by Ryland Walker Knight
- A Serious Man [Coens, 2009] I just tweeted: "A SERIOUS MAN is so scary it hurts. Just about the most nihilistic film I've ever seen. Like NO COUNTRY times BURN AFTER READING to the nth." And I think it's kind of good? Don't quite know yet, but I do know that to toss it off as simply just nasty is to not reckon the nasty. In fact, I'd say that's exactly what they're predicting you'll do; what they might say is a "problem" at large. I don't think they're advocating a blind eye. The scary thing is that they might be advocating a bullet brunch. Or, that some lives aren't just quiet desperation: some lives are, in fact, pointless. Whether you eat the bullet is up to you, of course, but it's a debate you have to have every day. Luckily, or so it would appear, each of these guys has "somebody to love" and that makes them choose this world every morning. I walked out desperate for life. I should probably write some more about this one. Or, at the least, have a few good talks over a few good beers with a few good men I trust and love.
- Inglourious Basterds [Quentin Tarantino, 2009] # Wound up watching the digital copy in full. Looked good, but it was too easy to minimize while snacking.
- Black Book [Paul Verhoeven, 2006] # On a rainy and ugly day, I thought I'd see some real struggle and some real womanhood. [click here.]
- Inglourious Basterds [Quentin Tarantino, 2009] # Started it on my computer, then later in the day looked at the Blu Ray. Looked great, of course, but, as I tweeted, this movie demands celluloid's texture. Motes don't quite mote, and smoke won't quite curl, the same in digital's clarity.
- 2001 [Stanley Kubrick, 1968] # Works really well on Blu Ray; so alien, such a painting. I skipped around a lot and saw some beautiful things. "Jupiter And Beyond" is something wholly new, something Avatar can't touch (in any medium).
- North by Northwest [Alfred Hitchcock, 1959] # I dozed, but the Blu Ray's colors were out of control beautiful: all those greens popped so loud against all that grey.
- Le chant de styrène [Alain Resnais, 1958] # Off the Marienbad Blu Ray, watched without the soundtrack, which made it that much less representational and more just a bunch of color and movement plays.
- Black Book [Paul Verhoeven, 2006] Carice van Houten isn't only a pretty face, a total babe, but she's also a damn good (and game) actress. It's kind of crazy how good this movie is—and that I never heeded suggestions that I go see it in theatres—crazy in that way where you shock yourself at how much you love something. (The movie's pretty shocking, too, of course.) The holiday week forced me to break up the movie, which is a bummer, but it's so strong scene-to-scene—with almost every single interaction a bit of two-face; almost everything's about performance and/or artifice in some fashion or another—that it doesn't hurt the film too much to see it in pieces. It also helps that Verhoeven is such a pulpy goof who makes straight up entertaining movies. (Since I'm in a hierarchical mindset these daze as the decade winds down, I also want to say that 2006 was an especially strong year for this decade; and this movie's right up there on my list.)
- Taken [Pierre Morel, 2008] Plenty stupid. But the right kind of calories for dinner. Kinda makes me excited for this piece of junk. Funny that Zach threw up some notes the same day.
- The Girlfriend Experience [Steven Soderbergh, 2009] Tight little package. Sometimes funny, sometimes not, mostly a mirror for its often affectless actress and that wild time of October '08. Good lunchtime flick. My man GK kills his scene. Maybe better than I'm allowing it, honestly, in that it's got a mission and it nails it. (Cough.) I mean, it hammers her home (or not) in more ways than one, though it's also a tad one-note and defeatist.
—Get lit up already