Tight, tense movie in grainy 4:3 with amazing sound design, the soundtrack playing sfx in a doom-loop, predicting what’s going to happen next. In a very small town, David (Clayne Crawford, the Mel Gibson character in TV’s Lethal Weapon) can’t be cooly anonymous while stalking his wife’s new lover because he’s always running into people he knows. Movie introduces David attempting to murder them in their sleep then sets him on a long road to a sort of redemption, through work and caring for the kids and, in the end, winning pity when the new man makes the first move in the violence game. The wife is Sepideh Moafi of The Deuce, new man is Chris Coy (Treme and also The Deuce). Both Mikes D’Angelo and Sicinski covered this one well.

Tried to watch a movie at the airport soon after a major thunderstorm caused cascading delays, and I fortunately/accidentally chose one that is broken into numbered chapters, so I could watch a segment every time I found a seat after changing gates and terminals and flights. It’s either a very silly movie that takes itself quite seriously, or a major work of art that doesn’t take itself seriously at all – given my jumbled first viewing, it’s hard to tell.

0. Josh Hartnett (!) drives a long way through the desert, watches someone pour sand into an ATM, reaches his mountain destination, unloads a writing desk from his SUV and starts writing.

I: Tauros – Vagabond John Malkovich is hit by a car while fleeing, post-apple-theft, then enters a secret brick portal to ride a crystal elevator to a cloud-height mansion over the city, met by butler Keir Dullea… so Malkovich is clearly Batman, and Dullea is an aged-up 2001 astronaut.

II: Leetso – Corporate toady on TV debating a local chief who aims to protect people from land poisoning… Angry Guy (Power Ranger Steven Skyler) watching this at the bar has a public tantrum then goes home to abuse his wife, returns to briefly confront Hartnett.

III: Flight – Josh in the chase car as his wife (Katy-show regular Jaime Ray Newman) rides a glider, then domestic scene where she leaves him over his writing quirks and childlessness. They are very rich even though he’s an ad agency copywriter. The work psychiatrist says he should shake up his routine, so he tries mountain climbing with pots and pans tied to his legs, then he walks backwards through the city until tripping over Hobo Malkovich.

IV: Loverock – Angry Guy climbs a sweet mountain and makes love to it.

V: Blueblood – Josh activates the Wyze doorbell retina scanner at the cloud mansion’s golden door and it shows him a montage of his life.

VI: Stonechild – Angry Guy wants his son back from Elder Whitehair Guy (Joseph Runningfox of Ravenous), but the son now weighs a ton.

VII: Museum of Poverty – Skyfall‘s Bérénice Marlohe wants her son(?) back, was hired to pretend to be Malk’s dead wife. Back in the desert, Josh receives divorce papers on his car fax machine so sets the car on fire. Angry Guy punches him for starting fires on protected land, the most honestly grounded thing that happens in the movie.

VIII: Sand Painting – Josh meets the fake wife at the mansion party, where Malk catapults a fancy car off a cliff, and meets his own wife in the desert.

IX: Masters of Fiction – Malk speaks with Josh about his super-rich sadnesses while the Fake Wife attempts escape but gets caged in the basement with the other party guests. BTW, Josh was writing ad copy for Malk’s uranium-based power company that is exploiting Angry Guy’s Navajo lands, so all these things are somewhat related. Or maybe Josh has heatstroke and is supposed to be writing all this stuff at his desert desk.

X: When Mountains Walk – Keir’s giant 2001 space baby rampages through a major city while Malk play-acts death with an ornate mummy routine. Real good songs in this movie – a country tune at the bar, something Nick Cave-ish whenever Josh drives around. Some alarming images. Peter Sobczynski: “The film may be nuts but it certainly isn’t boring.”

Cows, pigs, roosters in three farms in different countries. Terrific high-framerate steadicam, long takes, great lighting in their custom-built sty. I wondered how much of that was natural light, and remembered reading about the house in Turin Horse, which turned out an apt comparison, per the British Cinematographer article I read.

Structurally it’s:
– baby pigs are born
– chickens interlude
– pigs growing up
– cows interlude
– pigs taken away from momma pig

And it’s almost a perfect movie, but for the cows, who do nothing except swat away flies (or more often, failing to swat away flies). You just can’t make cows interesting, though apparently Andrea Arnold will be the next to attempt it.

Finally coming full circle, we watched a streaming documentary about people starting a site to stream documentaries. The team’s founder is a film nut whose dad was the local grocer, but it’s not a town of film nuts and their group isn’t doing much outreach, so instead of a doc-crazy Columbia MO situation, it just seems like some outsider weirdos in a town that has no need for them. Sturdy, observational doc by Simon, who makes pretty nice movies but I’ve missed why she’s considered a master of the art. Anyway, nobody was ever hanging out on the online chat channels T/F set up for Teleported attendees, so I had to look to twitter for a sense of film-viewing community.

Beautiful, sedate b/w photography.

A kid wants to get out of the country, makes some money on the khat harvest.

Not a tight story, more of a roaming poetic work, most of which I have completely forgotten, as have the letterboxd commenters who left even shorter write-ups than this one. I sure loved it at the time, tho.

Therapy and training sessions – no context, all different kinds of approaches, but consistent fixed-frame camera style and clean look to all the rooms. The people who touch sleeping pigs are a nice tie-in to Gunda.

“It is left up to the spectator to decide whether these mindfulness training programs and coaching courses symbolize something bigger.” This feels like one of those noncommercial docs that T/F found in a museum or academic project, like The Task or Segunda Vez.

More focused than Rat Film, more sense of purpose, and great resonance with the Philip Henry Gosse short we watched before it. The eye and cameras, and what they cannot see: blind spots and the seer itself. Desktop film with online videos from Axon (the taser company)… community meeting where an eye-in-the-sky company president tried convincing Baltimore citizens of his project’s value while they had their own ideas about surveillance. Also a film history lesson, touching on Jules Janssen’s pre-Muybridge astronomical motion pictures using his photographic revolver.

A panel of feminists is convened to rebut a Harper’s article written by shitstarter Norman Mailer. We didn’t do our homework and read the Mailer article first, but followed the arguments just fine. Anyway, amazon says it’s available as a 240-page hardcover, which they categorize under “Spies & Political Thrillers,” so what is going on.

1. Jacqueline Caballos runs a women’s advancement organization, gives a nice political speech.
2. Writer Germaine Greer is smart, funny and quick. She has a completely different approach to Caballos, who never speaks again.
3. Jill Johnston’s speech is like an SNL sketch full of jokes and references. She gets in an argument over exceeding her time, and after some makeout anarchy, leaves the movie forever.
4. Lit critic Diana Trilling knows Norman well, and seems to be the most balanced person onstage, not that that’s a high bar.

Norman’s an egoist who says he’ll fade into the background and let the women speak during the Q&A, but doesn’t – it doesn’t help that most questions and comments (including Susan Sontag’s) are addressed directly to him. Nice to spend some time checking in with the pop intellectualism of the 1970’s, unable to imagine this event taking place today.

Our first-ever T/F guest viewer agreed with Katy that the movie was sad and hard to watch. Seals, dolphins and swans, rescued and released by British + Irish orgs. Some delightful seal/swan antics, less-direct wounded animal shots than Bird Island. Per Paste, “a story of slow, tiring disaster.”