17 September 2007

Mullholland Drive

We saw this movie the other night. Victor was so relieved that he didn't have to sit through any more Robert Bresson movies! We had both heard of Mullholland Drive, but neither of us knew anything about it.

Having watched the movie, I'd have to say we still don't. It was so odd and unexpected that we were just glad it was over, at first, but the curious thing was how it stays with you. I thought about it for days. I'm not sure whether I would recommend it, but I can't trash it, either.

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10 September 2007

Thank You for Smoking

We saw this movie last week and enjoyed it (very nice, slimy performance by Aaron Eckhart), but not as much as we enjoyed Christopher Buckley's book when we read it (at least a dozen) years ago. The movie tames and de-complicates the story somewhat (which you have to expect--that's what movies do). Still, it's great fun.

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08 September 2007

Supersize Me

Got this movie from Netflix recently and found it terrific. Very effective, not least because filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is so likable. Unfortunately the effects of this movie and its attendant publicity haven't been very lasting viz. the fast food industry...
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Robert Bresson Brief

Rented a few movies by Robert Bresson recently, with varied results. A Man Escaped was our favorite of the three: very simply told but totally gripping. Lancelot of the Lake was much the least favorite. I frankly thought it was horrible. We are sending it back without finishing it. And Diary of a Country Priest Victor could not bear, but I am keeping it to watch when he's not around--I found it kind of intriguing.

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August: Osage County

After we got back from California, I was anxious not to miss this much-acclaimed Steppenwolf production, which is due to have a limited run in New York this fall. When I called Steppenwolf for tickets, though, I found that they were sold out. I asked whether 20 for 20 remained in operation for sold-out shows. The answer was affirmative.

So Victor and I stood in line outside Steppenwolf along with a few dozen other people at around 10:30 in the morning, waiting for the box office to open. A staffer came by a few times to offer the odd full-price ticket that had just become available, but most of us elected to take our chances and try to get the $20 tix. As it turned out, V and I scored the last two tix available for the matinée show, and felt very lucky.

The play was rightly praised, being full of sharp writing and excellent performances. Much in the tradition of vicious family plays, such as Hellman's Little Foxes, though I heard or saw author Tracy Letts say somewhere that he had not read it. My opinion of him was rather lowered as a result. (Something like a filmmaker saying he'd never seen Citizen Kane.)

Not that my opinion of the narrowness of Tracy Letts' reading matters a damn. It's a good play, and I wish it the best on Broadway in October.

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