Be Kind Rewind
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
The Chicago Ten
Strangers on a Train
Kurt Cobain About a Son
The Senator/ The Rotunda
Other (BMA, DVD, Suburban Multiplex)
Total: 10 (8 in theaters)
Notes: Sadly, I did not catch March's BMA screening of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, but I have heard it went well (for me, this past month was filled with one calamity after another). This Thursday, the free series continues at 8PM with Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, which would be a great window into this surrealist filmmaker's work for those unfamiliar. For those for whom the film and the filmmaker are old friends, this is a chance to catch it on the big screen. More information can be found here.
Well, this is the lowest movie count for a month so far. I have been scraping by on a few staples.
On some level, tending to this blog makes me feel obligated to watch more films. I am certain that, in my recent past, there are months where even fewer films were screened, and they passed without note. Perhaps my fears that I am to become one of "those people" is unfounded, and the number of films will continue to drop until I just go to the movies twice a year, like an average American.
It was good to finally get through Hitchcock's Notorious, a film that puts me to sleep. I can't stand Cary Grant's acting in this particular film and the cinematography goes from pedestrian to daredevil so often that it feels uneven to me. I do understand, after discussion, why the film is so revered. There is no doubt that this retrospective, which gives me a chance to see Hitch's work evolve over time, certainly place the film in beter context.
Of the arthouse slate I digested, I would say that 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days was the champion. I did not leave the theater horrified or distrubed in ways that were not healthy. Be not afraid. Paranoid Park is also worth mentioning, and has made its way to the Charles (I caught it at a Maryland Film Festival screening earlier in the month). Van Sant's recent filmic experiments have not always paid off, but this film achieves a balance between abstraction and narrative that is admirable.
I had firm disagreements with Sragow's take on Be Kind Rewind, but it seems like reviews in general were mixed at best. It is understandable that one could miss the protest against the current copyright war contained in the film if one was not familiar, but I found the film to be witty and touching, perhaps due to my own involvement with amateur film productions. I'd say catch it when it hits the stacks.
Speaking of the stacks, it was good to finally sit down and absorb Mishima. It is amazing to me that this film was released in 1985, but I cannot articulate why (perhaps it has something to do with the output of some of its backers around the same time). It is a huge, beautful, thing (made with no intention of making back any of the budget) about an author whose themes and preoccupations are completely foreign to a Western reader in a number of ways. Mesmerizing.
The tale of woe that was Film Distribution in General in March is up next. I also hope to spotlight some of the other film series around town and speak of the upcoming Tenth Annual Maryland Film Festival. Until then...