Sunday, January 13, 2013

Furies in Revolt.

Recently enjoyed a few movies.

The Furies stars Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Houston as daughter and father on a ranch, and if you're not leaping right this moment to add it to your Netflix queue on that basis alone then I don't know what's wrong with you.  Walter Houston's character is an icon of everything wonderful and terrible about the manifest destiny man.  Barbara, in the manner of daughters everywhere, dates a guy her dad can't stand, and there is drama!  There is also cruelty and payback, as Barbara and her on-again off-again city sharpie boyfriend scheme to rip Walter off.  I enjoyed watching the forces in play ping-pong off the walls at each other.

Mr. Arkadin, the Comprehensive version.  This is a lesser-known Orson Welles movie available in about 5 versions for some reason.  The story is a daffy thriller, and the style is peculiar... Welle's usual virtuoso stuff is all over it, but it seems a bit jerry-rigged as well, with a charming clunkiness counterbalancing the lusher elements.  For example, there's a bunch of sequences where the camera whips away from the action to end a scene, and I imagine it was supposed to be one of those whipes, you know.   But instead of blurring as the camera veers away, everything stays super-clear, so you see that the camera is whipping around to a parking lot or some other irrelevant detail, where Welles may have wanted no details at all.  It's fun that way.  If they ever make a Live-action Ranma 1/2 movie it should feel like this.

Women in Revolt.  Can someone explain to me why Paul Morrissey doesn't have a big a fan following as John Waters?  The three drag personalities at the center of this film are a near-perfect comedy trio.  Holly Woodlawn is manic and bizarre (she made me laugh till I was almost sick); Jackie Curtis is a flip verbal pugilist, and Candy Darling channels the glamour girls of midcentury tinseltown with a blend of archness and sincerity that I find absolutely beguiling.  Andy Warhol's cinematography is terrible, but this is one of my favorite viewing experiences of the year so far.

Also, I hated Peter Jackson's Hobbit.  I'll talk about that next time, maybe.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Only Thing I Intend To Write On This Unless I Think Of Something Good

When I was in high school I had some friends who were Communists, outspoken Reds who enjoyed shocking people (this was the late 80s, early 90s, when Communism was a much spookier thing to many people) with their scandalicious stance on political economics.

Last I checked, they grew up to be committed Republicans.  Having tried on a pose to see if it fit, they retained the interest in politics while discarding the elements they had come to regard as unsuitable.

So let's talk about Holmies, the teen girl fans of James Holmes, the former grad student who shot up the movie theatre and rigged up bombs in his apartment.

Like most people who've thought about the situation, my first, second, third, fourth and fifth reaction to this particular fandom was YUCK.

And it's fair to say that if James Holmes had been a 50-year old black guy, the Holmies wouldn't have looked twice at him.  But some of them might grow up to be people who will.

Maybe some of them will grow up to work with Amnesty International, or domestic Prisoners' Rights groups that strive to ensure prisoners have access to legal recourse, counseling, education and employment.

They are practicing love for the despised and unloveable.  They are prepping to be angels of mercy for people the rest of us would just as soon bury.