remembering the overlooked and underrated

Archive for the ‘Motion Pictures’ Category

“Do you think I’m just anybody? Do you?” Lawrence of Arabia Returns

In Motion Pictures on September 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

One of my favorite moments in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012) happens early on in the film. The android David, played by Michael Fassbender, is watching a movie and studying closely the voice and manner of the man on screen, even repeating lines until he has perfectly mimicked the actor’s delivery. Shortly thereafter, David dyes his hair blonde to look more like the man in the movie. That man is Peter O’Toole. The movie is Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this, not because I thought it was silly, but because a) few actors besides Michael Fassbender are pretty enough to come anywhere close to looking like O’Toole, and b) it was a wonderfully sly way of hinting at the troubles to come. It’s only a hint, of course, if you’re familiar with Lawrence — in which case you know that if the android’s role model is this fictional version of T. E. Lawrence, then the android is definitely not to be trusted. But if you’re not familiar with director David Lean’s masterpiece, then I have good news for you: it isn’t too late. Read the rest of this entry »

How Ryan Gosling Drove Out the Black Bile of August

In Items of Singular Interest, Motion Pictures on August 16, 2012 at 2:31 am

I want to tell you about Drive. But I can’t do that without first telling you a bit about my bile. See, lately I’ve been feeling melancholy. Or at least that’s what I thought I was feeling. On a whim, I checked the Merriam-Webster definition.

An abnormal state attributed to an excess of black bile and characterized by irascibility and depression.

Obviously I had misdiagnosed myself. I’m proud to say that my black bile level has been fine since this past January, and I expect it to remain so.

Laurence Olivier as the Melancholy Prince

Read the rest of this entry »

Visual Audacity: The Mill and the Cross

In Art, Motion Pictures on June 26, 2012 at 7:00 am

The Mill and the Cross (2011)

Every execution has a history.

Here are two men in the forest, choosing a tree; one slices a cross into the bark before they begin chopping. The bark will be cut away, the tree made into a tall post.

Here is a man wandering a dirt road, pushing what looks like a wagon wheel before him; we wonder if he is simple, or, perhaps, mad. The wheel, when it reaches its final destination, will be fixed to the top of the post. How can we, at this moment, possibly guess its grisly purpose? Read the rest of this entry »

Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.

In Motion Pictures on January 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Netflix Instant is now streaming Mad Detective, a violent, visually arresting Hong Kong thriller from 2007.

I watched it. You should too. Here’s why. Read review –>

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