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November 29, 2008

Moving Images of All Kinds Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* David Chute gets off a lot of hilariously wry, understated, and apt-sounding lines in a short review about a gritty but bogus new youth film called "Fix." (Scroll down a bit.)

* Stu Maschwitz is finding the video that the new SLR cameras capture very sexy. I'm such a huge fan of the mixed video-still camera ...

* Joe Valdez gives Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" some well-deserved respect, and revisits 1978's moody and influential LA crime movie "Straight Time."

* "Not There Yet", an excellent animated short.

* Horror Yearbook lists the top 15 transsexual-killer movies. Not that I've given the topic a lot of thought, but it is a little weird, the way so many movie thrillers have made transsexuals the bad guys, isn't it?

* The most influential wine critic in Japan is a cartoon character.

* The Playful Painter has an active mind and eye, and posts very entertaining and educational time-lapse painting videos. That's a genre that I've been enjoying exploring recently.

* The Half Life 2 version of a Rube Goldberg machine.

* MBlowhard Rewind: By popular demand, a posting in which I recommended some rewarding recent-ish movies. No showboating editing of the kind Donald wrote about in any of these, except for "The Island."



posted by Michael at November 29, 2008


Thanks so much for the acknowledgment, Michael. Even in this - the year of our lord 2008 - I run into movie lovers who just do not like Jackie Brown or Quentin Tarantino in general.

To each their own I guess, but I do find it interesting how the filmmaker himself cites movies like Straight Time or They All Laughed as inspirations, two more films that the public at large have missed the boat on and that people like you or Jeremy Richey are still writing about.

Posted by: Joe Valdez on November 29, 2008 2:44 PM

Straight Time...
God I remember that movie just from the one time I saw it by chance. I was home one day and it came on as on the afternoon matinees on one of those old independent broadcast channels that don't exist anymore. After the first 3 minutes I was glued to the rest of the movie.

They simply don't make them like that anymore.

Also, you gotta love the Japanese. Their wine craze has gotten to the point where even convenience stores around here roll out "The new autumn Beaujolais" with display tables and placards. I've gotten some bonus points because I've taken a few tasting and pairing classes and know my way around a wine list. Most Japanese men stick to beer and shochu and don't vary much from their chosen brand. Wine is a woman's thing, for worse or for better.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on November 29, 2008 6:12 PM

About the 15 films: Just to reassure you, neither me nor any of my friends have any desire to kill anyone. Sure, we are a little annoyed by how often we are abused, beaten, raped, and the targets of other crimes from theft and arson through to murder, but we really don't seem to be inspired toward crime.

I should add that the possibility of being incarcerated in a male prison is a very good reason to avoid crime, apart from most criminal acts being, well, wrong.

We are a surprisingly boring group of people. I wonder whether that fact shouldn't be better known, but the cynic in me fears that we would face even more discrimination and predation for ruining so many sick and misguided fears and fantasies.

Posted by: E on November 29, 2008 8:41 PM

Transsexual killers came from a true story:

Story writers love epicly weird true stories because they're an excuse to write epicly weird plots that would otherwise be mocked as completely implausible.

Posted by: jaakkeli on November 29, 2008 10:25 PM

Jackie Brown is a fucking masterpiece. I can't possibly count how many times I've watched it, but it just gets better and better.

People who couldn't get into it the first time around need to see it again!

Posted by: Sister Wolf on November 30, 2008 12:54 AM

jackie brown is the only tarantino movie i'd ever want to own. great characters. pam grier is great but robert forster and sam jackson steal the show. not a big tarantino fan but i am of that film.

"straight time" is sososo good.god how many cool 70s movies harry dean stanton in? he was the steve buscemi of the 70s. i love hoffman in it and theresa russell is almost as sexy in that as she is in "bad education".

Posted by: t. j. on November 30, 2008 1:31 AM

Jackie Brown. Who knew that Tarantino could make a good movie? All the better for the unbotoxed Forster and Grier, gracefully pilfering the show from the scenery-chewing A-stars, who are also pretty good.

Michael mentions Cellular. Dickens said his formula was "Make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em wait." He sometimes forgot, but Cellular never does. It's one of those far-fetched thrillers that's anchored (just) by a sufficiency of character and intrigue. Goes with popcorn.

As for Red Eye, it's not some self-conscious Hitchcock tribute-thingy...but it's crammed with good Hitchcock stuff. By the way, it's directed by Wes Craven and it's also quite silly. Like Cellular, no mention at the Oscars.(Not a problem for me. I ejected Crash shortly after the opening credits.)

Talking about all this puts me in mind of the nightclub-scene in Hitchcock's Young and Innocent. You know the bad-guy is one of the orchestra-members and that he has a facial-twitch. The camera scans the wait for one of them to twitch you wait some more...and then some more...

Is that the pinnacle of cinematic art? I bloody hope so.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on November 30, 2008 6:52 AM

david is sooo cool its a wonder he is not just all hip.

Happy thanksgiving David!

Posted by: Ramesh on November 30, 2008 8:38 AM

a lengthy article about transexual murderers in films and not a single mention of RHPS?

Posted by: RAW on November 30, 2008 6:17 PM

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