Monday, October 24, 2011

Searching For Answers 1980 - 1983 • "32 Days of Movies" Day 24


Twenty-fourth chapter in "32 Days of Movies", an audiovisual tour through 366 films
(2015 update: included Vimeo embed after the jump)


View "Chapter 24: Searching For Answers"


"I just need time to think things over!" "Why is it necessary to have more than this, or to even think about having more than this?" "What did he say?" "We're sick...I think we're dying..." And then there are the scenes with little to no dialogue: an eerie occult ritual led by a beautiful woman, stepped right out of an Egyptian hieroglyph; a moody man pensively staring out the train window, stranger in his own sprawling country; a girl and her boyfriend sharing a note and then awkwardly separating, perhaps for the last time, as cars whiz by on the highway; a globetrotting camera, capturing dogs on an African beach and a traditionally-dressed Japanese standing silently "in the midst of the long moving shadows that the January light throws over the ground of Tokyo." Like "A Violent Release" early in the series, it's simply uncanny, and unexpected, how perfectly all of today's clips merge into a single theme: the quest for answers, and the mixed messages one gets in return.

(continued below, along with NSFW warnings)


Perhaps it has something to do with the time period - politically and culturally much of the world, and especially America, was undergoing a massive shift. It was in many ways a conservative shift (certainly the political aspect) and yet the culture could not simply undo or forget the upheaval of the past twenty years. Much as it might want to settle down with the morning paper and coffee and Chiquita, it just wasn't that easy... This chapter also sees the development of what we now think of as "the eighties." The first clip still has that shaggy, dullish tenor of the late seventies. The last clip, complete with electronic music and Miami palm trees, sees a slick-suited Cuban wake a blonde in her gaudy gold bedsheets, and then sneak out onto the deck for a drag on his cigarette. There he contemplates an early-morning sky, blue-black and pregnant with cooing, head-spinning promises that the world is his.

The eighties had begun.


NSFW: profanity 0:00 - 0:40; nudity 0:35 - 1:10

I have covered today's films here, here, and here.





Visit the Video Gallery for a complete list of the chapters so far.

2 comments:

Shubhajit said...

Here's what I've seen from among those covered here.

The Shining - I'm not as fond of this Kubrick film as most people are. Nicholson, however, was brilliant as always.

E.T. - Undoubtedly a very enjoyable film. But whenever I hear of E.T., the first thing that comes to my mind is the fact that Spielberg had plagiarised the concept of the film from a screenplay for an aborted movie called The Alien that Ray had planned to make (adapted from his own short story). In fact even the look of E.T. has a blatant copy of the sketches that had been made by Ray. And the sad part is Spielberg never bothered to acknowledge that.

Zelig - This was rather nice Woody film - wildly innovative & hilarious.

Scarface - I found the movie too garish & Pacino's performance too loud. However, that said, it does deserve a watch.

Joel Bocko said...

Shining is probably my favorite horror film, though not my favorite Kubrick. I remember you saying that about E.T. in Dave's countdown a while back; definitely unfortunate though unsurprising, as a lot of big filmmakers tend not to share the credit (I remember somebody brining this up about Kubrick/Trumball in a Wonders thread the other day) not that that justifies it of course. Zelig is insanely clever, though there are other Allens I like more it's impossible not to be impressed by the filmmaking chops here (for which I think Gordon Willis probably deserves a lot of acclaim as well). It really feels like a documentary, and the old footage really seems old, whic his quite an accomplishment.

Scarface is admittedly garish & loud, but those are the qualities I love about it haha. Still, definitely not everyone's cup and tea. Does make a nice segue into the heat of the 80s though...