Sunday, November 1, 2015

Procrastination List: The Movies of August, September and October

I’m in grad school, and this movie blog is getting the short-shrift.
Here’s the List of the movies—and books—absorbed during August, September and October of 2015:
A real odd collection, I’ll say…

August 2015

Out of the Blue (1980; Dennis Hopper) What an incredible film!

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015; George Miller) WOW! Incredible film, a great action-fantasy! While being The Road Warrior as if remade by Jodorowsky and Survival Research Labs, it’s also the movie that Damnation Alley should have been (this film is more faithful to Zelazny’s novel than the movie from 1977). Worth several viewings!

Lilith (1964; Robert Rossen) This flick starts off well, and the first hour is entrancing, then….It becomes one of the WORST films ever. SO damn boring! Snoozers!

The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups) (1959; François Truffaut) Just fuckin’ perfect.
People think the title means one thing, but it means something else—but I think FT was using that French expression in an ironic/sardonic fashion.

Spectre (1977; Clive Donner; Produced by Gene Roddenberry) I saw this when it was originally aired! Good stuff that holds up. Supernatural! Seen before the new James Bond flick ruins the word for everyone…

Flying Down to Rio (1933; Thorton Freeland) What weirdness!

A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune) (1902; Georges Méliès)

The Brothers Grimm (2005; Terry Gilliam)

The Sun (2005; Aleksandr Sokurov)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly & Beautiful (2012; John Madden) The horror!

The Warrior (1981; Sisworo Gautama Putra) Mediocre Indonesia martial arts, which at least has a strong nationalist, pro-Islam vibe.

The Wrecking Crew! (2008, 2014; Denny Tedesco)

Runaway Train (1985; Andrei Konchalovsky; produced by Menahem Golan & Yoram Globus; screenplay by Djordje Milicevic, Paul Zindel and Edward Bunker, based on an original screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, which had uncredited contributions by Hideo Oguni and Ryuzo Kikushima)

Bone (1972; written, produced, & directed by Larry Cohen) Like an Ionesco play practically; Cohen’s a god!

The Gambler (1974; Karel Reisz, written by James Toback, based on the novella by Fydor Dostoyevsky) Wow, 1970s-bad vibe cinema!

What I Read in August (* = read before)

Saturn’s Children: A Space Opera by Charles Stross (2008) Clever, but non-essential.

The World Inside by Robert Silverberg (1971) Incredible SF!

Anarchy in Action by Colin Ward (1973) Brilliant!

The Butterfly Kid by Chester Anderson (1967) Reality Pills, maaaaaaaaaaaaaan. Wonderfully weird, and nominated for a Hugo Award. Available on-line as a PDF, if you search for it.

Get Your War On by David Rees; introduction by Colson Whitehead (2002) Still f’ing hilarious and spot on.

“A Report From Occupied Territory” by James Baldwin (1966; magazine essay) Still true, sadly.

“After King Kong Fell” by Philip Jose Farmer (1973; short story) Delicious, bittersweet nostalgia from PJF.

“ ‘The Military Taught Me Something About Writing’: How Student Veterans Complicate the Novice-to-Expert Continuum in First-Year Composition” by Corrine Hinton (2013; article from Composition Forum, Fall 2013)

*) The Divine Invasion by Philip K. Dick (1981) Brilliant, essential strangeness. Truly one of the weirdest—and smartest—SF books ever. Shockingly theistic.

September 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

The Panic in Needle Park (1971; Jerry Schatzberg; written by John Gregory Dunne & Joan Didion, based on the book by James Mills)

WarGames (1983; John Badham)

Bitter Lake (2015; Adam Curtis) Brillo!

White God (2014; Kornél Mundruczó) Horrible, boring pretentious garbage. Hated it.

The Adventures of Milo & Otis (1986, 1989; Masanori Hata)

Moonraker (1979; Lewis Gilbert; special visual effects: Derek Meddings)

American Splendor (2003; written & directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on American Splendor by Harvey Pekar and Our Cancer Year by Harvey Pekar & Joyce Brabner)

Red Army (2014; directed, produced, and written by Gabe Polsky; executive produced by Jerry Weintraub and Werner Herzog)

The Purge: Anarchy (2014;James DeMonaco)

’71 (2014; Yann Demange) WOW!

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1983? Todd Haynes) Watched while on duty in the booth at Spectacle.

Excalibur (1981; John Boorman)

Bloodline (Netflix miniseries; 13 episodes) (2015; created by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman)

Stories We Tell (2012; Sarah Polley)

Vanishing Point (1971; Richard C. Sarafian) 35mm print at the Anthology Film Archives! Fabulous!

Bad Timing (1980; Nicolas Roeg) Wow! One of the best new old films this year! Grim, and NASTY.

Books Read in September [ *) = read previously]


October 2015

The Haunted Castle (a.k.a. Secret Chronicles of the Ghost Cat) (1969; Tokuzo Tanaka) Not as good as the flick immediately below

Black Cat Mansion (a.k.a. The Mansion of the Ghost Cat) (1958; Nobuo Nakagawa) Superb supernatural craziness!

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974; Joseph Sargent) Classic!

Danger: Diabolik (1968; Mario Bava; produced by Dino De Laurentiis) Classic!

First Blood (1982; Ted Kotcheff)

The Wild Bunch (1969; Sam Peckinpah) Jeez, the fake jocularity and excessive laughter never bugged me before, but now? Ugh.

Jigoku (Hell) (1960; Nobuo Nakagawa)

The Seven-Ups (1974; Philip D’Antonio)

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993; Henry Selick)

METS vs. KC World Series 2015