Monday, March 15, 2010

Conversations 2010, part 4

John, why didn't you pick up Vera Cruz for me? Such a shame that you passed on it. But, I suppose I have to support your self-discipline. Good job, John. I actually just watched Hidden Fortress for the first time this weekend. I'll say more about it later (though you will likely already have read what I have to say by the time you read this post). I tend to be an opportunist when it comes to buying movies and music. I don't want to miss out on a good deal on something I might not own and am willing to put up with owning two if I make a mistake. I have yet to unconsciously by a third copy of anything, though. I'll start to worry when that happens.

I'm sorry LOST is disappointing to you. I've been enjoying it immensely. I guess I tend to be of the opinion that one should withhold judgment until the curtain is drawn. That said, only this week did I begin to see the correlation between the events in the "present" and the sideways flashes, so I'm not always the most observant viewer. Maybe the details I'm missing would cause me more critical distress had I noted them. Adrienne, of course, noticed the phenomenon weeks ago.

I do sincerely hope, John, that you will follow through on your threat to come up to see a film at the Drden sometime. You are both welcome to crash at my place (and that has been confirmed by the Household Manager) for the night- or two, as the case may be (if the Dryden has a particularly interesting series, perhaps). I'd love to meet you in person sometime, Brandon.

Speaking of Jarmusch, I can't speak to the quality of Stranger Than Paradise yet, but I had surmised that once I finally saw Down By Law a half a year ago that I had seen all the the essential Jarmusch films. Well, let me qualify that. To some degree, all of his films are essential in my opinion-- he is one of the most creative yet accessible directors I have been exposed to. His films have recognizable and identifiable characters and settings, but they almost always take off in completely unexpected directions in terms of dialogue and plot. He's like the indie-Hollywood director. And that really is a compliment. He's primarily responsible for my descent into the world of foreign and independent film, as Night On Earth was one of the first non-mainstream films I saw as such, and it was revelatory. That said, you only need to see a few of his films to immediately get a sense of his distinct style. When I recommend Jarmusch, I almost always recommend Mystery Train first, followed by Down By Law (now that I've seen it) and Dead Man. He remains in my top ten directors list to this day.

And a couple more asides-- I've always loved It's a Wonderful Life and honestly thought everyone did. I didn't realize there was a hipster subculture hating on the film. Those hipsters, I swear. Is anything good enough for 'em? And, secondly, am I the only one who saw a glaring connection between Inglorious Basterds and The Dirty Dozen? Maybe it's so obvious that no one thought to mention it, but it was fascinating to me. I'm talking strictly about story here, too, not themes or subtext or any of that blah-de-blah. The whole act of infiltrating the chateau, almost to an element, reminded me of the theater scene in Basterds. I can't imagine Tarantino wasn't making a deliberate reference of some sort. I mean, he's known for that anyway, isn't he?

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