Thursday 18 June 2020
I've been very depressed for the past few weeks, and I'm not really in the mood to try and think up something interesting to talk about here on the blog. So let's talk about movies I've watched instead.
88. (1742.) The Sand Pebbles (1966)
You think things are bad now? Look at how much worse they were when this takes place in the 30s, as the colonial-minded US was caught in the Chinese Civil War with hardship and death on all sides as personified in Steve McQueen's protagonist. Or the 60s, when the movie was made amid the growing troubles in Vietnam and race relations on the home front. Maybe life just always has and always will suck.
89. (1743.) Kid Galahad (1937)
It's impossible to make a film about boxing without including a corrupt boxing promoter. Or, in the case of this film, two (played by Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart). In the end, everyone gets what's coming to them. In this case, that means bullets.
90. (1744.) Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)
This is a retelling of an actual FBI case against a Nazi propaganda plot against America that mostly involved convincing white working-class Americans that other races deserve the boot. Of course, that's never been a hard sell in America.
92. (1746.) Lust for Life (1956)
Full credit to Kirk Douglas's star power for surviving an entire movie as a completely unlikable mental patient. I mean, I might know some people *exactly* like Van Gogh, and I would never watch a movie about them.
Ok, hold on. I'm being too negative, aren't I? Let's try something lighter. How about an animated movie created by the same people who made the 1964 stop motion Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
93. (1747.) Mad Monster Party? (1967)
It's crap! Heh. Actually, it's just not very good. It's supposed to be a comedy, but the timing is just awful. I have to believe that this is the fault of the uncredited editor, who simply must not have understood the art of telling jokes. Otherwise, it's got some fun art design and interesting animations, and it very obviously had to be a key influence on the creation of the thematically-similar (but vastly superior) Nightmare Before Christmas.
95. (1749.) Filmed in Supermarionation (2014)
The topic of mid-60s animation is a key theme in this documentary of the studio that created the British Thunderbirds television show. The documentary is a good oral history of an era of television that we will never see again. I found it very interesting, if a bit bittersweet. But these days, bittersweet may be the only sweet there is.
More to come.