Lost in the Movies: THE ARCHIVE: 2009


making & checking resolutionsObama's inauguration • first coverage of The Wind in the Willowsmumblecore • Wonders in the Dark • favorite characters • Reading the Movies meme • The Examiner summer of big screen classics • new releases from 2008/2009Luchino Visconti • my first video essay • my first interview • The Sun's New Yellow (new blog for casual posting) • Best of the 21st Century? (early version) • news stories • contemporary independent cinema

Chapter 4: Restless Hibernation (January - March 2009)


Plans for 2009 - many of which would change, of course

How Charlie Brown celebrates Christmas, twenty-five years apart - and what this says about the evolution of entertainment, Peanuts, and Charles Schulz personally

Through the darkness of future past, the cyborg longs to kill...

Resolutions for the new year (I followed up twelve months later to see how I'd done)

I took an overnight bus to D.C. to witness history, and wrote about the presidential inauguration the following day

Reviewing Jean-Luc Godard for the first time on my site, discussing one of his first forays into politics (and of course, the beginning of his collaboration with Anna Karina)

An obscure puzzle using YouTube clips: the first hint of what would become one of my most extensively-covered subjects

Tribute to John Updike after he passed away


Of all the Busby Berkeley films, this one might work the best as a standalone comedy (not that you'd want to lose the musical numbers)

Answering my YT puzzle from earlier - those were all clips of actors from the Rankin-Bass Wind in the Willows cartoon

Status update after several slow weeks

Reviewing the Rankin-Bass adaptation from a VHS tape recorded off ABC when I was little kid

I finally recorded my thoughts on Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut long after watching it

Sharing an essay written in 2005 about two oft-ignored but absolutely key chapters of The Wind in the Willows


Kicking off a faster pace with this French children's classic

A list of twenty favorite actors, with some clips scattered throughout

Two all-time favorite rock performance docs, in very different styles - The Who vs. Talking Heads, many shows vs. one concert

Capsule on the newly-minted Best Picture winner

Capsules on Valkyrie, Taken, and The Spirit - the last is only two lines long (I felt that was generous)

Gordon Willis' cinematography goes a long way toward convincing us this footage is the real artifact

Several months after reviewing 2046, I circled back to its predecessor

Transcribing the amazing history of an amazing film (from text presented as a slide show on the disc)

Highlights from the winter of 2009

Links to a couple great Wind in the Willows essays I found online

Vincente Minnelli's trashier, international re-invention of The Bad and the Beautiful?

Childhood, adolescence, and youth against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War

A collection of Lynch's (mostly) early work - the last time I reviewed his films for half a decade

Over a decade before Snow White, Lotte Reiniger made a dazzling animated feature

My attempt to kick off a second leg of my director series didn't go very far but did yield a couple reviews of interesting DeMille silents

Re-visited this film a dozen years after it's release and...wow, was it a stinker

My first foray into mumblecore

A look at everyday life, broadcast over the gulf of a lifetime

My last DeMille for the soon-to-be-abandonded director series

Before echoing Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma echoed Jean-Luc Godard

In my exploration of zeroes lo-fi I was REALLY taken with this one, not just a curio but a truly great film (capsules of all the other mumblecore I watched that spring were featured in the comments section below)

Highlights of March 2009, the last time I would present a monthly round-up

Chapter 5: Covers, Characters, and Wonders (April - June 2009)
Read about this chapter


A New Direction
Shifting gears as I contemplate a more measured approach

Godard/Nixon or, Why I Must See This Movie
I was struck by the amusing descriptions of King Lear in a Jean-Luc Godard bio

To Kill a Mockingbird
Critical but not altogether dismissive perspective on the beloved 1962 film

What Do Critics Dream About?
Transcribing an essay by Francois Truffaut


Fred and Ginger
Updating my Astaire-Rogers dance collection

Wonders in the Dark
Falling in love with the decade countdowns of the late, great Allan Fish

The Great Movies
One of my favorite movie books when I was growing up, illustrated with scans of its bold, colorful pages

Reading the Movies
This was definitely my signature post in 2009 - a collection of movie books that influenced me as a child, teenager, and young adult, with an invitation for other movie bloggers to join


Three by Truffaut
Transcribing three essays by Francois Truffaut, on Citizen Kane, Muriel, and Roberto Rossellini

Chapter 6: Examining the Options (June - October 2009)
Read about this chapter

Waiting for the 25th Hour
My first piece written for another site, diving into Spike Lee's 9/11-conscious film for the "Counting Down the Zeroes" series

The Wild Bunch
Covering a "widescreen" series at a local theater for the Examiner site, I started with Sam Peckinpah's classic western

Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009
Reflections on the King of Pop after his death


Gone With the Wind
The summer classic film retrospective continues with this MGM super-production on the big screen

The Movie Bookshelf
Gathering all the personally influential movie books chosen by dozens of bloggers in response to my own round-up

Apocalypse Now Redux
Francis Ford Coppola's grand folly speaks to the myths of both Vietnam and New Hollywood

The Lost Son of Havana
Low-key study of Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant - the multiplex had a warning on the desk for customers who were angry they'd bought tickets to a documentary

2001: A Space Odyssey
The sci-fi classic plays like four films in one

16 Days into July (One Year and Counting)
Celebrating my site's first anniversary in a directory, with much to gather but so much more on the horizon

Mark Rudd and the Weather Underground
Reporting on a live appearance by a former member of the Weather Underground

Lawrence of Arabia
Not just a landscape film but a psychological portrait drawn through the use of space and a subtle narrative/aesthetic structure

(500) Days of Summer
I wasn't particularly charmed by the winking stylization of this romantic comedy (although I ended up liking it more on a rewatch a couple years later)


The Hidden Fortress
Getting to see Akira Kurosawa's crowdpleaser on the big screen, I loved it

Steven Spielberg's big breakthrough is half Alfred Hitchcock, half Howard Hawks

The Leopard
Luchino Visconti bids farewell to the age of aristocrats

Rocco and His Brothers
I was bowled over by Visconti's larger-than-life slice of neorealism

A million miles from Rocco's milieu, the decadent indulgence of late Visconti

Historias Extraordinarias
This incredible film completely took me by surprise when I caught it at a small offshoot of a small festival on a Sunday morning

The Life & Death of Peter Sellers, or How We Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Zeroes
Who knew that an HBO Peter Sellers biopic would be among the best, nastiest portraits of the zeroes zeitgeist?


Nights and Weekends
Greta Gerwig and Joe Swanberg pair as directors as well as actors for an awkward outing (often if not always appealingly so)

Filmmakers of the Fall
What various directors had in store for the autumn of '09

The Dancing Image presents "directed by Brian De Palma" (CINEMA VIEWFINDER DE PALMA BLOG-A-THON)
My first video essay, fusing Scarface, Carrie, and Hi, Mom!; still one of my favorites, it got a bit lost in the shuffle at this time

For the Love of Movies
A documentary about film criticism mourns the dying of the light

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
When Polanski was briefly captured by Swiss officials, I reviewed this documentary about his crime, case, and persona

The video introduction to Fairie Tale Theatre
Re-living the celebrity-studded fairy tale series I loved as a child, with the aid of an old video promo


The Baader-Meinhof Complex
The German left-wing terrorist group re-imagined three decades later

You Don't Need a Metro to Know Which Way the Wind Blows (or It's All Over Now, Hollywood)
Musings about change on the horizon for the medium and industry

Chop Shop
My very short-lived double daily review format begins with neo-neorealism in the outer boroughs

The Lost Weekend
Pool full of liquor then you dive in it...

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Dante-esque journey into the bowels of the Romanian health care system (maybe that's why some dubbed it a "Comedy")

Ivan the Terrible
Sergei Eisenstein's flamboyant two-part biopic is a trip

Mutual Appreciation
Andrew Bujalski's follow-up to Funny Ha Ha brings a similar style to black-and-white Brooklyn instead of color Cambridge

It's a Gift
W.C. Fields heads for the orange groves of southern California in an old jalopy

8 1/2
Quick take on the Fellini classic, standing at the crossroads of different sixties

My Brother is an Only Child
Sibling rivalry and ideological conflict between a communist and a fascist

Drag Me to Hell
Reviewing a Sam Raimi biopic in time for Halloween

Chapter 7: Open Season for Blogging (November - December 2009)
Read about this chapter


And they're off...
Introducing a new blog, The Sun's Not Yellow, for more frequent, spontaneous takes

Dickens does Drunk
Sharing an amusing excerpt from David Copperfield

You Only Live Once
Sharp, evocative Fritz Lang proto-noir

This is Your Brain on Cartoons
The most popular toon characters of the late eighties teach a teen the dangers of pot

Finally catching up with WALL-E a year after its release

Why are kids' movies sadder?
The emotional pull of family films

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
My first Mikio Naruse, a bittersweet portrait of stoicism and grace

Year Obama
My thoughts on the one-year anniversary of the president's election

Jewish Film Festival in Boston
Writing about Boston film events for the Examiner, I previewed this festival

Pier Paolo Pasolini's gorgeously rough debut

The Exterminating Angel
Luis Bunuel's proto- (and reverse-) Discreet Charm...the guests can eat, they just can't leave

Beatles on your screen
Celebrating Beatles music videos - though all the clips are gone now!

Two News Stories
Reacting to headlines in the fall of 2009

Early Stan Brakhage is experimental but not abstract

Sergei Eisenstein recreates the Bolshevik Revolution

The Muslim Matter (Fort Hood & Maj. Hasan's Religion)
Taking issue with the coverage of a shooting on a military base

Over at the Examiner
Listing screenings around Boston, including several classics

discussing Schindler
Linking to a conversation about Schindler's List

This week on Examiner
Announcing upcoming work (although Ballast, featured in the picture, would actually go up later)

The Stars Are Beautiful
Transcript of Brakhage's narration for one of his seventies films

For the Love of Movies interview
My first interview, with Gerald Peary, a critic who made a documentary about criticism

Frozen River
Reviewing a film about borders, poverty, and racism for the Examiner

Welcome to Hugowood
I was still fairly centrist in 2009 but even then I was highly suspicious of the U.S. line on Venezuela

What are the Best Films of the 21st century?
Kicking off the first leg of my Best of the 21st Century? series reviewing acclaimed zeroes cinema I hadn't seen before

Halloween in November: Universal horror classic #1...

...and Universal horror classic #2

This week on Examiner
Planning for the week ahead with reviews of comedy, drama, and magical realism

Pirate Radio
Milking the sixties in the late zeroes

Flight of the Red Balloon
My Best of the 21st Century? series begins with a mellow film containing subtle dualities

Elliptical and enigmatic, this quiet movie was shot in the Mississippi delta

Handcrafted Cinema and Figuring Out Day of Wrath
For Thanksgiving, I highlighted two essays, on Il Posto and Day of Wrath, by the great critics Kent Jones and Jonathan Rosenbaum

Reading I Met the Walrus
A nifty book about an unusual encounter with John Lennon

This week on Examiner
Teasing some upcoming reviews for the Examiner, including two documentaries and an action comedy

Where is Mulholland Dr.?
1001 Films You Must See Before You Die, you say? Can't wait to read their take on the most acclaimed film of the 21st century. Now to take a big sip of coffee, and flip to the back of the book...

Man on Wire
Documenting the Twin Towers in a peaceful, if poignant, context


In Bruges
Is Bruges a shithole?

Capturing the Friedmans
A complicated documentary on a complicated subject

Coming up this week
Teasing upcoming reviews of three non-American but English-language films (well, maybe three and a half)

This is England
Nostalgia turns to tragedy in the mid-eighties UK

I was the only person in the theater for this one which was both unnerving and maybe less uncomfortable than the alternative

Grizzly Man
Distillation of Werner Herzog's bitter view of nature, through someone else's lens

The Tracey Fragments
Novel stylistic/storytelling approach didn't quite work for me

Catching up
Pursuing many classics I'd never seen before - though as it turns out, I wouldn't write about most of them

The Girlfriend Experience
Steven Soderbergh captures the rancid polish of late zeroes America so well it makes the film itself nearly unbearable

A short reflection from nineteen-year-old me (pulled from the archive when I needed something to re-post in '09)

Annie Hall
Another excerpt from the same lengthy Woody Allen essay

...enin rebmun, enin rebmuN
At the end of 2009, I looked back on my resolutions for the site from January - how did I do?

Kings and Queen
French film that plays like a postmodern novel

Syndromes and a Century
I was enchanted by the dreamy texture of my first Apichatpong Weerasethakul film

A Christmas Tale
Marking the holiday with a French family drama/comedy (and though this wasn't the plan, wrapping up my first approach to Best of the 21st Century?)

Best of the blogosphere
Preparing to look back at the past year in online film coverage

Happy new year (best of the blogosphere goes up next week)
New Year's salutations from The Dancing Image

(I covered this year on Episodes 4, 5, 6 and 7 of my Patreon podcast)

No comments:

Search This Blog