Friday, March 30, 2012

First Impressions

Recently I watched Buster Keaton in Free and Easy (1930), a film I'd never seen before, and which despite its conventionalisms and shaky early sound design (this doesn't strike me as one of the "inventive" 1928-1931 films), it's really quite lovely, and it's so unfortunate that Keaton's career fizzled soon after, as I think he transitions well to a voiced cinema.  Though we can see the ending come from miles away, it nevertheless remains heartbreaking.


Though the Jackass films are puerile, they are more inventive, riskier, and more philosophically trenchant than most films that get nominated for big Oscars.  (That polemical thrust made, I wish someone would do a Durgnatian Mirror for England-style defense of the middlebrow Hollywood film.  That is, a middlebrow defense from a brilliant, freewheelin', nobrow critic.)


Pietro Marcello's La Bocca del Lupo (2009) is the real deal - where some filmmakers, even very good ones, occasionally make "festival films" that appear a bit hermetic, a bit predigested, somewhat incapable of really ruffling any feathers, Marcello (like Pedro Costa) comes off to me as more a mere fellow traveler to that world.  (I mean this as a compliment.)  My feeling is that the world of his films bears a robust linkage to the world external to the theater, external to production companies.  And the use of Buxtehude is Tree of Life-level good.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Look at these fucking hipsters.  Lazing about in a filthy communal house, drinking cheap beer with their cheerios, cheesy ironic music, mumbling about how their lives have no direction.  No, no - to be honest, I've not been lazy exactly.  Just busy on a number of different projects that haven't come to fruition yet.  But expect to see more here (and elsewhere on the Internets by yours truly) by the end of the month, or early April.