Movies watched in the past week:
- Putney Swope — inspired by a post by John Emerson, we watched this using the Netflix on demand and were only able to get about halfway through it. There are some good lines in the first half, and it does carry a certain morbid fascination, but overall I couldn’t do it.
- Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus — visually amazing in a much more creative way than Avatar, yet it felt somehow flat. It was awkward to try to shoehorn in replacements for Heath Ledger (though I think using multiple actors for the same character is an interesting idea), and it was clear that they were trying to squeeze too much of a complex novel into the movie.
- Harold and Maude — the 70s really were a different time. This has some great sequences, but the overuse of that Cat Stevens song kind of brought this down for me.
- Salome (recording of the Richard Strauss opera) — I don’t have a lot of basis for assessing it qua opera, but I was pretty impressed while not exactly rivetted. The use of a much older actor to play the presumably very young Salome was awkward, though she did an amazing job. The Girlfriend and I are now considering using the magic of Netflix to catch up on the high points of opera, though she insists the next one have more identifiable melodies, etc. I think the old Mozart standards should work fine. (If you are able to make recommendations of good perfomances we can get through Netflix, I would love to hear it.)
In the queue for next week (at least for now — I have a couple days to switch things around): The Child (held over from last week), Ordinary People, and Point Blank. As you may be able to tell, I’m trying to get through some “what, you haven’t seen that yet?”-type movies from the 60s and 70s, so I’m open to recommendations there, too. I really do think that Netflix is a unique cultural innovation insofar as you can respond instantly to someone’s recommendation and know that you will eventually follow through on it — I just wish there was an easy feature for you to leave a note to yourself as to why you put something on there.
UPDATE: Next weekend is going to be a banner movie weekend, as we plan to see both The White Ribbon and A Town Called Panic.
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