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Monday Movies: This is my rifle, this is my gun

Movies watched this week:

  • The Blue Kite — the decision to use an obnoxious little kid as the narrative center of this historical epic seemed bizarre to me at first, but everything became clear when the plot culminated in the Cultural Revolution — Tietou is a kid who was born denouncing his elders. The fact that he seems custom-tailored to participate in the Cultural Revolution produces the one genuine narrative tension: will he denounce his mother? Overall, I found this movie more interesting to think about than to actually watch.
  • Full Metal Jacket — our Kubrick “light completism” project continues apace, as does my attempt to watch “oh my God you haven’t seen that yet?!”-type films. Particularly in the basic training section, I felt like I was watching Hamlet, discovering the origin of so many phrases — The Girlfriend even thought it was possible that “eat shit and die” stems originally from this movie, which I was unable either to confirm or deny. It deserves more comment, but I need time to process it.

Our pace of movie-watching has slowed down due to our continued MacGyver-watching. What have you been watching, dear readers?


March 22, 2010 - Posted by | Monday Movies


  1. Greenberg – in addition to my notes here (Adam, you might have to add it to your Awkwardness queue) I will add that it has the least fussy abortion I have ever seen in the movies (not there’s been so many — Fast Times and 4 Days etc. are the only ones that come to mind), and that God bless Greta Gerwig’s body, which is unusually large for the movies.

    Comment by K-sky | March 22, 2010

  2. On the topic of “Oh shit, you haven’t seen that yet?” films, I just watched Casablanca with my wife for the first time last night. It’s been in my collection for about a year, too.

    Comment by Colin | March 22, 2010

  3. Six hours of Deadwood.

    Comment by Anthony Paul Smith | March 22, 2010

  4. I saw A Serious Man. I wanted to love it but eventually grew weary of having to hype it to myself. I thought it was quite tedious without a commensurate payoff.

    Comment by Hill | March 22, 2010

  5. I also saw The Cove. It made me l love dolphins, but it also induced feelings of cultural superiority that made me uncomfortable.

    Comment by Hill | March 22, 2010

  6. I saw 9. The one about the puppets, not all the women. Based on the quality, it should probably have been called 5.5.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | March 22, 2010

  7. As a prepubescent boy in the very early 70’s I both received and hurled “eat shit and die” quite liberally. It probably dates to Chaucer, “frete shyte and spille”.

    Comment by jerry westerby | March 22, 2010

  8. Otomo Yoshihide did the soundtrack for The Blue Kite! I’ve never seen the movie but I like the music.

    Comment by ben | March 22, 2010

  9. I watched District 9, which was considerably better than expected, and Killer of Sheep, which was tremendous on just about every level.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | March 22, 2010

  10. Go to YouTube and watch “Winter Set,” the end’s a gas.

    Comment by Tor Hershman | March 23, 2010

  11. Gad, moi can’t believe it. It ain’t at YouTube.

    Comment by Tor Hershman | March 23, 2010

  12. I really, really enjoyed A Serious Man. I think it could be the best Coen movie since Lebowski.

    Comment by stras | March 23, 2010

  13. Let it be known that I agree with stras wholeheartedly.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | March 23, 2010

  14. No Country For Old Men is the only close call, right? I enjoyed ASM more. I could be persuaded that NCFOM is the higher accomplishment, but not in the field of making me happy.

    Comment by K-sky | March 23, 2010

  15. …in the category of movies I avoided because bloggers I read hated them even though I usually like the director, we recently saw Happy-Go-Lucky. Turns out it’s really quite good, one of our favorites from Mike Leigh. Expected to but did not at all hate Poppy (though one can see where she’d be a little trying in certain circumstances). Wonder a little about those who did.

    Comment by Richard | March 23, 2010

  16. I will admit that the scene with the old rabbi quoting Jefferson Airplane was brilliant. I watched the movie with two friends that aren’t exactly in to high cinema and spent a lot of cognitive capital worrying about what I may be inflicting on them by having them watch it with me, so perhaps I should see it again by myself. I thought NCFOM was way better, though.

    Comment by Hill | March 23, 2010

  17. The third rabbi is great, but the story of the goy’s teeth is absolutely sublime, one of the most brilliantly-constructed shaggy dog stories in film. As for other recent Coen works, I maintain that both Burn After Reading and The Man Who Wasn’t There are seriously underrated.

    Comment by stras | March 23, 2010

  18. I think that Burn After Reading is actually quite overrated. We must be reading different ratings.

    Comment by K-sky | March 23, 2010

  19. APS: I can only take your comment personally. “Deadwood” is to be mentioned on Thursdays.

    Two movies of note this past week, one of which I’ve discussed in the past. “Step Brothers” was viewed while “eating breakfast” the other day. It truly is a fantastic comedy–an excellent companion to toast and grapefruits. The other movie of note–surprisingly not mentioned here in this thread–is, of course, the obvious “movie event of the year;” viz., “New Moon.” While I was awake (playing Wii) on Friday night such that I could have gone to a “release party” for the movie at Wal-Mart or whatever, I must admit that I am not a “twi-hard.” I didn’t go to the drug store opening at 8:00AM thus confirming that I am not a “twi-medium.” But, I did pick up the movie at the grocery store later in the afternoon, thus confirming that I am a “twi-lite.” Circumstances intervened such that we were unable to watch the movie until Sunday night. It was truly an event, I tell you this. A full review will be forthcoming at a later time once I’ve had the opportunity to mull it over in mind for a few more days. Jasper is an amazing example of a true vampire. He reminds me of my dog, Mica.

    Comment by Craig | March 23, 2010

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