lately watching


haven’t posted much at this new blog, just no energy left. but here’s some of what i’ve been watching etc.

tried to watch rossellini’s flowers of st francis, but just couldn’t relate: the friars of the name of the rose seem more real to me. i think i had some very disillusioning lifetimes in european monasteries.

on the spiritual tip, milarepa: magician murderer saint (the first of a diptych) was more agreeable, though not stunning.

i don’t do too many generic horror flicks, but i kind of liked the signal, which is in 3 parts by different directors, and balances black humor and shocking horror pretty well.

i can’t believe rob reiner directed the bucket list — the last 10 minutes were moving, the rest was very travelogue with superstars, pretty awful.

i can unreservedly recommend the series the wire (like it needs my nod). remarkable, and the most trenchant commentary on u.s. urban life ever made, i’ll bet. also the closest a visual medium has gotten to the richness of a novel, IMO. (i tried berlin alexanderplatz years ago and couldn’t get into it. hard for me to connect with fassbinder, much as i admire his accomplishment.)

some great documentaries: surfwise, taxi to the dark side (along with the wire, should be required viewing in high schools), i remember me, the cool school: how l.a.. learned to love modern art. wasn’t crazy about words for the dying, about cale & eno producing the album same.

good meaty cinema: times and winds, amores perros, quid pro quo, before the rain, help me eros, ariel, red (the brian cox film about the guy whose dog is murdered by a rich teen), flight of the red balloon (the hou homage to lamorisse’s classic short), ghosts of the civil dead (which i had to download: even though it was released in ’88, by joseph hillcoat (the proposition, the upcoming mccarthy adaptation the road) still isn’t on dvd), casa de lava (my first costa, and fascinating — also not on disc yet in the u.s., like all of his films), la frontera.

disappointing: paranoid park, the edge of heaven, the earrings of madame de… (just not an ophuls man, max anyway), far north, the forest for the trees, snow angels, belle toujours (de oliveira’s homage to belle de jours — a nice short story, not a film), the counterfeiters.

from TV and very good: housewife, 49, dresden, ultraviolet, the last enemy (very tight nasty little piece on britain as surveillance hell), the history channel’s life after people.

also recommended: the slender thread, the horse thief, le doulos, the captive city, boomerang, the chumscrubber, dragonwyck, the heart of the matter, the forsaken land.


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November 2008
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