It's a big birthday week for us at F This Movie - we turn ten on May 14th!
We have some ideas and plans, but we would love to hear from you, since we really could not do anything of this without you, our readers and listeners - many who have become friends.
If you have a question you'd like us to answer this week or a comment you'd love for us to share, please leave it here or email us at email@example.com.
We'd love for you to share favorite memories, columns, podcasts, or anything you've enjoyed over the last decade in the comments below.
Also, we're planning on doing a live tweet of The Funhouse and Turbo Kid THIS THURSDAY, May 14, to celebrate the big 1-0. Join us with the hashtag #FThisMovie10!
Thanks for taking part in these weekend open threads and for joining what we do at the site. We love you all.
Sounds like a party at Richter's place on Thursday! See you at the party! ;-)ReplyDelete
LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS (1970) feels like a big-screen version of TV's "Love, American Style." The on/off wedding of a New York working-class Italian boy (Michael Brandon) and his upper-class girl (a baby-faced Bonnie Bedelia) is the catalyst for friends and family to test then-contemporary attitudes about love and sex. For an 'R' rated Oscar-nominated picture the sex and profanity ("faggy") are surprisingly tame. It's a murderers' row of future "Law & Order" guest stars during their youthful prime (Bob Dishy, Cloris Leachman, etc.), but a few standout performances (Diane Keaton, Richard Castellano and Bea Arthur as middle-aged Italian parents, etc.) keep this dated 50-year-old chronicle of societal attitudes toward relationships somewhat compelling.
George P. Cosmatos' ESCAPE FROM ATHENA (1979) is my pleasant surprise of the week. An entertaining WWII escapist adventure following the Greek Resistance as it attempts to keep Germany from stealing Greece's cultural treasures, it has the light-hearted feel of "Sound of Music" Nazis with serious-life-and-death stakes of a "Dirty Dozen" or "Great Escape." All that before a third act twist toward "Rocketeer"-style antics (including a spectacular motorcycle chase through narrow streets) that made my jaw drop. And as with "The Ambassador" last week, what a cast! Roger Moore playing the nicest villain ever, Telly Savalas as the leader of the Greek Resistance (duh!), Richard Roundtree, David Niven, Claudia Cardinale, Sonny Bono, Elliott Gould (annoying), etc. A little long but worth seeing for a taste of pre-"Raiders" Hollywood Nazis on the run.
LOOPHOLE (1981) is a British heist movie that spends half of its running time explaining why Martin Sheen is a UK-based American architect desperate-enough to hold on to his luxurious lifestyle to join Albert Finney's crew. Susannah York and Jonathan Pryce (along with most of the cast) are wasted in supporting roles that become increasingly forgettable as the predictable final twists unfold. Not a bad flick, but it feels like it was made to keep Brit film crews working in-between James Bond productions.
Hal Ashby's LOOKIN' TO GET OUT (1982) follows the misadventures of a couple of gambling drifters (co-screenwriter/star Jon Voight and an above-average Burt Young) as they escape from New York to Las Vegas to make a score that'll save them from some East Coast leg breakers. While trying to set a con at The Strip they run into an old flame (Ann-Margret, whose innocence from her earlier roles in Elvis Presley vehicles contrasts with early 80's pessimism) who may or may not be able to help them pull off one last score. Typical Hal Ashby cinematic tale of quirky outsiders letting their eccentricities get the better of 'em. About as funny as a John McNaughton "comedy" (ouch!), but manages to carry its manic energy until a satisfying end. Worth a look.
TERMINAL VELOCITY (1994) bears more than a passing resemblance to "Die Hard 2," and not just because that movie's cinematographer (Oliver Wood), composer (Michael Kamen) and most memorable image (an overhead shot of an ejected seat carrying the hero almost hitting the camera over a raging explosion below) appear here. Loud, obnoxious and full-to-the-brim with 90's attitude, this is skydiving/aerial stunt porn of the highest possible quality circa '94. A side-burn sporting Charlie Sheen (cashing in his "Hot Shots" chips), Nastassja Kinski (neutered of all her sex appeal), Christopher McDonald overacting and a pitch-perfect James Gandolfini (making the most of his 'PG-13' limitations as a Hollywood bad guy) get crazier and more fun as the narrative keeps topping itself. Come for the wild stunt work, stay for Sheen's photoshopped Olympic SI cover photo. :-D
^^^ Ran out of space up there, so continuing the list down here! :-PReplyDelete
RAW DEAL (1986) is the needlessly-violent-and-badly-made shitty Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that non-fans, non-viewers of the genre think every Arnold movie is. And while it's just as ridiculous, dated and badly-scored as 1985's "Commando" and/or 1987's "The Running Man," there's such a gulf in entertainment between those movies and this empty-calories Dino De Laurentiis production. "Raw Deal" blows its wad early with its best one-liner ('You shouldn't drink and bake') and action scene (giant explosion) in the first 15 minutes. The "action" climax and most of the movie feels like the crew just set the camera anywhere and just started pointing/shooting randomly. It takes skills to make the picturesque setting of Chicago feel like a cheap Vancouver set, but "Raw Deal" manages somehow. Nice to see genre actors like Ed Lauter, Robert Davi and Darren McGavin getting work, but Steven Hill is completely miscast as the Jewish boss of a Chicago crime syndicate. Not worth seeing, IMHO.
Every time I rewatch Zack Snyder's SUCKER PUNCH (2011) (this is my fourth) the angrier I get. It's like a visual musical, except the interrupting vignettes don't advance the ongoing story but instead try to make you forget the unpleasantness surrounding the "real" narrative. It's nice that Oscar Isaac was already getting studio work (not that his Blue character is any less unpleasant), and "Sucker Punch's" influence on other media (like 2018's "Overlord") lives on. As a movie this is as removed from entertaining as humanly possible, though. A-FUCKING-AVOID!
Felt the need to rewatch a bunch of old favorites with commentary tracks, some on the discs by filmmakers/scholars and some fan-made ones online. In chronological order:
--As amusing as Leo McCarey's DUCK SOUP (1933) remains, it depresses me to think the government of Freedonia (and Sylvania too) would do a better job handling the COVID-19 Pandemic than you-know-who. :'( Need to watch more Marx Bros. movies, especially their early Paramount talkies.
--Not only is Dennis Muren's THE EQUINOX... A JOURNEY INTO THE SUPERNATURAL (1967) a much better movie than the crap that Jack H. Harris turned it into in 1970, but there's a purity to the simplistic narrative and primitive-but-effective special effects that carries it through its bad continuity, plot holes and awkward pacing.
--In THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT (1984) John Carpenter is credited as executive producer... of a disposable flick with more than a passing resemblance to Carpenter's own road trip supernatural romance "Starman" (released the same year). Coincidence? Also, how does director Stewart Raffill go from this straight to "Mac and Me"? :-O
--Michael Winner's DEATH WISH 3 is incapable of NOT delivering the goods, sporadically at first (the Giggler!) then in a giant bucket of stupid awesome during the last 20 minutes. The quintessential Cannon 80's film by a country mile. :-)
--Krzysztof Kieslowski's THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE (1991) remains an early entry point into foreign/arthouse cinema that charms me every time I revisit it. Just looking and hearing the movie puts me in a hypnotic trance of cinematic joy. Shame that Irène Jacob never went on to have a big career, but it's hard to improve from perfection.
--How does ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE (2018), streaming on Hulu, continue to hold up so well after all these years? By being a Scottish high school post-apocalyptic zombie musical that makes you like and care for its characters. A few jokes/references haven't aged well ('Justin Beaver's a zombie!'), but I'm still floored that the story turns the lead bully into a likable protagonist you root for. Worth revisiting.
The Paramount period of the Marx Brothers is a mixed bag in my experience, J.M. Monkey Business and Duck Soup are my favorites and have been watched multiple times. Coconuts and Animal Crackers were originally theatrical productions; the theater stage aspect of them remains in the movies. It has been a while since I saw either of them. Horse Feathers I have seen a few times but struggle to warm up to. Football humor may not be my thing, but Groucho has some memorable scenes. (Lifesavers!)Delete
I adore Death Wish 3 but would hesitate to call it the quintessential 1980s Cannon film. The main reason is that it is significantly better (in production values and entertainment) than the bulk of the films released by Cannon. I like the slow buildup to the action in Death Wish 3. It gives the finale more impact. Part of the fun of the film is the characters, too. I would not mind having dinner with that old couple downstairs.
There is one line of dialogue from Death Wish 3 that is always stuck in my head: "Chicken. I like chicken."
I'm amazed how freaking rewatchable "DW3" is as you overlook the bigger set-pieces and watch the small details. Like, why doesn't Kersey pick up the expensive camera The Giggler stole from him? Why does Michael Winner cut away early on when the criminals murder each other (after Gavan O'Herlihy's Fraker leaves jail), but no restrain is shown during the attempted rape? (Answer: Winner's an a-hole!) If the punks keep breaking into Martin Balsam's apartment, why didn't they take the big guns from the unlocked cabinet long before he gave it to Kersey? ARRGHH!!! :-D And in case you haven't seen it and have an hour to kill, "DW3" is part of a memorable Red Letter Media's 'Best of the Worst' Christmas episode that'll make any Cannon fan swell with pride.Delete
Got the Blu-ray box set with five Marx Bros. movies, but I've only seen "Duck Soup" (first in 35mm a couple of years back). "Coconuts," "Animal Crackers," etc. are still waiting for me to discover them. :-)
That's too bad about Raw Deal (1986). It was covered by a couple podcasts I listen to, and I was planning to watch it. It's one of a handful of Schwarzenegger movies I haven't seen. I'll probably watch it anyways, but with lower expectations.Delete
Don't let me or someone else dictate your like or dislike of an 80's action flick starring Ahnold. They're a limited commodity, which is why l only just saw "Raw Deal" for the first time. Watch it, enjoy it for what it is and, yes, lower your expectations. :-PDelete
Paul, I’m a fan of Raw Deal and recommend it. It’s not perfect, but it gives Arnie a rare chance (at least back then) to actually act, and I always thought the shootout in the climax was pretty fun.Delete
Don't listen to Vargas - ever. Sucker Punch is one of my favorite films of the last decade.Delete
Chaybee, you ignorant slut! ("SNL" reference guys, not serious! :-D) "Sucker Punch" (the movie, not the videogame developer) is a mortal sin against the cinema Gods, and a permanent black eye on movies in the 2000's. But isn't it fun to agree to disagree? :-PDelete
Happy Birthday, FThisMovie!. Ten years is a lot of movie watching, writing, and podcasting. Even excluding Covid-19, it seems like a lot has changed in movies and life over the past decade.ReplyDelete
It was another eclectic week of films.
THE SCARLET EMPRESS (1934)– The story of Russian empress Catherine the Great takes a back seat to the amazing production. On the level of set design, cinematography, and costumes this is a masterpiece. Directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring his muse Marlene Dietrich, there is a distinct European feel to the film. Dietrich is almost fetishized in certain scenes. The Scarlet Empress is among the most beautiful films from the 1930s and one of the strangest films to come from a Hollywood studio at the time.
I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941) – A very entertaining early noir film starring Victor Mature and Betty Grable. When a model and aspiring actress is found murdered in her apartment, her impresario (Mature) is suspected of committing the crime. To the film’s credit, the outcome is far from certain till the conclusion. Laird Cregar steals the film with his performance as Captain Cordell, the detective who relentlessly pursues the impresario. The scene of him talking about butterflies with the district attorney is brilliant acting. A strong recommendation for those who enjoy film noir.
LOST HIGHWAY (1997, dir. David Lynch) – The opening and closing song is called “I’m Deranged”, which is an appropriate description for the film. Though I cannot explain what happens in it, Lost Highway was a mesmerizing cinematic experience. The first part of the film is extremely creepy; Lynch really made those dark hallways feel menacing. When the “switch” happens, there were vibes of Wild At Heart but at a much stranger frequency. The acting is top-notch all around, but Patricia Arquette in particular stands out. Her eyes are very expressive in the close-ups.
I also watched part of the TCM Underground feature THE PYRAMID (1976) again; I saw it all the way through last fall. Though lacking in any kind of central narrative, The Pyramid has a pleasant mid-1970s vibe that held up for a second viewing. The low-budget nature of the project significantly contributed to that charm. I find it interesting as an exploration of some the spiritual trends of the era. Most people would likely consider The Pyramid hopelessly dated and dull.
I have "The Pyramid" saved on the DVR. Doesn't sound encouraging. :-(Delete
I do not find The Pyramid terrible, J.M. Otherwise, I would not have wasted my time seeing it twice. It is the kind of film that you drift along with. The 1970s ambiance is the best aspect of it.Delete
Lost Highway is probably my favorite Lynch partly because I had a great experience seeing it at a little theater in Palo Alto called the Aquarius when it came out. I was also really into the soundtrack. As far as being able to understand it, I think the movie is at least a little bit easier to interpret than say Mulholland Drive or even a lot of Twin Peaks at least in broad terms. That's not to say it doesn't take some viewings and some thought, but it doesn't require the detailed list of hastily scribbled notes full of crazy theories that Mulholland Drive does.Delete
Happy Birthday F This Movie! 10 years is a huge achievement. I have too many favourite moments. Patrick and JB talk about the Universal Monster Boxset, The Friday 13th Franchise Episode for Scary Movie Month. Mark Jones appearances, The famous or infamous Green Lantern episode, reading the Reserved Seating Columns - it's given a new appreciation for Pacino. You've one hell of a 10 year run!ReplyDelete
With the movies I've been watching, I've been trying to watch some big holes in my movie knowledge.
I watched some of the Police Story Movies, which has been fun. Each movie so far has been different, in style and action style.
I've also been watching some classics. Kurosawa's Rashomon and Ran which were incrediable. I mean the man was a visual poet. Ran especially was just amazing in every respect. Roco and his Brothers, again amazing. I can see where Coppola and Scorsese got some of their style. Gold Diggers of 1933 is great, it's Joan Blondell and Ginger Rogers being great. Plus it's a very 2020 kind of movie, especially considering it was made in 1933. But the classic that really blew me away was The Third Man. Holy Cow, it was great, just everything, the shadow work, the editing, the jaunty score, the dutch angels, the delapted Vienna. You could have an amazing double with Third Man and Suspiria. Alida Valli walks out of Third Man straight back to Germany and starts teaching at a Ballet School. She's in both.
I also watched From Beyond The Grave, which was a lot of fun. I think I am just a Amicus fan, but it was so delightfully witchy. Morning Glory, which was again delightfull, if a touch too manic, and Stop Making Sense. It's a perfect comfort movie for me, and that opening with David Bryne walking out with a tiny stero and singing Pyscho Killer is the greatest thing ever.
That is some great movie watching, Lindsay.Delete
The Third Man was a film I was obsessed with for a long period of time. The multiple layers of the story and the visual style hold up with a lot of viewings. Has there ever been a better entrance for a character than for Harry Lime?
Joan Blondell is one of my favorite actresses from the 1930s. Most of her pre-code films are worth watching. Gold Diggers of 1933 is wonderfully ironic and ends in one of the greatest musical numbers ever put on celluloid. Another fun Blondell film is Blonde Crazy. She co-stars with James Cagney in a story of con artists.
Have you watched other Busby Berkeley musicals? Much of his work in the 1930s is innovative. 42nd Street and Footlight Parade are well worth checking out for his cinematic choreography.
Gold Diggers was my first Berkeley. But I will defiently be watching more!Delete
Started a James Cameron binge-watch this week.ReplyDelete
His short film Xenogenesis finds him squarely still in the Roger Corman school. The opening prologue tells the audience this is a grand love story, but Cameron is more interested in the robot fightin’.
Cameron alleges that he didn’t really direct Piranha II, but there certainly are a lot of Cameron-isms in the movie, especially the underwater diving scenes. The movie is stupid in the best possible way, and I totally recommend it for anyone starting their #Junesploitation lists.
Then there’s The Terminator. We all love Arnold, but Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn are the movie’s MVPs. It wouldn’t work without them giving 100 percent, and they do.
What can I say about Aliens that hasn’t been said? Great performances, big thrills, and the smokiest sets ever. Nuke the site from orbit!
I was surprised this week to see so many movie sites calling The Abyss “Cameron’s only bomb.” My memory is that this was a HUGE blockbuster that summer. Anyway, I love this movie. It’s everything you want from a Cameron movie. Lots of action and chaos, but also sincere (if over-the-top) drama.
Last night was True Lies. It certainly is dated in a lot of unfortunate ways, but who doesn’t love those Harrier jets?
Hmmm... have the unwatched-by-me director's cut of "The Abyss" on DVD. Was hoping it'd hit Blu-ray or 4K so I could watch that first, but I might as well go low-res and get it out of the way. It's not a bomb in the sense it has made its money back after years of home video and TV airings, but back in '89 it was an underperformer compared with the AAA blockbusters of that summer.Delete
"True Lies" is streaming on HBO. Last time I saw it was a few years back on 35mm. Remember when we could go to a theater to watch 35mm screenings of old movies? :'( Besides being the last hurrah of Arnold's peak action years what I remember most about it was the blatant and visible use of in-camera stunt doubles for many action scenes. You know if Cameron had the time and budget he'd put a digital Arnold face over the stuntman's faces. :-)
Hi! I prefer the director's cut. It kinda/sotra ties the alien plot together with the nuke plot where the theatrical kinda/sorta doesn't.Delete
And I was lucky enough to snag a True Lies DVD years ago, before they all vanished.
Happy Birthday FThisMovie! Thanks for all the entertainment. I was going to suggest you redo your first episode, Avatar for the anniversary, but perhaps you're already saving that redo for the release of Avatar 2 in a couple (2? 3? 10?) years.ReplyDelete
Last week I mentioned we had watched Babe, so we followed that up with Babe: Pig In The City, and finally Dolittle, with diminishing returns. Dolittle was just...off, somehow. I'm not sure what RDJ was going for. My personal theory is that he wanted to go as far from his Iron Man persona as possible.
It sounded like there where a lot of behind the scenes issues making Dolittle. RDJ and his wife run the production company that made it, a different director came in to help out on reshoots, etc..., so it sounds like things just did not come together with it. Writer/Director Stephen Gaghan was probably not a good fit for what they were trying to make.Delete
Happy birthday FTM! May your hometree forever blossom. I have a work commitment at 7pm EST on Thursday but I’ll be there for as much of the livetweet as I can!ReplyDelete
A couple other movies I watched without the family:ReplyDelete
The Steel Helmet (1951) was set during the Korean War, and was filmed/released only a year into the war. It was interesting seeing several characters attitude towards the (then new) style of jungle guerrilla warfare, where the US soldiers are expressing that they cannot lose, and questioning why the enemy would even continue the fight. No one was anticipating how that war (and Vietnam) would eventually play out.
It was a very entertaining watch. Filmed mostly on a sound stage (with a bit of actual battle footage mixed in), on a very low budget, it's mostly about the characters who are all well fleshed out. The couple fight scenes are well done, especially considering they didn't have the money for big sets. Directed by Samuel Fuller who also made The Big Red One.
I watched M*A*S*H (1970), which was my first Altman movie. I stopped watching after about 30 minutes. It seemed to just be a steady stream of mean spirited jokes that weren't funny. I'm not even sure what the plot was other than "zany characters harass women between bouts of irreverence towards their superiors". I'm not sure I'll go back to finish this one.
Watched Bloodshot with the kids. This movie was fun! Dumb fun, but when it was wrapping up, I was "Over already?" which is always a good sign. Anyone considering watching it, DON'T WATCH THE TRAILER! What a horrible trailer. It just lays out the whole movie.
"Steel Helmet" (one of three early FulIer movies in a Criterion Eclipse Box Set) is underrated, IMHO, because Sam Fuller went on to do much better movies in his latter career. BTW, is it just me or does anyone else confuse Sam Fuller movies with Sam Peckinpah's? How embarrassing!Delete
From watching the film and reading about it, I get the impression that M.A.S.H is largely an exercise in irreverence. For early Robert Altman, The Long Goodbye and Thieves Like Us might be better to start with. They are more engaging than M.A.S.H and have all the Altman trademarks.Delete
@Vargas While not being the most exciting war movie, The Steel Helmet was surprisingly progressive for it's time. Some of the best parts of the movie are when the characters are discussing POC roles in the military, and their allegiance to a country that had up until recently, not treated them very well. I believe it was the first movie to make mention of the internment of Japanese-American civilians during WW2 (one of the American soldiers was of Japanese decent).Delete
@Casual, thanks, I'll perhaps check out those movies next. Altman is definitely a director I want to see more of (if only because of his influence and reputation). MASH might not have been the best movie to start with. Although I definitely went into it with the wrong mindset, expecting a war movie, and instead getting a "meatballs" style comedy where the jokes were never funny.
Congrats on 10 years F-This Movie Fam! Would love to hear all of your #1 films from 2010 - now and wonder if those still hold up.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on an amazing ten-year run! And at least ten more, please. I rarely remember to say it, but the podcast and the site provide much-needed mental nourishment (always, but now more than ever). The hosts as well as the F-heads feel like close friends, even though I've never met any of you.ReplyDelete
Anyway, haven't watched that much of note this week. Charlie's Angels (2019) was fine and both Happy Feet movies were... weird. Oh, and I finally watched the entirety of The Star Wars Holiday Special, which I'd only seen clips of before. Yeah, it's as bad as I thought it was gonna be, but it's such a weird piece of SW history, I guess I'm glad I finally saw it.
I've only seen bits and pieces of The Holiday Special as well. The Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers podcast episode on it is definitely worth listening to. They give it a fair shake, and go to lengths to concentrate on what they liked about it. Most podcasts just trash it (probably deservedly so), for comedic effect. It's not very good though, from what I've seen!Delete
I found this site years ago because I was Googling Friday the 13th movie podcasts on Halloween. This site and Nowplayingpodcast reviews of the series were the ones I liked best and been of fan of Fthismovie since that day. Congrats on 10 years!ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday FTM! I will certainly be there for The Funhouse and Turbo Kid on Thursday. I like that between this and Patrick's Bday there's been an opportunity to live tweet some of Patrick's favorites that wouldn't have fit into the FThisMovieFest format.ReplyDelete
As for what I've watched this past week:
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971):
Pure Cinema Podcast is directly responsible for this viewing as they did a really fun Road Trip episode recently. Enjoyed it a lot although it's a little bittersweet as two of the four leads clearly had some demons they struggled to deal with and passed away young as a result. Warren Oates is the only one of the leads who is an actor by trade with this being the first movie for the others who all acquit themselves well. Leisurely paced in a good way, it's fun to see these people just drifting across country.
Soldier of Orange (1977):
I'm a big Verhoeven fan, but there's still a good chunk of his Dutch work I'm trying to get around to watching. Most of it isn't on blu ray though, is long OOP on DVD and doesn't have any streaming options in the U.S. so I had to jump through some hoops to track some of it down.
The story of a group of college friends who find themselves being pulled in different directions when the Nazi's occupy the The Netherlands, it's a WWII movie from a perspective that I haven't gotten from other WWII movies which right away made it very interesting to me. It also helped that the movie is anchored by a good Rutger Hauer performance who is always just magnetic in the way my attention is drawn to him in any movie he appears in. You know from the moment the friends take a group photo early in the movie that by the end most of them won't have made it through the war, but by the time the movie circles back around at the end the payoff felt earned and it shows just how quickly and dramatically the world around you can change. I enjoyed this one.
Hex (1980): One of the uncommon instances of a Shaw Brothers horror movie. 88 Films who put out the blu ray billed it as something along the lines of "Before Ringu, there was Hex". That would lead you to believe there is some sort of story or tonal similarity between the two, and there really isn't. For one thing Hex doesn't even have a consistent tone as it seems to have no idea from one minute to the next how funny or seriously it's trying to take itself. Even from a structural standpoint it feels like several different movies combined together, to the point where the climax of the movie is inexplicably 7-8 minutes of a nude woman with writing and symbols painted on her dancing under a stained glass window, occasionally getting beaten with a shoe, ending up with a shaved head, and other madness, and I honestly have no idea how things got to that point. It's like the movie was made with that scene in mind and it didn't really matter to them how they got there.
I have only had the chance to see one of Verhoeven's Dutch films: Turkish Delight from 1973. I rented a dubbed version on VHS from Blockbuster back in the '90s. I remember liking it. Verhoeven was daring even in the beginning of his career. Soldier of Orange is one I have long wanted to see.Delete
There is a Shaw Brothers horror film called Seeding Of A Ghost that shares some of the characteristics you mention, Ross. The shifts in tone are certainly present.
Once the weirdness of Lost Highway began, Ross, I ceased trying to comprehend it. I was along for the ride, and it undoubtedly is a stimulating one. I put together a few ideas about what was happening, but Robert Blake's character eluded any explanation. Lost Highway will be revisited sometime. Mulholland Drive is next in my list of David Lynch films I have never watched.
Once in a while I revisit the final confrontation scene between Maggie Smith and Pamela Franklin at the end of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) (on YT- OMG). Jean Brodie is a teacher but to me she's always represented my mother and her worst qualities, particularly deception (not to say she doesn't also have redeeming ones, but anyway). This week I revisited it, though, because I realized that Jean Brodie is me. Those are now my worst qualities. It's just ironic it's Mother's Day week actually.ReplyDelete
Anyway, what I find notable is how split viewers are on Jean's character even at the end of the film. The whole point of the movie is how self-serving she is. How can so many people who've sought out this super old, boring, obscure movie based on an english novel be divided on the main point of it? I'm kind of surprised. Who knows, perhaps it is because Jean Brodie's is too deceptive. But..what an odd thing in a movie, to not know who the villain is! The last scenes are heartbreaking.
Anyway. Also, Happy Mother's Day to Erika, who I def think of as the FTM mom, keeping things together!
Do you think Jean Brodie's deception is deliberate, Meredith? She seems convinced that she has a positive influence on her "Brodie Girls". Though Sandy can perceive the bias in Brodie's worldview, the woman who holds it is blind to her imperfections. Are we not all blind about such things until we are forced to confront them by reality? This, of course, does not spare her any guilt in trying to indoctrinate her pupils or in the actions they take.Delete
By the way, I do not think The Prime of Miss Brodie is a boring film. It just tells the story of a different era and was made in a different era (one that I prefer).
Hey Casual, so nice to discuss with someone who appreciates this movie also. Oh no, for sure it isn't deliberate, you're right. Jean Brodie is thoroughly bewitched by herself. Sandy, who is heartbroken, can't even get through to her when she tries to bring reality to Jean's face. I think one is blessed if, when confronted with reality, you have the awareness and the courage to see yourself for what you are. In some way (in a very real-life way actually, where this would apply to a real person), Jean is also a victim of herself. Her behavior causes the only two people who understand and care about her in this story to have to abandon her. It's a tragedy.Delete
Hey don't you think it's perfectly fitting that Sandy goes on to become a nun? Symbolically, if you think of Christianity/religion as the antithesis to "bewitchment" and "evil", one could say Teddy Lloyd failed in his faith, succumbed to Jean Brodie. But Sandy, who did not start out believing in God, will eventually win over Jean's influence by turning to religion? Does that make any sense? I just love that Sandy becomes a nun. She's seen the ability to attract men for what it is. (Sorry for sounding so negative - but it's all part of Jean's deception in this film).
I have thought about your question during the week, Meredith. The religious angle of the story is not clear in my mind anymore, but it does make sense that Sandy would come out of her experiences in school feeling disillusioned with human beings and the situations they create. Many people have turned to spiritual beliefs and practices in such circumstances.Delete
Yeah I think religion was talked about more in the written story, which I didn't read. But it doesn't matter, it follows as simply as you said it. She is disillusioned, and by the flawed humans who practically formed her.Delete
Two perfect movies. Both special to the site for different reasons. I'll be there Thursday to join in the fun. Celebrate Fthismoive. Big love to Tobe Hooper. And protect my eyes, throat and genitalsReplyDelete