August 3rd, 2007

beardie

Recent Movies

Three quite memorable films seen in the past week:

Seraphim Falls

Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan play men on opposite sides of the Civil War who have Issues with one another because of an Incident in the Past which is Revealed at the End. And all those facetious capitals make it sound as if I liked this movie less than I actually did. I liked it a lot, in fact. It's one of those simple, mythic westerns, in which no one says much but it looks beautiful and has hidden depths. Both leads are terrific, particularly Brosnan, who is a revelation in his later years when he's not being fluffy or Bond. Angelica Huston turns up towards the end as a somewhat inexplicable dea ex machina. It IS all rather mythy, but very effective overall. And the cinematography is stunning.

Kiss Me Deadly

This was the latest in our film noir night series. Only a small group this Tuesday - Kelly, Greg, Ty and I - but appreciative of what I felt was the best of the three I've seen so far. Yes, in some ways even better than the Maltese Falcon, if that's not sacrilegious. Tough, spare, suspenseful, not a shot wasted anywhere, and lots of great black and white shots making good use of angles and shadows. An interesting focus on feet and legs - a kind of ground level POV that seemed to pertain. Opening and closing sequences both among the more memorable in my viewing experience. And it's interesting to see where Quentin Tarantino and others got a lot of ideas (we said, surely Spielberg based the opening of the Ark of the Covenant on what happens here).

Stranger Than Fiction

Just seen last night. I LOVED this movie. LOVED it. Of course, one of the interests in my user profile is "metafiction" so what do you expect, but this is perhaps the most successful and purely entertaining of a recent spate of such (with the possible exception of Spotless Mind, which is one of my all-time fave movies). I don't like Will Farrell, normally - I think he has cold and empty eyes and just can't get past that - but I thought he was effective in this. Emma Thompson is, as always, magnificent, and I loved the unexpected appearance of others like Dustin Hoffman and Linda Hunt. But I think I'll want to see this one again. Delightful.

And I've just realized that I don't have a purpose-built movie icon. I need something that picks up the "dog" theme that I'm not scrupulous about but try to maintain when possible. Any suggestions? (not Old Yeller, please).