Thursday, September 19, 2013

Images from the Two-Day Viewing Marathon, 9/15 - 9/16


On Sunday, September 15, and Monday, September 16, I held a "viewing marathon" - not a movie marathon per se as it included episodes of TV series and miniseries and video essays as well as short films and features. Since  I usually don't include episodes or video essays in #WatchlistScreenCaps line-ups, those appear in a smaller size and are not on the master list (which can be found here). My previous mixed-medium viewing diary is here.


viewed September 15, 2013:

"We're gonna try to go fast enough to go into the night!" The home movie as surreal dream trip
Boat (2007), dir. David Lynch

Another boat ride into the inner and outer darkness
The Ark (2007), dir. Grzezorj Jonkajtys

Walking down memory lane
56 Up (2012), dir. Michael Apted

Movie stars and yogis lounge in glamorous New Jersey
Before Hollywood, There Was Fort Lee, N.J. (1964), dir. Thomas Hanlon

the above documentary included the following short films in their entirety:
And he will lift you up, on eagle's wings...
Rescued From an Eagle's Nest (1908), dir. J. Searle Dawley

The comic mob mobilizes & star Mack Sennett learns his future style
The Curtain Pole (1909), dir. D.W. Griffith

One of the less delicate methods of home invasion
The Lonely Villa (1909), dir. D.W. Griffith

Casual tryout for the local skiffle band
Nowhere Boy (2009), dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson

Dancing with strangers
Simon Killer (2012), dir. Antonio Campos

The subject begins directing the interview
Antonio Campos and the Case of the Conscious Camera (A Mystery) (2013), inter. Zach Wigon

A new view of an old legend
Peter and the Wolf (2006), dir. Suzie Templeton

Has the MacGuffin becomes the sine qua non? 
The Key to Reserva (2007), dir. Martin Scorsese

viewed September 16, 2013:

Fake spiders can be just as dangerous as real ones
Spider (2007), dir. Nash Edgerton

Map of the mad metropolis etched on her smooth skin
Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), dir. Busby Berkeley

From riches to rags
The Busby Berkeley Disc (comp. 1933 - 37), chor. Busby Berkeley

When in Rome, do as the vipers
first episode of I, Claudius (1976), dir. Herbert Wise

When they conquered a baseball stadium, the British Invasion was complete
fifth episode of The Beatles Anthology (1995), dir. Bob Smeaton, Geoff Wonfor

Giving the cake that personal touch
Video Essay - Lie Back and Enjoy It: a film about JoAnn Elam (2013), crea. Jessica Bardsley

Video postcard from the city of odd angles
San Francisco (2013), dir. Jason Bellamy

Enveloped in death's comforting embrace
Eurydice...She, So Beloved (2007), dir. Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay


5 comments:

Doug Noakes said...

"The Key to Reserva" is such a great little tribute to Hitchcock by a fellow master of the form. I've followed the "UP" series to 49 and it's quite interesting to see how a film experiment like this became an ongoing popular series. I hope someone will try to to something similar for the coming generation. And what can you say about "Golddigers of 1933 " and that wonderful close-up of saying "Screw Depression angst!" Ginger Rogers' shiny if imperfect teeth bridges glamour and social realism.
Great selection Joel .

Joel Bocko said...

Commercials are tricky when it comes to figuring out my watchlist criteria - for me to actually include them, they have to stand alone as a short film, which is obviously really subjective (the type of standard I usually try to avoid in figuring out what I'll screen-cap). Key to Reserva obviously qualifies though it's interesting to consider that what's usually the dismissable "MacGuffin" is here the product that must be effectively sold for the commercial to matter at all.

56 Up is, I think, the most sedate of all the entries so far. It doesn't build much on the previous entries and you can sense a lot of the characters withdrawing, ever-frustrated that their complex lives are represented through such a small prism and yet hesitant to reveal more. This is probably the chapter in which Apted most comes up against the limitations of the project.

Gold Diggers of 1933 is brilliantly zestful, yet part of the reason I love it (much more than '35 which I saw this weekend for the first time) is because it acknowledges Depression angst in the process of giving it the finger. Ironically, as the characters' lives become more luxurious and successful, the productions they put on become more socially conscious: so that we go from poor showgirls putting on a carefree "We're in the Money" number (which, let's remember, gets busted up by authorities because the money's actually run out!) to rich showgirls putting on the radically conscious "Remember My Forgotten Man". I wrote up my thoughts on it here, 4 years ago:

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2009/02/gold-diggers-of-1933.html

Joel Bocko said...

And nice point about her teeth! Small but pertinent example. Hollywood in the 30s really knew how to balance between acknowledging the present and offering escapist entertainment. Something that's no longer the case, unfortunately.

Doug Noakes said...

You have some very interesting takes on the first "Gold Diggers" film, Joel, which is agree is the best film of the series. I hadn't noted that the musical numbers do get bleaker as the film progresses and the fortunes of the Blondell, Rogers and Keeler team, et al, improves. It seems almost as if the opposing moods of song and story compliment each other in getting the story grounded and not too glossy in the MGM house style manner.

"Nowhere Man" was an interesting bio of early John Lennon. I thought it a shame that someone (Yoko Ono?) refused to acknowledge Lennon's long-standing romance and marriage to Cynthia Lennon. Perhaps there were other legal problems, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ono is still jealous of the firs Mrs. Lennon because she was there and present for the pop revolution she missed. Just my theory.

The sad thing from a biographical point is that an important part of Lennon's earlier life is obscured and less-informed viewers are left thinking he was incapable of a serious relationship with a woman because of his (a)strong-willed aunt, or, (b) deceased mother. At least the meetings of Lennon and McCartney and Harrison seem to be honest.

Joel Bocko said...

Interesting point about Cynthia; I didn't even think about her absence, just figured it wasn't part of the story they were telling (Stu Sutcliffe isn't in there either, after all) but you're right that it COULD have been because after all their relationship began right after his mother died and was obviously shaped by that.