Lost in the Movies: THE ARCHIVE Chapter 6: Examining the Options (June - October 2009)

THE ARCHIVE Chapter 6: Examining the Options (June - October 2009)

After drawing attention to my site with the "Reading the Movies" exercise I mostly redirected activity elsewhere, first as a guest blogger contributing twice to a larger series and then as "Boston Indie Movie Examiner" for the Examiner website. With little editorial oversight, I decided that the "indie" label could refer to venues as well as production companies and began covering some of the biggest blockbusters of all time when they played at a New Hampshire arthouse cinema over the summer. Wonders in the Dark began highlighting an Examiner piece every week, adding to my platforms, and in the autumn yet another site provided a key opportunity: I created my first video essay for Cinema Viewfinder's Brian De Palma blog-a-thon

Subjects include - despite the shift elsewhere - the first anniversary of my personal site, films of Luchino Visconti, the (then) upcoming works of major directors, an event with an aging member of the Weather Underground, and speculation about where the characters of 25th Hour would be seven years after that story took place.

Since the De Palma video was later revised and incorporated into a longer conversation, I'll save that for later and highlight a written piece for this period instead: my review of Lawrence of Arabia envisions the film's use of landscape as psychodrama rather than simply spectacle.


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 this 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

(I covered this period on Episode 6 of my Patreon podcast)

Next: Open Season for Blogging (November - December 2009)
(in which I launch a new platform for more casual and prolific blogging)

Previous: Covers, Characters, and Wonders (April - June 2009)

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