i don’t know why it seems so hard (for me) to write about movies (most of the time). i think it’s a combination of laziness, little to no rhetorical skills, an inability to organize my thoughts and the fact that i watch too many movies a week to keep track of. i maybe should unpack the last reason a bit. fact: i have seen way more movies in the last two years than in the rest of my life combined. actual fact: i have no data to back up my previous fact. and it may not even be true. but i guess it doesn’t matter. the point is i can barely remember a fraction of the movies i’ve seen. a few images stand out — the split-screen stuff in sunrise, the ending of sunset boulevard, the paintings in scarlet street, the drug-dealer in chameleon street (to name a few) — as everything else blends into a kind of super-movie. a super-movie that spans decades and genres and locals with no discernible plot and only the loosest connections tying the who thing together. and it’s only playing in my head. but it is a pretty good movie.
anyway, here are some movies i fell in love with in the last couple weeks:
jason and the argonauts
satan’s joystick wrote a song about this movie before ever seeing the movie. back then we thought argonaut was some kind of name for greek sailors. it turns out the ship and the sailors on the ship we’re named after the ship’s designer argus. the costume design is fantastic — all the men wearing short dresses or less, unexpected (and unexplained) costume changes and everything looks brand new even though they’ve been out to sea for months. Then there are all the great stop-motion effects including a colossus, demons, a seven-headed snake and sword-fighting skeletons. it’s funny in the same way that star wars is funny. my favorite line comes from jason himself: “i will never betray the argonauts!”
all about eve
bud g chord thinks we should remake this movie substituting dick and darkwing (from superbowl fame) for eve. sounds like a good idea. there would be a lot of great roles for all our friends. anyway, the original is great. all about manipulating your way to the top. it seems like a dark (very dark) preston struges film.
a letter to three wives
was addie ross a ghost? if so, how did she send that letter? if not, how could she knock over that glass at the end of the movie? this movie’s score also features an early synthesizer. and has like seven flashbacks.
can billy wilder make anything other than amazing movies?
the quiet earth
another post-apocalyptic movie. this one is great because there is so much full frontal nudity. male full frontal nudity. it’s totally confusing. but you’d be confused if you tried to kill yourself by overdosing on sleeping-pills only to find out that you’re only one of three people left in all of new zealand.
a-bomb test created giant ants. the humans refer to the giant ants as them at least a dozen times (the best being when this little girl finally comes out of shock screaming them!). and it features women scientists in the fifties. there’s also a great mini-documentary in the middle of the film about ants. but here’s my question: why is the country’s leading entomologist working for the department of agriculture?
the steel helmet and hell and high water
i can’t believe i’ve never gotten into samuel fuller until now. i don’t know what to say about the steel helmet other than it’s awesome. and hell and high water, like them!, features a women scientist.
it seems like the fifties had the best roles for women. they’re all so subversive.