by Ryland Walker Knight
—Enter the void.
- Nickelodeon [Peter Bogdanovich, 1976] Before I fell asleep I was enjoying this goofy run-on sentence of an homage. It's got the right tone, even if, Barry Lyndon aside, I often feel Ryan O'Neal is a rather tone-deaf performer. I probably won't make an extreme effort to see the second hour.
- Le Pont du Nord [Jacques Rivette, 1981] I've been watching this in pieces, just as I've been reading Don Quixote kind of slowly. This picture is more grim, though it has its laughs. And it has plenty to marvel at, like the spiderweb gun or the eye-slashing bit with Pascale attacking posters.
- Little Murders [Alan Arkin, 1971] Motherfucker this movie is dark. And hilarious. And smart. Gould has to be one of the greatest, coolest actors ever. Arkin's cameo is insane, a gut buster. Thought of Charlie Kaufman a lot, and I almost want to watch Synecdoche again, somehow.
- Boudu Saved From Drowning [Jean Renoir, 1932] Watched it twice, and it's kind of perfect, a film teeming with contradictions, with activity abutting stability. But I don't think it's as simple as freedom is the disregard for appearance. I think it's bigger, it's a process and a river; freedom is to not ignore the bank along your float.
- The Princess Bride [Rob Reiner, 1987] # I guffawed twice, and generally smiled. Andre The Giant is great, maybe perfect; Faulk can do no wrong. It's so easy.
- The Lower Depths [Jean Renoir, 1936] It fits: if Gabin is a pauper king, Jouvet is a royal bum. Despite the perpetually open world, there's always something dropping out from beneath people in a Renoir film. Further, the fairy tale of these worlds (still "realist") only opens one happy ending and its invariably clouded, however ebullient. Maybe the weakest I've seen, but it holds life all the same. Lots of mobility.
- The Story of Marie and Julien [Jacques Rivette, 2003] Watched it twice in two days. Wanted to pay better attention to that cat, and how the clocks were used. Also, Béart is really great on top of really great looking. Not sure if it can equal Duelle or Noroit, though it has a delicious ending.
- Grand Illusion [Jean Renoir, 1937] # Made me want to just watch Renoir films for a little while. Talk about timing, and teams, and a screen teeming. Still, I get the feeling he's better than this elsewhere (besides Rules).
I work on what I love, I work the service on my vertince
And I work till this here little flat line closes the curtains