Thursday, July 31, 2008

Famous Last Words 3.9

Last week's quote was taken from William Peter Blatty's The Ninth Configuration. Here's this week's:

“Oh, if only you could have recognized what was always yours… could have found what was never lost…”

Submit all guesses to this e-Mail address no later than 11:59 PM Eastern on Wednesday. Good luck!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Famous Last Words 3.8

Last week's quote was taken from John Hancock's 1973 film Bang the Drum Slowly. Here's this week's:

"Hey, hold it- where did the St. Christopher medal come from?"

Submit your guesses to this e-mail address. Remember, submissions are due no later than 11:59 PM Eastern on Wednesday. Good luck!

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Slaughter Is the Best Medicine."

As much as any filmmaker currently working in Hollywood, Christopher Nolan makes movies that practically demand that viewers talk about them afterward. It would be easy to chalk this up to clever plotting- the “backwards” structure of Memento famously compelled audiences to sort the story out for themselves. But it would be a mistake to dismiss it as mere gimmickry, as Nolan’s best films (Memento, The Prestige, and now The Dark Knight) display a surprising amount of thematic heft that keeps them lingering in the mind after the storylines have long since been sussed out. Perhaps most miraculously, Nolan at his best is able to couch his themes so naturally in their stories that the movies are almost as enjoyable for passive viewers as they are for active ones. However, this tendency also makes it impossible to discuss the themes without talking about the plots themselves, which means you’ll have to click to read the rest of this review in the interest of protecting the spoiler-phobic.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Famous Last Words 3.7

Last week's quote was taken from Godard's Pierrot le Fou.

Halfway through the round, and the prizes are still up for grabs. Here's this week's quote:

“From here on in, I rag on nobody.”

Submit your answers to this e-Mail address no later than 11:59 PM Eastern on Wednesday. Good luck!

Criterion Watch, July 2008

Before we begin the Criterion watching in earnest, I'd like to finally update something on last month's CW that's been left hanging all this time: the cover for September's release of Ozu's An Autumn Afternoon.

Moving on to October releases, the tenth month brings three new pressings of previously-released Criterions, although two of these are titles that were once solely available in a box set, which is good news for a cheap bastard like me.

I already own the third, and I'm guessing the sole difference between my version and this new one is that it won't include the corresponding volume of Carver stories. Which, truth be told, is sort of a bummer.

As for the new releases, nothing seems quite so momentous as last month's triple shot of Ophüls, but it's not too bad either. First off, it looks like Criterion is getting into the Costa-Gavras business. Not a huge fan of the guy, but I won't complain about his inclusion.

And of course, two new Melville releases certainly make for welcome news, especially when I haven't seen one of them, and that one stars the great Lino Ventura.

Another upcoming release for the fall is the Essential Art House box #1, which appears to be quite the eclectic mix. I think I speak for everyone when I say...

... Lord of the Flies? "Essential"? Really?

Finally, the clue from this month's Criterion newsletter doesn't exactly get the blood a-pumpin'.

I haven't seen the original Fanfan le Tulipe, but I haven't heard especially good things about it. Where's the promised Rossellini box, guys?

Edited 19 July to add: Reader Michael was kind enough to inform me of the latest addition to the Eclipse series, coming this fall.

I've seen two of these, and I concur with Michael about their awesomeness, particularly 1936's Sisters of the Gion. Nice catch, bud.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

There's a Rainbow in Toronto...

... Unfortunately, I won't be following it this year.

There are several reasons for this. The first, of course, is money. Last year's trip was expensive, and I'm not sure I could afford it again without some serious scaling back in a lot of other areas. Between the cost of travel, lodging, and incidentals, to say nothing of the movies themselves, it was somewhat unrealistic of me to expect to return on a yearly basis in my current situation.

In addition, I'm currently planning some changes in my life starting this fall. I can't go into detail quite yet, except to say that they'll take up quite a bit of my time and would most likely make TIFFing unfeasible. But don't worry, it's nothing bad.

I'd be lying if I was to say I wouldn't miss it. Even though first year was my first TIFF experience, it was probably the best vacation I've taken in my life, and I met a lot of great people up there. I'd love to go again given the chance, but it'll just have to wait for now.

But don't feel too bad. Instead of the Toronto trip, I'll be making some smaller excursions this year. For example, I'm looking forward to taking Angela up to Cleveland for her birthday to see Radiohead. It's not the massive event TIFF is by any means, but it's just as special in its way- perhaps more so.

Enjoy Toronto, TIFF pals. I'll be with you in spirit this year. Until we meet again...

Famous Last Words 3.6

Last week's quote was from John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock. Here's this week's:

“It’s ours again.”
“What is?”
“It’s just the sea.”
“And the sun.”

Somewhat longer than usual, but what the hell. Remember, all guesses must be submitted to this address no later than 11:59 Eastern next Wednesday. Good luck!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Famous Last Words 3.5

Last week's quote was from A Day at the Races. Here's this week's quote:

“First time the Streamliner’s stopped here in four years.”
“Second time.”

Submit your guesses to this address no later than 11:59 PM Eastern on Wednesday. Good luck!