Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Other stuff I've seen lately

Brandon, I think that your lists are far superior, but thanks. I still feel like I'm playing catch up, and probably will for a long time. I've watched a TON of movies in the past year for sure, and I'm grateful for being in this club as inspiration to get back into watching so many movies like I did back in high school. It's been awesome.

I've watched two Veronica Lake/Alan Ladd movies recently: THE GLASS KEY (1942) and THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946). They are both decent examples of solid b-noir from the era. They also could have used more Veronica Lake, as anytime she was off the screen my attention wandered. I'm officially obsessed with her. And my love for I MARRIED A WITCH was finally vindicated by Brandon's old bandmate Jade. She's the only person I've ever met who has seen it and loves it like me. It's a real gem, I tells ya. And Veronica Lake is just the greatest in it.

Ernst Lubitsch's THAT UNCERTAIN FEELING (1941) is mostly maligned by critics, but I actually think it's a bit underrated. It's not as funny or ineffably charming as some of his other masterpieces from the time period, but is very emotionally involving. If you've ever felt a relationship slipping away from you, you'll know what I mean. Difficult to take at times.

Fritz Lang's MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944) is awesome, as expected. Based on a Graham Greene story, it's another great and exciting Nazi thriller from Lang, with some serious Hitchcockian undertones. It also boats one of the best and creepiest seance scenes in any old movie.

Minnelli's THE BAND WAGON (1953) is really quite fun. He was a great filmmaker, able to add class and composure to any picture. I can enjoy just about any Fred Astaire movie too, though it would have been a treat to have Ginger Rogers in it as well. Still, an easy musical to watch and enjoy.

Brandon, what say you of David Lean's SUMMERTIME (1955)? I just watched it for the first time and thought it was mostly beautiful. Obviously, it's visually stunning, as Venice is treated with a tourist's' romanticism and reverence. But it also had some very tender moments that rang true to me. There are a few times where Katherine Hepburn is left all alone while fellow travelers go off to enjoy themselves, and you just see this incredible loneliness creep into her face. Those are probably the film's finest expressions–not of romance, but sorrow and heartache.
Ultimately, it doesn't crack it's way into my list, but I think it is a good film that is worth seeing. I've been a fan of every Lean movie I've seen thus far.

Renoir's A DAY IN THE COUNTRY (1936) is as light and beautiful as its name implies. It's only about 40 minutes long, but it's one of the most absorbing pictures I've seen in a while. The type of film you could just crawl into. Perfect double feature with SUMMERTIME for a lazy, serene day.

I'm watching LIBELED LADY tomorrow. Halfway through THE LUSTY MEN and loving it so far. Bob Mitchum and Nicholas Ray are just what I need.

I'll probably post my 1949 list before I post my 2002 list. I'd like to do something for '49 like I did with '48, but that probably won't happen. It's a whole lotta work for nothing. I don't even know how to write about 2002 either. I can't remember half the movies on my list. That won't be pretty.

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