Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): November Overlook

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Overlook

What are you looking at?

Well, in this case, my monthly round-up of (somewhat) overlooked posts. Actually November was a very good month for this blog; a number of posts spurred interesting discussions - from a variety of readers - and almost all got at least a comment or two. Nonetheless, allow me to highlight a few of my reflections one last time. Feel free to revisit these entries and leave a fresh comment - your thoughts are always appreciated. Here they are, starting with the piece of writing I'm most proud of (while conveniently leaving out the ones I'm least proud of...):

1. The Magnificent Ambersons
"The shots which open Ambersons fire off in a soft volley of delicate yet robust missiles - a hail of half-remembered trinkets and hazy memories, softened at the edges like some 19th century daguerreotype."

2. Free-form Fairy Tales: A Tex Avery Trio
"I've got a few things to say about each, but the cartoons speak loudly and proudly for themselves, so I'll follow my comments with You Tube feeds of each. Ahem...Once upon a time..."

3. The Choice (with an election-night follow-up in my final comment)
"It is, among other things, a tale of two cities. Or at least, that's how it starts."

4. Twin Peaks: Lonely Souls (needless to say, avoid this review like the plague if you've yet to watch "Twin Peaks")
"In this way, Lynch pulls the rug out from under the lurid bloodlust of his audience: you want murder and evil and terror? I'll give you murder and evil and terror. And we get it."

5. The Struggle
"As the mother runs down the street, racing towards her degraded husband's flop house, her daughter's note flapping her hands, and real homeless and poor men and women scowling on the bustling sidewalks behind her, it's an old Griffith 'race to the finish' with a twist, Intolerance by way of De Sica."

The month can be roughly divided into three sections. First, the days leading up to and including November 4, when I culminated my election series (summed up in the Election Overlook). Then came a breather, in which - after a long series of political docs - I watched and reviewed whatever I felt like, including the infectious Disney version of Three Little Pigs, the strange yet charming Dear Brigitte, in which James Stewart and Brigitte Bardot share screentime with a child prodigy, the compelling rough early Kubrick gem The Killing (which sparked lots of great commentary), my first Anthony Mann Western - The Naked Spur, and the fascinating Trip, which sparked an enthusiastic rumination on the sixties. I also found time to delve into my random thoughts on Quantum of Solace (though my own reflections on Bond are scattershot, I linked up to some incredibly cogent and/or provocative writing on the subject - here, here, here, and here). Oh, yes, I also took a shot at the ubiquitous Alphabet Meme and wrote up a few silent movie stars (including Lloyd, Keaton, and a certain ancient Jewish prince).

Finally, the last few weeks were spent finishing up two ongoing series: the Auteurs investigation of D.W. Griffith (including his work with W.C. Fields, his first "modern" movie, and his first talkie) and the continuing episode-by-episode analysis of "Twin Peaks" (from the season two opener to the closing of the Laura Palmer case). Both series await one final entry each in early December - a collection of Griffith You Tube clips & ephemera and a visit to the Black Lodge with Agent Cooper - but in anticipation, feel free to peruse the archives.

Well, I seem to have worked in links to nearly every post I've written, so I'll stop there. Keep on commenting - in the Thanksgiving spirit, your readership is appreciated.

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