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Yuck.

 

I know half the world is crowing about how wonderful Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is... but they're all right. I think Charlie Kaufman is perhaps the only person in all of the film world that I would call an artist. And the Michel Gondry DVD is very wonderful, blows the Spike Jonze and Chris Cunningham DVDs out of the water (though both have merits; Cunnigham's affiliation with Aphex Twin helps him considerably).

 

Looking for a good movie to watch, and for the most part coming up dry. I'm talking really good here, like "this movie will blow your mind" type of good, not that "blah blah, this is Tarantino meets Someone Tarantino Always Rips Off, blah" type o' movies. Like back in the day when I saw American Beauty, Fight Club, and Pi within a few months of each other, and read Vonnegut and Robbins and Stoppard for the first time(s). Those were the days.

 

Has anything non-Charlie Kaufman come even close to satisfying these criteria in recent history? I need to go to the Red Vic more often, expecially now that The Castro is going down the tubes like so much of last week's butternut squash soup that didn't agree with me.

 

I am studying film in school, and in my extremely limited studies I have discovered that finding a director who attempts to do anything other than the crappiest over-budgetted drivel that is even competant is nigh impossible. I see movies today and know that, even in my extreme ignorance, I know more about lighting and editing than the people given an average of $70-80 million per picture. Professional filmmakers learn from watching movies, the movies of directors who learned from watching movies, and so on. You'd have to go back fifty years to find people making movies who have actually studied how one shot affects the next, or how broad 1-point lighting flattens out an image, or what colors are high-contrast and which are complementary, or where the ideal place to position neutral grey is. Information is always lost as people copy their idols without knowing why they made the choices they did, and new information is never gained by this method, and intention is lost over the generations, until people make movies a certain way simply because "that's the way people do it," or people make experiments and charge you money to watch them, because "that's the way you're not supposed to do it."

 

No intention. What is it you want to do?

 

There's a stumper.

 

So, uh, yeah, feel free to recommend something that can impress me, 'cause I'm all eyes. I may even stop back from time to time to see how it's coming along.

 

And, chris, despite all you're regional VCR efforts, I finally saw most of Harrison Bergeron, and was, in fact, rather disappointed. Sorry, mate.

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Stoners don't handle break-ups well.

 

I dunno, dude, seems like a guy his age... or my age... or, hell, your age... maybe has outgrown LucasFans.

 

I should go about getting a nice UBB Board for us all to hang on.

 

Actually, I know a board. I should ask those dudes if we dudes can hang at their Dude Palace.

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Just got back form seeing Triplets of Belleville at the Red Vic. I have, of course, seen it before, but seeing old faves in the theater is always a good way to remember yourself in these times of crisis. I hereby add it to the list of recommendations.

 

Napoleon Dynamite and Garden State (I think) come out of DVD tomorrow. I will finally see them.

 

Tomorrow at the Red Vic is Amelie, and then Wednesday and Thursday are City of Lost Children. It will be a busy week.

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  • 1 month later...

Christmas fuitfully provided me The Animation Show on DVD, which, though missing a few of the theatrical releases (I, for one, was disappointed that Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected was switched with Billy's Balloon), is quite lovely. Animation Show Year 2 premieres in San Francisco next month... my calendar is circled.

 

Watched two artist documentaries from the College of the Arts library: How To Draw A Bunny (on pop artist Ray Johnson) and Sick (on supermasochist/cystic fibrosis patient Bob Flanagan). I have made is a policy to check out something, anything, from the art school DVD library any day that I have time to watch one. This led to me finally seeing Dziga Vertov's Man With A Movie Camera, and has sparked an interest in seeing movies that could not function as books or plays (this coincides with my interest in books that could not be movies/theatre, and I will be investigating plays that could not be films or books). So I'm digging on art that explores the limits and far reaches of it's form, as this whole art cross-pollination binge the modern world is on, though once very intriguing, is now hackneyed, and reduces all three art forms into one homogenized mass of non-literate books, overly-cinematic theatre, and movies based on books that don't remember to be at all filmic.

 

End Rant Now.

 

That said, I recommend all the above. A Very Long Engagement, though sweet, would probably bore you, chris.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As promised:

 

Secret Window way sucked. David Koepp is my all-time least favorite writer, not only penning this script (from a Stephen "My-Least-Favorite-Novelist" King story), but actually directing it as well (if you can call it directing).

 

To sum up the plot, I think my friend Kevin described it best: "The first rule of Fight Club is Redrum, Redrum." If you can't figure that out, don't see the movie. Just let it remain a mystery.

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I made an ass-big list of "modern classics" I need to see after watching Visions of Light (again). I don't have the list, but here's what I dredge from memory:

 

Godfather 1 + 2

Raging Bull

Taxi Driver

Goodfellas

Apocalypse Now!

The French Connection

The Italian Job

The Conversation

The Blow Up

Bonnie & Clyde

Easy Rider

 

...and, like, a bunch of others. It's infuriating to see a cinematography doc and go "wow, I've seen none of this."

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Well, I've seen The Godfather 1 + 2, Taxi Driver and Apocalypse Now!

 

Apocalypse Now! was a long time ago and after seeing Xander's reference in Restless I wanted to watch it again. Some months ago I've bought the DVD (Redux), but it seems to be broken.

 

Taxi Driver is great. And creepy. Little else to say without spoiling too much. You probably know some quotes ("Thank God for the rain to wash the trash off the sidewalk.") and the general direction of the movie anyways.

 

The Godfather: one of the big family sagas like Giant. You haven't seen it???

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Nay, I hayvn't.

 

I have to do a report on Conrad Hall for my cinematography class. Using American Beauty would be too damn easy, as everyone's already seen it... but using In Cold Blood would really just mean using the shot we all already know, where the rain on the window reflects on the killer's face...

 

But I want to see In Cold Blood anyway, and maybe show some people the stuff that they ignore when looking at that famous shot...

 

Or maybe I'll use it as an excuse to watch Butch Cassidy. Hayvn't seen that eiythr.

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Really...

 

Somehow I always figure Kaufman hides in a bush whenever other people are present, and perhaps has one of those fake bushes that he can pick up and scuttle across the street when no one's looking and then resume inertness when the heads turn back in his direction.

 

Or maybe that he slept in a coffin all day.

 

I keep the screenplay for Adaptation on the shelf next to my bed with all my favorite books (and my retainer, a water bottle, melatonin pills, old photos, junk I haven't thrown away...). It is, I believe, between House of Leaves and the bookend.

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I keep the screenplay for Adaptation on the shelf next to my bed with all my favorite books (and my retainer, a water bottle, melatonin pills, old photos, junk I haven't thrown away...). It is, I believe, between House of Leaves and the bookend.

 

Fascinating stuff. Thanks for that.

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I must say that Brando, though doing half-gainers in his grave, is partucularly well-rendered. Nice to know his legacy lives on beyond his last stint as a voice of a female cartoon character, which he recorded in drag from his couch.

 

I have The Seven Samurai in my bag, checked out from the school DVD library, which I have yet to see. I also have another artist doc. I have seen Kurosawa before, however: we watched Ikiru in my film history class two years ago. Why is that all? My friend Julian was obsessed with Toshiro Mifune in high school (my friend being the one in high school, not my friend being obsessed with Mifune being in high school, as Mifune did not attend my campus), so why didn't I ever watch a single Kurosawa movie?

 

Beats me. I hold so many movies in this vague "yeah, I should see that" realm, which really means I'll see it if someone else is a fan of it and puts it on or someone invites me to a screening.

 

Fnuh.

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