copyrightable, but Michael Moore’s film will only further ingrain Bradbury’s title in our collective unconsciousness. But everyone has a right to complain.
The lives of gay and lesbian orthodox Jews. The first thrity minutes is just the freak show you’d think it would be — then the gears shift and this becomes rather touching. You’d think these people would be filled with rage at a God and religion that rejects them, instead we are witness to heartbreaking stories of hopelessley brainwashed people whose innate difference make them a square peg desperate to fit in a round hole.
As I’m sure you already know (dedicated disciples that you are) Ultrachrist!
was released earlier this week on DVD. If you haven’t already, you can pick
up a copy at Amazon.com by following this link:
And if you’ve already bought your copy, buy 2 more! Why not? You can also
pick up additional copies at your favorite local retailer, rent it on
Netflix, and soon, watch it online at cinemanow.com. The more your life
revolves around Ultrachrist!, the happier you’ll be!
Still not enough? See what people have been saying about us here:
How big is the groundswell? Head over to news.google.com, type in
“dvd releases”, and watch Ultrachrist! come up as the first hit! (At least
as of this writing — this one could be fleeting, but we’ll kvell while we
Remember to visit http://www.ultrachrist.com often to keep up on the latest news,
and enjoy watching the movie over and over and over again …
Kerry & Jordan
I spent the bulk of this movie fantasizing about what Hermoine is going to look like in 3 years. The big “explanation” ending inside the tree house was straight out of The Big Sleep and, no, that isn’t a compliment. The scripting and staging is just awkward here — there’s acres of exposition. I won’t get fooled again, this is the last time I waste energy or money on another Harry Potter movie, especially at two and a half freaking hours!
Quite nerve-wracking poem about modern war and its effects on average citizens. Taking place in an alternate universe (or does it?) where nothing quite makes sense and scenes connect with the logic of a dream. . .or in this case a nightmare. Anyway, there are some really gripping images, but also the same old scenes of Swedes weeping and droning on and on about their inability to love. I’d like to see one Bergman film that leaves that on the cutting room floor. What’s best is the implication that to survive war one has to be a prick. This is the central theme of Sophie’s Choice and what ultimately leads her to what she considers the strong and righteous decision: suicide. In Shame, in order to keep his family alive, Max von Sydow must become a murderer, even killing at random for information and a new pair of boots. Is he a villan or a hero? He’s a survivor, and we’ve all been taught that survivors are ipso facto good people — but maybe the more rightous thing to do is to roll over and die as Liv Ullman wants to. Lastly, has Max von Sydow ever not been old??
This is the masterpiece Spike Lee has been trying to make ever since Do The Right Thing. It succeeds on every level and is much better than the similar Mystic River. This movie’s relationship to New York after 9/11 can respectfuly compare to The Third Man and its relationship to Vienna after WWII.