Monday 15 December 2014
And now, for the rest of the story. Or at least the rest of the movies I watched in November.
192. (729.) The V.I.P.s (1963)
The two classic actors that American loves and I just don't care for are Marlon Brando (hack!) and Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe I had to grow up with them. In this film, she's constantly overshadowed by husband Richard Burton, who is a great actor. But then, so is almost everyone else in this movie, including Orson Welles, who appears to be parodying himself.
193. (730.) It's a Small World (1950)
An exploitation flick following the life of a midget who learns that his natural place is in the circus. I'm sure everyone involved felt great about themselves.
194. (731.) It's a Big Country (1951)
This propaganda film is an anthology of short stories featuring many of MGM's biggest stars. The whole thing is spliced together with a Movietone news-style narration. It's a great movie for Americans who love ABC News' "America Strong" public interest segments.
195. (732.) Slither (1973)
I initially confused this with Dirk Benedict's Sssssss, which was also made in '73, but this James Caan movie has nothing to do with snakes. Or logic. It's a road/crime comedy, and completely enjoyable.
196. (733.) The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961)
Premise: Jack Webb and Robert Mitchum are army recruits who live life their own way until hilarity ensues. Except not so much. Webb, of course, is his usually stiff, smug self, but Mitchum seems to be phoning it in in an untaxing role.
197. (734.) Fanny and Alexander (1982)
Seeing this on the channel guide in September, Mom told me to record it. Then she promptly refused to watch it for the next two months. Tired of seeing it sitting there, unloved, I decided to give a try solo. What a terrible decision. Most critics seem to think that this, almost Ingmar Bergman's last film, is something of a masterpiece. I say that if you can't even tell your audience what your plot is after an hour, you're being self-indulgent beyond the definition of narcissism.
As a general rule, I only list movies here I've seen at least halfway through. But I bailed only 1/3 of the way through this snoozefest. However, since I gave this movie an hour of my life, and it gave me nothing in return, I'm counting it!
Here's what I gathered from that hour: three generations of a formerly wealthy Swedish family go about life in 1907. The womenfolk watch amused as their men drink and curse and fuck the hired help (poorly!). And that's your hour! Time well spent.
The screenshot above was when I knew I was done with the film. When you've spent an hour, and the most rewarding thing you've seen is throwaway dialogue designed to illustrate the humdrum gossip of servants living their lives vicariously through others, you realize that there are better ways to be spending your own time. No surprise this was the last film I watched in November.
More to come. Probably.