Thought I’d try to pay attention to the editing this time around… the whole idea that at the start of the movie when Rufus is disoriented, the cutting is very quick, and it gets slower towards the end as he builds confidence. That lasted about a minute before I started watching the lighting and trying to figure out what’s up with Keifer Sutherland’s eyes instead.
Got some sci-fi genre embarassment attached to it, but it’s way too enjoyable to worry about that. Lotta plot crammed into this little movie. Also: Jennifer Connelly is pretty.
Hmmm, these screen shots barely show up on my monitor at work. Dark Movie.
Circus strongman Anthony Quinn pops into poor village, visits poor family, mentions that their oldest girl has died, and skips off with the next-oldest, the simpleminded and very facially-expressive Giulietta Masina. She eventually learns to be useful in the act, but he never warms up to her, disappearing all night with whores and the like. Guy robs a convent and kills the clown she likes, then leaves her to die on her own, and carries on for years with his lame chain-busting bit. Not one of those “tough guy with the heart of gold” stories then.
Not as dismal as I’ve made it sound above, but still pretty dismal. Very watchably dismal though, whenever Giulietta Masina is onscreen, which is almost always. Mixes Fellini’s clown obsession with his bummer realist stuff very successfully. To think that I was afraid of this movie after seeing La Dolce Vita. Wonder if Katy would’ve enjoyed it.
Thrilling movie, loved it. Also the gayest movie I’ve seen all year… and I’m not just saying that ’cause of the neckerchief. Very manly sweaty back-slapping kinda movie, and a weird subplot where our neckerchiefed hero loudly neglects his “girlfriend”. Movie also features lead characters named Mario and Luigi. That’s not adding to the gaiety, I’m just saying. Odd to see actors speaking Italian with synchronized sound.
Everyone’s stuck in this poor town and hangs out at the bar but nobody ever pays their tab. One day, an apparently rich fat man shows up and Neckerchief befriends him, then tries to start a little two-man gang to intimidate the others, when he’s not mistreating his girlfriend and his roommate. Fortunately, an oil refinery some miles away has an uncontrollable fire and they need a buncha nitro to block off the flames (fight fire with fire?). Nitro is loaded into two trucks and drivers are hired. Neckerchief gets in and helps the fat man cheat his way in… then roomie Luigi and some other guy drive the other truck. That part out of the way, the rest of the movie is a thrilling, bumpy ride.
After dude’s friends die and he gets the explosives truck to the burning oil fields, he gets WAY too happy and drives himself off a cliff. Is he happy cuz he’s now rich enough to leave town? To afford more whisky? To marry his “girlfriend” who’s waiting for him? I don’t know! I was talking to someone recently who hated this… was it Trevor & Robert? Anyhow, they’re so wrong. This kicks some ass, even if I can’t always figure out the lead characters’ behavior (hey, they’re Italian). First film ever to win both the Golden Palm (Cannes) and Golden Bear (Berlin), and has been remade twice so far.
Better musicians have died from car accidents than from drugs, guns or suicide. The Minutemen… Silkworm… Brainiac… think about it.
Cool movie. Learned a lot. Forgot most of it by now, a month later, but what can you do? The band I admire most is now either the Minutemen or Half Japanese, depending on whose documentary I watched most recently. Their chapter in “Our Band Could Be Your Life” was exactly the same as this documentary, except without all the celebrity interviews.
Five years after Monsieur Verdoux, twelve after The Great Dictator, and his third-to-last movie. This would be an interesting one to read more about. Charlie plays a clown (Calvero), used to be the most famous in the country but now all washed up. Meets a ballerina on the verge of success but with suicidal tendencies. She tells of a songwriter she once fell for, but insists she’s now fallen for Calvero, wants to marry him. He says that’s ridiculous, that he’s a failing old man and she’s a lovely young woman. Interesting philosophy, since Chaplin (63) wrote + directed and the lead actress (21) was much closer in age to Chaplin’s real wife (26). Anyway, they help each other out, Calvero fades away and lets the girl do her own thing without him. Doesn’t work – she tracks him down, gets him huge sold-out final gig, after which he conveniently dies leaving her to her dark handsome composer and a future as a world-famous ballerina
Not a comedy, drama all the way, with a few funny bits. Sweet story, good looking movie, totally enjoyed it. I guess the most “personal” movie I’ve seen of his… seems more so than the Great Dictator.
At Calvero’s final gig, he’s doing some of the same jokes he does at the beginning of the movie that get walkouts and disinterest. But at the big sold-out show, audiences are hooting their appreciation, thunderous applause, love love loving it. The jokes haven’t gotten better, but the reception has. Old star suddenly propped up by current new stars and given a benefit gig with hugely overappreciative audience, seemed to me like the crowd is applauding themselves for supporting the old man, the kind of award-show self-important applause that has more to do with being important enough to attend the Big Event and cultured enough to recognize the Famous Talent than it does the actual performance. Don’t know if that’s what Chaplin intended, but anyway, the applause made Calvero feel a whole lot better.
Buster Keaton was in it!
A motion-slideshow travelogue with narration, from the big squares and queen-attended events to the alleys and streams. The camera is always still, except once in a mall going up an escalator, I can’t imagine why.
Some interesting photography, but mostly full of references I missed and shots of boring stuff. Didn’t enjoy much. Would only recommend for a few funny quotes, most of which are conveniently gathered here anyway. Sure made me not want to visit London.
EDIT: Oops, I should’ve re-read the Cinema Scope article that got me renting this in the first place. Buncha stuff about Chris Marker and essay films, anyway.
Oops, wasn’t paying enough attention and will have to see this again. At least I determined that it’s worth seeing again. Julie Christie and George C Scott are a blast, and the editing is wonderfuly disturbing. Lot of relationship stuff in here, specifically about divorce. George is leaving his wife to feel free again, chasing Julie as his symbol of freedom. Julie is beaten almost to death at the end, I think by her husband, and ends up staying with him. So much for freedom. Ohhhhh, “cinematography by Nicolas Roeg” explains a lot.
Still conflicted about Taxi Driver. Sure it’s a good movie, has a real nice look to it (ugly, but at least purposefully, professionally ugly), good acting, neat character. Just doesn’t fly out at me as a Great Film or justify the 30 years of hype. Guess I just wasn’t meant to understand American 70’s Cinema. Was really nice to see this on the big screen, even if Lefont decapitated some actors and credits… good texture to it, very nice print. Wish they’d have played King of Comedy instead, but that might not have even pulled in the 50 loners and misfits who bothered to attend this one.
Watched again on DVD with Katy, who enjoyed it but kept commenting how obvious everything was – same thing I said when I first saw it. It’s still a nice movie, but watching a widescreen DVD on our square TV (similar problem as with Standard Operating Procedure) you lose all the detailed CG-animation magic that was added when sitting in front at the movie theater – so, all the story problems without the razzle-dazzle that made me overlook them last time.
all I wrote 7/16/2006 was:
Couldn’t help thinking of the Doc Hollywood comparisons I’d read before seeing this. Fun movie, looked great. More obvious than other Pixar movies. Nice enough preview for Ratatouille, our Next Great Hope. Patton Oswalt is in it!