Thursday, June 06, 2013

Every Film I Watched With my Eyes Open in April

  1. Mudhoney (1965) - and another appearance of the stupendous breasts of Lorna Maitland. This time she is less to the fore in a deranged melodrama of rape and murder, religious bigotry, lynching and true love. This was Meyer's ninth feature and he still hadn't grasped the concept of the Line of Action - there's hardly a conversation in his early films that doesn't flip flop the characters across the screen or have them staring off in weirdly dislocating directions. This may have been deliberate (or he just didn't think it was important enough to be worth bothering about) but I find it very peculiar. 

  2. Wild Women of Wongo ( 1958 ) - in the middle of the afternoon Daughter Number One (aged ten) decided that what we all really needed to do "right now!" was to watch a "really crap film". Anything to oblige....

  3. Eegah (1962) - ditto..

  4. Robot Monster (1953) - double ditto..

  5. Dr No (1962) - I've never really been a Bond fan but I remember this as being a lot lot better than it is...

  6. Star Trek II : The Wrath of Kahn (1982) - I loath all things Star Trekkie but I realised the other day had never seen this one. It turns out not to be as kak as the others and is probably the least kak of the ones I have seen. They were still trying, when they made this one; had got past the pompous reverence of the first film and hadn't yet become smug and formulaic. Though it does strain the credibility that Star Fleet didn't notice a whole planet had 'blown up', (why would an uninhabited planet just explode anyway?) and the whole Run Silent Run Deep shtick in the Flashing "Nebula" (complete with 'thunder' noises on the soundtrack) at the end was total pants - always puzzled me in the ST films why, when the scanners are down and the enemy is merely an intermittent image on the main view-screen, doesn't Kirk (or whoever) just send a whole bunch of crew members to look out of all the windows the Enterprise is equipped to see if they can see anything. Every time the enemy is finally spotted in one of these films it's within spitting distance and would be clearly be seen by anyone taking a keek out of a porthole far earlier than its suddenly appearing on the bridge's telly. - dear gods I need to get out more ....

  7. Venus in Furs (aka Paroxismus and Black Angel 1969) - Written and Directed by Jess Franco who died last week. Venus in Furs is regularly written up as his best film (of his 200 or so directorial credits). This doesn't mean by any measurable standard that it's good. Just his best. He made some godawful films did Sr Franco. Venus is a trippy, bewildering, haphazard mess of a film. It's a tale of ghostly revenge carried out by a beautiful fur-clad ghost-woman on the people who killed her during an orgy. The 'erotic' bits here are interspersed with lots of Jazz, held together (hah!) by an off-screen narration full of, even for 1969, dated hep-cat jive-speak delivered by a narrator. To add to the fun the narrator is as obviously dead as the woman he finds on the beach in the opening scene but he doesn't find out he's dead too until the end of the film when he finds his own body washed up on the same beach. It's a film that doesn't look like it knows what it's doing from one scene to the next but at least most of it was in focus - which is more than you can say for some of his films. One of my favourite moments was when a character walked into his own Point of View shot; nice trick if you can do it..

    A great chunk of the film is supposed to take place in Rio de Janeiro for no other reason than Franco had a lot of stock footage of the carnival to hand but you wouldn't know it from the newly shot footage - no attempt has been made to match anything..

  8. Afterwards ( 2008 ) - during the course of what seems like three hours (but is in fact only 107 minutes) a miserable mumbling French arsehole living in New York forgives himself for being an arsehole and accepts his role as some sort of ill-defined, supernatural, guiding-angel type. Beautifully shot and great music but a leaden pace and a loathsome central character. The central philosophy and metaphorical language are trite (though very pretty) and the whole thing ends up looking like The Sixth Sense on Mogadon. Another film that John Malkovich couldn't rescue..

  9. Ed Wood (1995) - to my mind Tim Burton's best film.

  10. Puss in Boots (2011) - second Friday Night Pizza Film in a row to feature Selma Hayek's voice.

  11. Tron (1982).

  12. The Great Race (1965) - this is turning into one of my kids' favourites.

  13. Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) - what a bore! At least 30 minutes too long - I watched it with three 10 year olds and there was some serious fidgeting going on just before we got to the third act.

  14. Space Mutiny (1988 - MST3K version) - dreadful dreadful film made bearable by MST3K. Having said that I must find an unmuckedabout copy.


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