Monday, November 09, 2009

Viewing Log #19: Sea salt swordfish [11/2/09 - 11/8/09]

by Ryland Walker Knight

light cloud sound
— Beaming and leaning

  • Last Year at Marienbad [Alain Resnais, 1961] # I could watch this movie a million times. A lot funnier than I remembered, though I remembered it being funny, I think. Another reason to own a Blu-ray player, no doubt. I wrote a smarter, funnier response over here.

  • City of Sadness [Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989] Not quite the emotional experience I'd expected, though it easily lives up to its title, this picture made me feel, for lack of a better word, small. That is, my political world is much smaller, or narrower, and thankfully/paradoxically/obviously less totalitarian. Not that the picture need be enjoyed strictly for its political-historical import. Plenty, as ever with HHH, is just about life, about living, about letting things happen. There's so much communion in its eating scenes. That baby working its clumsy way around that table was out of this world delightful. The interstitial "exposition" inserts bouncing off of, and sometimes replacing, the inter-titles—as modes of communicating for the deaf but still-sponge-worthy Tony Leung, whose end-of-an-era bridge type acts like a silent cinema stand-in—made my Bazin crush flutter up. Fine first rep feature back in town. —Read Brian at Hell On Frisco Bay.

  • Wings of Desire [Wim Wenders, 1987] # The morning after I grabbed one image before conking out, I watched the whole thing over coffee and toast under grey clouds behind the kitchen. Startled, I'm writing this before my Auteurs piece, and here I'll say that I'm confused and moved in equal measure. It stirred up a bunch of memories; it feels, for better or worse, more formative than many other films.

  • Va Savoir [Jacques Rivette, 2001] The first half-hour, until Sergio meets the delicious blonde in the library. Then I got tired of the headphones and went to bed. So far: love how Balibar narrates her life. Nice echo of Léaud in Out 1. Also, this earlier Sergio appearance changes 36 vues a bit.
  • Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell [Matt Wolf, 2008] Surprisingly artful, though its structure is pretty standard. I was moved, as ever, by Arthur's story and Wolf does some fine juxtapositions and compositions of his own, layering light in nice ways. Can imagine it plays well for audiences of both fans and neophytes, though the fans may want more than 73 minutes and the neophytes are probably won over and content with what's been assembled.
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles [Chantal Akerman, 1975] # Shopping, duh, for pix. Lookey here why dontcha.

world of echo

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