Walking around the Lower East Side today, I caught sight of a few posters for the new Martin Scorsese/Rolling Stones film Shine A Light (obligatory David Edelstein review link) touting the IMAX version. And as cool as that might be, I could only imagine — given their album of the same name — what a Constantines IMAX film might be like. I’m seeing a sixty-foot-high Dallas Wehrle, bass in the air, and it’s amazing.
One: Hot damn, Cloak and Dagger. I definitely remember friends of mine watching this in my youth. That said, all I can actually recall about the film itself are two things: Dabney Coleman and spies. Which are, admittedly, two pretty nifty things.
Four: I should probably mention somewhere that I am deeply, deeply excited for Criterion’s upcoming DVD of Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters. And, hey, I’ll be able to hold my theoretical double bill of it and I’m Not There. (I’m totally serious about this, by the way.)
One: I will admit, the trailer for the new Indiana Jones film made me kinda giddy. And I’m not a dude who uses “giddy” lightly.
Two: Last summer, I saw The King of Kong and enjoyed it. Watching it at the time, the conflict at the center of the film seemed like the sort of thing that, were it not in a documentary, I wouldn’t find credible.
I’m left with the urge to order some hot sauce.
Three: High Places released a singles compilation through eMusic. Sweet.
Folks with rarefied taste in drama have recommended the work of Martin McDonagh to me multiple times. I am still kicking myself for having missed both The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Pillowman during their New York runs. With that in mind, I was excited to hear about his debut feature, In Bruges, which at the very least has a crackerjack trailer.
Earlier this afternoon, I went to Film Forum to see The Silence Before Bach. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, besides knowing the subject of the film and that it fell on the non-narrative side of things. (As Daphne pointed out on the way outside, it’s interesting that this week finds it occupying the same theater as I’m Not There — one more and they could score the non-narrative musical meditation trifecta.) The first experimental feature I ever saw was Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil, and while my sleep-deprived 18-year-old mind may have made it out to be a more disconcerting experience than it actually was, a part of me still expects non-narrative films to be deeply strange and unsettling. And this wasn’t, really; a few characters (including Bach*) recur throughout the film , interspersed with performances and self-contained sequences.
Worth reading on the film: reviews from Manohla Dargis, Cullen Gallagher, and J. Hoberman, and a Jonathan Rosenbaum essay on director Pere Portabella.
What struck me about the film in particular was how Portabella configured things: often, there would be a long interval before the central moment of any given scene. Unsurprisingly, sound is key here, and at times the sound, even of the ambient variety, seems more central than the image. Throughout, a subtle case is made both for the roots of Bach’s music in the sounds of life and for that music’s continued presence in daily life, whether actively or otherwise.
*-there’s a nice wink to biopic conventions in one of the sequences in which Bach appears as a character. (“That’s the new cantor.” “I hope he’s good!”)
As I was walking towards the subway this evening listening to Seam’s Are You Driving Me Crazy?, I realized that I am, very likely, older now than the songwriters behind most of the albums I consider seminal were when they made those albums.
That made me feel slightly old.
Later, waiting for the bus, I felt a surge of panic when I mused that the “Bo Knows” advertising campaign had debuted twenty years ago. Thankfully, Wikipedia clarified things there. (Nineteen. Only nineteen years ago. Whew.)
David Edelstein on Cloverfield, a film I’m still unsure about seeing.
Which doesn’t quite explain the cobras.
Honestly, they kinda had me with the font.
Over on Slate’s Movie Club, Scott Foundas volleys up a comparison with August: Osage County. It’s worth reading, though preferably after you’ve seen one or both (it’ll spoil, if nothing else, a few significant beats of the plots of each). I rambled a little last month about how the audience for the latter reacted in a way I’ve never really seen on Broadway before. Similarly, the audience at tonight’s showing (a packed house at the Union Square 14), gasped audibly at much of the film’s early, wordless sequence, and a few points thereafter.
Also, between this film and Punch-Drunk Love, P.T. Anderson utilizes sound as a much more essential element of the film than almost any of his contemporaries. (I suspect that it’s no coincidence that both films share sound designer Christpher Scarabosio).
Links to some critical reactions are below. Highly recommended; I suspect I’ll be back to see it again before too long, especially as I’d like to sort out the nature of one specific relationship within the film…
[Update, 1:06 a.m.: I am currently overtaken by a need to watch this film again, right now.]
Matt Zoller Seitz’s essay on No Country for Old Men is, I’d say, pretty fantastic.
Have just returned from seeing, finally, No Country For Old Men in Times Square. (That was preceded by Anatomy of a Murder at Film Forum.) Was an odd crowd with which to see it: some kids who’d snuck in after seeing something else, and were a bit annoyed by what they got; some folks there for obvious reasons; and the couple sitting to my left, who promptly made out once the film had ended.
Still, I liked it. Though I also dug the novel on which it’s based, and one hews pretty closely to the other…
So hey: Excursion Records head David Larson’s film The Edge of Quarrel, about clashing punk and straight-edge groups, is coming to DVD. When it first came to video, I reviewed it in the ‘tide (and if you’d like to see what I had to say about it circa 2000, the review’s quoted on Excursion’s site). There’s a trailer up here as well.