by Ryland Walker Knight
- Casa de Lava [Pedro Costa, 1994] # I'm about to start it. Seems fitting, given the Tourneur I watched and the box set coming out soon, about which I hope to say more when the time comes. Until then, I'll enjoy this masterful other mode he worked with first. And Inês de Medeiros. What a babe.
- Band of Brothers "Crossroards" Episode 5 [Tom Hanks, 2001] The most theoretical episode so far with Winters literally writing history and bullets becoming letters at one match sound cut. But, as ever, the pathetic appeal is always thick, even in this quieter and calmer and altogether well constructed cliffhanger. Biggest surprise of this episode was easily Jimmy Fallon showing up for about five seconds of screen time.
- Youth Runs Wild [Mark Robson, 1944] After a fabulous collage opener, all kinds of headlines and newsreels jumbled and layered, it got kinda boring. And I fell asleep. Shucks.
- I Walked With A Zombie [Jacques Tourneur, 1943] # Stunning on such a screen despite the scratchy print. Despite all the murk moving, it's a crisp picture. More Monday.
- Scarface [Brian De Palma, 1983] # Watched the first half. It starts so well, actually funny and wild and silly, but it quickly takes on Tony's worst qualities and does its own tailspin. Or so it seemed as I gave up and went over to watch the Warriors lose to the Bobcats.
- The Informant! [Steven Soderbergh, 2009] # Still my favorite American film of last year. Precisely because it's so American, and funny. Lots there I'm not going into here. Maybe later, but probably not; probably, if you're really curious, you should just ask me about it. UPDATE: Actually, I'll probably publish some thoughts on it at the newly-launched website Thought Catalog, where I will join fellow VINYL-head Daniel Coffeen to contribute pieces on somewhat of the regular.
- Band of Brothers "Replacements" Episode 4 [David Nutter, 2001] Nicely coiled episode that keeps things contained to one "Bull" character getting left behind, or having to stay behind, enemy lines after an ambush. That said, the same manipulative stuff irks me, and I'm mostly intrigued by Winters' calm ascent more than anything. I'll keep watching, of course, to see more visceral action scenes (but why the wash out standard, Steve and Tom?) and to see who all the old guys from the preludes are in this grand-scale re-enactment.
- Casino [Martin Scorsese, 1995] # Finished it, as I tweeted, and boy does it drive itself down. A lot of scenes are hilarious, and others would be if they weren't so brutal. It shows life as perpetually preposterous, spectacle of death to the end one bloody baseball bat at a time. And, to reiterate my tweets, the cinema-as-a-gamble thing is crazy despairing, however beautiful, and I don't want it to make as much sense as it does.