Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celluloid #110

In Home

Badlands (1973) Malick - One of my all-time favorite movies. The landscapes are beautiful and ominous - so much flat and dry and moody sunsets. Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen are great as Kit and Holly, a young couple who goes on a killing spree through South Dakota and Montana. Kit is totally charming in this cool, indifferent way that it's easy to see his appeal to fifteen year-old girls as well as to the cops that eventually catch him. Normally, I do not like voiceovers in movies, but Holly's gives her a character a numb and innocent quality that I find so fascinating. 5/5

the Gold Rush (1925) Chaplin - Another charming Chaplin film where the Little Tramp gets in on the gold rush in Alaska. He doesn't actually look for gold, but frequents the town where everyone is lodged and lives with a couple mountain men. He of course falls for a local girl, who initially makes fun of him. The scene with the fork and rolls dance is great, as is the comedy of the house on the cliff. 4/5

How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It) (2007) Angio - I had no idea what a Renaissance Man Melvin van Peebles is! This documentary covers his life so far (he's 78) and all of its turns. He is most famous for directing, writing, and starring in Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song which jumpstarted the blaxploitation genre. He also wrote four novels in french, directed a film in the 1960s, made several Gil Scott-Heron - styled albums (in fact, influencing Gil), producing a couple Broadway plays, and writing a book about Wall Street. A total ladies' man and throughly entertaining to watch. 4/5

Old Joy (2006) Reichardt - Two old friends go camping and talk about old times, their current lives, and basically nothing. They both seem melancholy and like a wall has built up between them over time. The story itself is pretty boring, and the idea of dissatisfaction in your 30s is nothing new. However, this film is gorgeous if mostly for the recognizably lush Oregon landscapes - enough to make me feel a little nostalgic for the Northwest. 3/5

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