Archive for November, 2012

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My October ’12 in Film

November 1, 2012

An atypical month to be sure, since: a) there were twice as many rewatches as usual, and b) rather than being inundated with films I liked (as is generally the case), I’ve a shorter list of noteworthy movies but I still swoon at the sight of the top several; in that sense it’s one of the best viewing months of the year. The rewatching is easily explained: I bought a new plasma and could finally throw on the blus stacking up, making the most of it. The Ruiz masterpiece was revisited on 35mm, mind you, and wow. My having watched less noteworthy movies could be chalked up to a half-assed attempt to make October a horror month, leading to much uninspired viewing. The highlight of that was Richard Franklin’s underappreciated Psycho II, and also the opening of Collet-Serra’s House of Wax, despite the rest of it. 1990’s Hardware provided the schlocky, colour-lighting goods. Jost’s Sure Fire explores a more banal horror to deeply unsettling effect, and Hyams Jr.’s new Universal Soldier sequel is mired in the oppressive violence of a nightmarish and ambiguous awakening. An incredible discovery in Pierre Étaix, consisting of a feature and two shorts. Also a bit of casual continuation with fascinations in 2012: Téchiné’s latest, McTiernan’s brash Rollerball (fun), Europa Corp’s Kiss of the Dragon (bah), Koepp’s The Trigger Effect (an interesting failure), and the Bogdanovich.

73 total:

  1. Yoyo (1965, Étaix)
  2. PTU (2003, To)
  3. Lifeline (2002, Erice)
  4. Love Battlefield (2004, Cheang)
  5. Noises Off (1992, Bogdanovich)
  6. Dredd 3D (2012, Travis, 3D)
  7. India: Matri Bhumi (1959, Rossellini)
  8. The Comedy (2012, Alverson)
  9. Night Across the Street (2012, Ruiz)
  10. The Rapture (1991, Tolkin)
  11. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012, Hyams)
  12. Me and Orson Welles (2008, Linklater)
  13. Paris Is Burning (1990, Livingston)
  14. Un Soir, un Train (1968, Delvaux)
  15. Sérail (1976, de Gregorio)

Un soir, un Train is rather unassuming at first, slowly revealing its tapestry of memory before coming together satisfyingly at the end, propelling its ideas together in a sort of twist (that is anything but gimmicky). Delvaux is three for three, and they make melancholic music together. Anyone who loves Time Regained and Resnais needs to watch this, though it is lesser.

Compelled to mention:

  • Sure Fire (1990, Jost)
  • Psycho II (1983, Franklin)
  • Killing Them Softly (2012, Dominik)
  • Eastern Condors (1987, Hung)
  • Police Beat (2005, Devor)
  • Vamps (2012, Heckerling)

Best rewatches:

  • Time Regained (1999, Ruiz)
  • The Assassination of Jesse James
    by the Coward Robert Ford
    (2007, Dominik)
  • Happy Feet Two (2011, Miller, 3D)
  • Speed Racer (2008, Wachowski/Wachowski)
  • The ‘Burbs (1989, Dante)

RE: Apocalypse is better than I remembered. In direct opposition to Anderson: Witt frames at canted angles rather than symmetrically; his version of slow motion is that trailing, frame-skipping effect; and rather than holding shots he hits beats the way Tony Scott excelled at, underlining juicy moments for punchy effect. The result is trashier, rooted in genre schlock–and a total blast. Anderson’s more controlled eye may not have been right for this chaotic scenario, actually. Though he would have realised the surveillance aspect more fully, as usual. And Extinction, the worst of the series. Generally just adequate.