Mar 3, 2006

Film Club

I attend a movie club on Sunday evenings. As you may have fathomed, it's like a book club but with movies, and therefore less intellectually taxing. We did Oscar night last year, and we're doing it this year, goddamit, even if some disgruntled members are threatening to boycott the proceedings. I say there's a lot to learn from this Hollywood extravaganza, provided you equip yourself with plenty of booze. Also, I want to see the dresses. The dresses are key.
In any case, here's a list of recent movies I've watched on DVD at the movie club and on my own. Movies in red are from the very discerning movie club, where there are more exacting standards. Movies in blue are from my own guilty pleasures.
  • Peeping Tom by Michael Powell. Fabulously creepy, over the top, amazing film from 1960.
  • Red Eye by Wes Craven. Wants to be all of the above and isn't. But it is sort of fun. The filmmakers talk about it as if it was a Bergman film, when it is an action movie with some snappy dialogue. Cillian Murphy is very good in it.
  • Cul de Sac by Roman Polanski. A black humor masterpiece. Delightful.
  • Repulsion, by Roman Polanski. Catherine Deneuve loses her marbles. A gem.
  • Knife in the Water. Polanski's first feature. Amazing. (We had a Polanski love fest)
  • Caligula. I had to rent it. It is stomach-churningly awful. It is scary to watch Peter O'Toole, Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren and John Gielgud participate in this epic exercise in porn kitsch.
  • 3-Iron by Ki Duk Kim. A strange Korean movie that grabbed me at the beginning and then exasperated me to no end.
  • Big Deal on Madonna St. A delightful, super-well written Italian comedy by Mario Monicelli which stars both Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio Gasman, which is all anybody ever dreamed of in a film. Woody Allen ripped it off completely and without even mentioning the source in his mediocre Small Time Crooks.
  • Enron: The smartest guys in the room. This film gave me nightmares.
  • Darling by John Schlessinger. It looks great and it stars the great Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde, but it is a leaden, unfunny social satire.
  • Francois Truffaut's Day for Night. We saw a version dubbed in English. Terrible job. The movie is a sweet love letter to the process of making a film. Very moving.

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