Thursday, December 1, 2016

November Movies

Imagine - I totally admire and respect John Lennon, but this documentary presented nothing really new or interesting. I get that it is one of the earlier docs on Lennon (I think it was from 1988) but regardless, twenty minutes from it's end I hit stop. Such a disappointment, except for seeing Cynthia Lennon's totally 80s Maddie Hayes get-up. Those shoulder pads were divine. She looked like a linebacker. And it was nice to see Yoko without her signature dark glasses. Aside from that it was capital d-u-l-l, dull.

Raiders! - This was a pretty decent documentary about a group of boys that did their own shot by shot remake of Raider of the Lost Ark all during their adolescence. My favourite moment was the very end with the credits where they show each film side by side. It was pretty extraordinary, what these kids did. Wonder if they'll ever release their full version on DVD...

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You - Growing up in a suburban Yankee household in the late 70s and early 80s, Norman Lear's shows were usually on in the evenings, especially All in the Family. Frankly, they never interested me at age six, but now, as an adult I have a great love for them. I knew very little of Norman Lear prior to this film, so it was a nice glimpse into the mind and the man behind so many influential and groundbreaking television shows.

Soldier's Girl - I first saw this film a handful of years back during my Lee Pace obsession years. (He is an utter dreamboat, isn't he?) It's the story of a love affair between Calpernia Addams, a transgender artist/entertainer and Army recruit Barry Winchell. This time around I watched only the scenes with Lee and Troy Garity and I fast-forwarded through all of the hateful scenes. Troy and Lee had such a truthfulness to their performances and that's what made me re-watch it. It's better with just their scenes and skipping the ending allowed me to perceive their relationship as one with a happy ending.

Iris

Wild Oats - Great cast with lovely familiar faces - Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Lange, Billy Connolly, Howard Hesseman, and Demi Moore (who, as an aside, looks picture perfect in black nerdy glasses). The movie was good at first, with an interesting plot, but didn't wow me in the least. 

The Hateful Eight - I wanted to like this film and thought I would until about a half hour in. It was filmed with such a sense of grandeur, made me think of David Lean and John Ford films. In the end, or rather about an hour from the end, I realised that I was not the demographic for this film. Nigger was dropped left and right, which I understand that this is a movie, that it's art and someone's vision, but there's already enough real-life fear and hatred in my every day existence. When I'm not working, when I'm home and need an escape, I'm not looking for something that makes me uncomfortable, sad, and enraged. But I will tell you, when Tim Roth called Samuel L. Jackson his "nubian friend" I actually burst out laughing. Aside from Kurt Russell's fab facial hair, the music and majestic backdrop, Tim Roth's occasional hilarity, The Hateful Eight was too angry and gross for my taste. I can appreciate reviving the western, but I'd take The Searchers over Eight any day of the god damn week.  

The Woodmans - Another documentary, this time about a family of artists, centering on their daughter, Francesca Woodman. It focused mainly on her brilliant photographs and her depression. I finished the film feeling that I didn't get the whole story about who Francesca really was, but I am glad that I discovered a new artist to research.

Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory - A family favourite to say the least! A few years back Mum transferred our old VHS copy (with an intro by John Forsythe! Seated in a leather easy chair beside a fire, of course.) to DVD. It's perfect - and the horrible 80s commercials are a SCREAM, but Geraldine Page is absolutely phenomenal, turning in one of the most flawless performances of all time. 

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