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Last week my previous journal style mysteriously disappeared. Sign of livejournal going tits up? {tm Nikki Wade} So I went back to the boring old style.

Now that Todd Haynes is done with Mildred Pierce, perhaps he could consider a movie version of Highsmith’s The Price of Salt? Angst, period outfits, and I’m sure you can work Julianne Moore in there somewhere (but not as Carol, please). Because after all the films I’ve seen lately, I could use a good lesbian movie. “They don’t exist, THI!” you will say. I think you may be right. There are gleans of hope here and there but—well, let me go through my recent experiences with ladies who munch in movies.

The Black Swan Gets a Room in Rome with Tilda Swinton But Isn't All Right )
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Saw this via [ profile] jengrrrl. I read A Single Man years ago and frankly I don't remember it being this...exciting in a Hitchcockian way. This will either be very, very good or very, very bad.  Because, I mean...Tom Ford? Of course, he could be a filmmaking savant like Julian Schnabel. And the cast looks fabulous. Cross your fingers.

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From [ profile] badtyler: The Musical Movie Memories Meme

List at least 8 scenes from movies that include music. The movies don't have to actually BE musicals: in fact, it's even more fun if they aren't.

You know I had to include YouTube clips when possible, right? )
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Big gay Monday news. Well, big because it's stuffy and sticky in my office and as a result I don't feel like working (but when do I ever?):

1. Gothamist reports that Brokeback Mountain may be made into an opera. For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE keep Philip Glass away from this project. I think we should all be thankful Brokeback is not getting the third-rate movie-to-Broadway-musical treatment.

2. Watched the movie trailer for the remake of Brideshead Revisited:

I like Matthew Goode, I love Emma Thompson (even in frump mode), but boy, this looks like a ton of suckage. A complete bastardization of the book that makes it into a boring, quasi-tragic hetero love story, where the homoeroticism between Charles and Sebastian is nothing more than an exotic counterpoint. Gutless. Give me the original any day:

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The mighty mighty tagging project is done! This may be of little concern to all of you except [ profile] maroukian, who needs to catch up on her pretentious twat quotes. Even the missus in her sickly, cranky state (she has a vicious cold) made a contribution: the "it's stupid--who cares?" tag! Does this mean she wants to slap said tag on me? Quite possibly, as I laughed like hell when I saw a trailer for Grindhouse on TV the other night...more specifically, the "Death Terror" segment with Rose McGowan and her machine gun leg.

My spouse, however, was not amused by the machine gun leg, deemed it "repulsive," and quietly filed away the incident as evidence of insensitive, doltish, male-like behavior on my part (other evidence includes watching baseball, drinking milk out of carton, eating applesauce out of jar, indifference to state of toilet bowl, the world stopping for Victoria's Secret commercials, etc.).

So, dear readers, I put it to you:

[Poll #949691]
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You know it's bad when you cherish a tooth extraction, and a day lost to bloody gauze and daytime TV (I watched As the World Turns, no lie), over going to work.

On Friday morning I was sitting in the dentist's chair, listening to Billie Holiday (they let you choose your own music for the procedure; how cool is that?), when the dentist's assistant plopped a rather large teddy bear into my lap. Before that, the bear had been eyeballing me from his seat in the corner, coolly assessing my weaknesses: Sure, muthafucker, you said you can go with needles and the local. You don't want the doctor to think you're a pussy. Thing is, I think you're a pussy. A BIG pussy. Apparently the assistant thought likewise.

Over the hiss of laughing gas and Billie, I saw the glint of the needle.

"Squeeze the bear!" shouted the assistant.

The needle slid into my gums.

"SQUEEZE THE BEAR!" shouted the dentist.

Feebly, I squeezed the bear. I heard a drill.

The next thing I knew, the blinding light was off, the bear was in a very compromising position between my legs, and the dentist was grinning at me. "Well! Whaddya say?"

"All done?" I mumbled.

"All done!"

"Holy crap."

"That's what I say! I'm writing you a prescription for Vicodin and I'm going to give you a brief lecture about presecription painkillers..." Well, he didn't quite say that, but he did lecture me. So not only do I have WUSS written on my head, I have POTENTIAL DRUG ABUSER renting space up there as well. (I still have plently o' pills left. Come on-a my house, I'm going to give you Vicodin. Vic-o-din.)

And so I've been on a diet of oatmeal, yogurt, soup, smoothies, peanut butter out of the jar, and crankiness ever since. Because I am dying for a bagel or a slice, you know what I'm saying?

Now that I've bored you with dental talk, onto movie chitchat!

The Battle of the Bads )
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Once upon a time I had a cranky calico cat. Her general misanthropy, indeed, her overwhelming dislike of most everything except food and a warm lap, masked a fine aesthetic soul. She was terrifically sensitive to sound, and there were about three things that would flatten her ears and send her scurrying from the room:

1. Bagpipe music.

2. Me singing "Loving You." It's easy 'cause you're beautiful. Dooot doot doo doo...waaaaah! Okay, this song annoys practically any creature with the ability to hear, so maybe it doesn't count.

3. Philip Glass.

So if said cat were still alive I could, if I were so inclined toward such cruelty, torture her with a double whammy of the soundtrack of not only The Hours, but also Notes on a Scandal.

We saw Notes last week, despite my apprehension--when I'd heard the plot of the film, I worried about the implications of the Judi Dench character: Another portrayal of a frigid, chilly lesbian (with a cat!) who becomes obsessed with a beautiful, unobtainable straight woman. (Although now, having seen the film, I'm not entirely convinced that Dench's character is really lesbian, perhaps just polymorphous perverse? She may have latched onto a man who demonstrated any kindness or superficial interest toward her as did Cate's character.) The subtleties of the acting, however, counteract what could have been stereotyical portrayals in the hands of lesser actors (and a lesser writer/director). Because you have all these melodramatic elements a-brewing--the teacher/student relationship, the wronged husband. Handle with care! (And I also have to give 'em props for a matter-of-fact affectionate presentation of a family that includes a child with Down's syndrome and not making a big "statement" or sentimental muckup of it.)

The only thing that bugged about the film was, you guessed it, the goddamn music. In quiet moments, in tight closeups, it was suddenly there. In Cate Blanchett's big "I'm chanelling Siouxsie and the Banshees, and I'M WRECKING THE FLAT!" moment, it was there. They probably used the music to trigger Cate to heights of psychotic rage:

Director: Oi, Cate!

Cate: Yes?


Cate: Oh JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! [rips apart set]

Judi Dench [wearing earplugs]: I see somebody wants an Oscar very badly.

It was there, spoiling the moment, soaring and crashing wildly and overwhelming everything, as if at the last moment the filmmakers decided they could not trust the audience to think or react or feel anything but a repetitive and oh-so-respectful string drone that tells you: This is a big moment and boy oh boy, you are a fucking idiot if you miss the significance of this. Did you get it? Look, there it is, riding the crest of that music you can't stand! Oh, oops, it's gone. SOWWY.

(I have to admit that Glass's music in The Hours bugged me even more in that film; it was the sonic equivalent of the putty shit on Nicole Kidman's nose: WHY IS IT THERE? But that's a rant whose time has come and gone.) Music does have the power to make or break a film, and that being said, I think I'd rather watch this (if it existed) rather than sit through The Hours again...unless I can mute the sound.

And there's this, which, like one of the commenters notes, is funny for about a minute and then notsomuch.
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Ours, the scientists keep telling us, is a universe which is disposable. You know it might be just this one anonymous glory of all things, this rich stone forest, this epic chant, this gaiety, this grand choiring shout of affirmation, which we choose when all our cities are dust, to stand intact, to mark where we have been, to testify to what we had it in us to accomplish. Our works in stone, in paint, in print are spared, some of them for a few decades, or a millennium or two, but everything must fall in war or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash: the triumphs and the frauds, the treasures and the fakes...."Be of good heart," cry the dead artists out of the living past. "Our songs will all be silenced - but what of it? Go on singing." Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much.

~ Orson Welles, musing upon the Chartres Cathedral in F for Fake

{Well, perhaps it's easy for ORSON WELLES to say a name doesn't matter much.}
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We all know what it means when a black cat crosses one's path. But what about...a gray squirrel?

I nearly forgot to share our recent DVD misadventures. Netflix sucks worse than a two-dollar whore at the Gem Saloon because...we are currently in the midst of renting season 1 of Rome. After consuming disc 3, we pop in disc 4...only to discover that masquerading in disc 4's envelope is...disc 6. You know, the sucky disc with all the bonus features that you only watch if you're really bored or drunk. Woe. We report the problem to Netflix and send back the discs, fully expecting disc 4 & 5 to arrive for our viewing pleasure over this weekend past.

This time in the disc 4 envelope is...disc 3. Which we've already seen. {Another angry email sent, the disc shipped back, and we are nervously awaiting what the postman brings.}

In lieu of Rome, my spouse was charged with the duty of renting DVDs at a local store. She picked Syriana (which hurt my brain, in a good way) and...A Prairie Home Companion.

Let me tell you about my relationship with this Midwestern phemonenon. Picture a young holy, living in a communal household in an urban area, faced with the weekly task of making dinner. Picture her only entertainment as coming from an old FM radio. Picture her happily listening to the local NPR station while making a tofu curry casserole until the dreaded hour when...A Prairie Home Companion came on the radio.

The numbness coursed through my limbs. It was a peculiar sensation, this hostile boredom, as I was forced to crumble tofu in a pot while listening to the soporific voice of an unfunny man followed by tedious musical numbers that involved yodeling or banjos or...

"Hey, is dinner ready yet?"

...or unfunny fake commercials...

"You are using up the tofu, right? It's gonna go bad soon."

...yes, the tofu covered my hands. I was helpless. "For Christ's sake, CHANGE THE STATION."

"Why? I think it's kinda funny..."

"Anything. Classical. Punk. Cock Rock. EZ 101. I DON'T CARE. CHANGE THE STATION."

"It's quaint. I don't understand why you don't like it...only real Midwesterners don't like A Prairie Home Companion, and you're not a Midwesterner."

It was too late. I was unconscious, face down in the pot of tofu, nearly killed by my own sleepiness. The curry irritated my eyes something fierce, but I was fine within a few days. I still love curry, though.

Needless to say I barely lasted 15 minutes into the movie. Barely.

More later on the Other Truman Capote movie, Infamous.
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A happy birthday to [ profile] noir_moll! May strippers abound for you, wherever you go.


{p.s. I fucking hate you and your sentimental trivialization, World Trade Center movie.}
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At long last.

I need a doll! Actually, I need a doll icon!
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Today I was racking my brain trying to think of a film that I had wanted to add to our Netflix queue, and for the life of me I could not remember the title. Then I read that Stanislaw Lem had passed away, and I realized it was Solaris (the original version, not the one with George Clooney's butt) that I had wanted to add. A bit weird, that. (And I should read the book while I'm at it too!)
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Not surprisingly, Brokeback fans, we are not the only ones pissed about the film losing best picture. Ms. Proulx isn't too happy about it either. My favorite line from the piece, though, is her description of the Oscar ceremony itself: "The hours sped by on wings of boiler plate." And she keeps using one of my favorite words, "heffalumps," to describe the philistine members of the Academy who voted for Crash. Ha!

Is it sour grapes? Yeah, probably, but aftering renting Crash this weekend, I can honestly say she has the right to be mad. Cut for spoilers )
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You know what I'm talkin' about. And a fuck you from Catherine Keener too!

In honor of Brokeback, here's the 30-Second Bunnies' homage.
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Speed is like a dozen transatlantic flights without ever getting off the plane. Time change. You lose, you gain. Makes no difference so long as you keep taking the pills. But sooner or later you've got to get out because it's crashing, and then all at once the frozen hours melt out through the nervous system and seep out the pores.

~ Marwood, in Withnail & I

[I always forget how much I love this weird, funny little film.]
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All right, my poppets...I'm taking a chance on this meme (snagged from [ profile] sing1118) because if [ profile] heathers is around, she'll probably guess all of them right off the bat! But it's infinitely easier than guessing book quotes, no? (Of course, y'all did pretty well on that score too.) So here 'tis:

Pick out your 10 favorite movies. Don't mention their titles. Tell your flist which year they were made in, where, and then quote a favorite line of yours from the film. Let your friends guess which movies you mean. When someone gets one right, cross it off the list!

1. “You know how bitchy fags are!” (1967, US). [ profile] cabenson got this: Valley of the Dolls. (I thought my actual favorite line, "NEEEELY O'HARA!!!!!" was too obvious.)

2. “I’ll show you the life of the mind!” (1991, US) [ profile] heathers got this one: Barton Fink.

3. “I want you to find me.” (1996, UK) Spoken by Kip to Hana in The English Patient, & correctly identified by [ profile] noir_moll. (And H. too, I think.)

4. “Remember, the superior of all is the servant of all.” (1947, UK) [ profile] maroukian gets this one: Black Narcissus

5. “Take the cannolis.” (1972, US) [ profile] leavethesky correctly identified The Godfather. Food is a priority in this film!

6. “There'll be pork in the treetops come morning!” (1968, UK) [ profile] jandyle got this one: The Lion in Winter

7. “Twelve days of Christmas! One day is loathsome enough!” (1962, US) Spoken by my one of my all-time favorite movie assholes, Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), and identified by La Blurr--[ profile] aqua_blurr.

8. “You know what they get for rape in a small town? Especially by a man in a pith helmet?” (1985, US) The lovely [ profile] lelak got this one: The Purple Rose of Cairo.

9. “He was some kind of a man... What does it matter what you say about people?” (1958, US) [ profile] noir_moll again, and later H., identified this one: Touch of Evil.

10. "You remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Alameda and the finest woman that ever lived." (1968, Italy/US) Jason Robards pays Claudia Cardinale this rather backhanded compliment in Once Upon a Time in the West. Again, the dynamic duo of [ profile] noir_moll and [ profile] heathers got this one.
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Hmmm, a movie about a lesbian British bounty hunter. Potential, but it sounds like they fucked it up by making her hetero! Gah.

I may have to write bad fic involving Domino and Benson...Gun Fights! Sex! Gun Fights! Sex!

{ETA: Yes, in the light of O'Connor's retirement, I am trying to comfort myself with silly things. ::sigh::}


May. 30th, 2005 08:53 pm
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A movie meme, again courtesy of [ profile] lelak

Take this list and post it into your own LJ, and bold the movies you've seen. Add five more movies to the end of the list. Count how many movies you have seen. If you've seen more than 70 movies, you are a "movie whore". Post the score of how many movies you've seen in the subject line. Use a LJ-cut since you've got at least one LJ-friend who doesn't really want to see an ungodly number of movies snaking its way down the computer monitor.

whore! )
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In my online confessions...where I tell all the world I HATE JIM JARMUSCH MOVIES!

The missus had been on a roll with picking DVD rentals. (Okay, I was skeptical about The Day After Tomorrow when she rented it because normally I detest those bloated Hollywood epics, but it was entertaining, you gotta love it when NYC gets its ass kicked, yo.) But one night she returned with Coffee and Cigarettes and a cold chill settled in my tiny Grinch-like heart. (Imagine if Jim Jarmusch had made How the Grinch Stole Christmas: It would have been 30 black and white minutes of the Grinch (played by Tom Waits) sitting around in a diner and growling, "Goddamit, I fuckin' hate Christmas." Then Roberto Begnini would come in. "Ehhh, you no like the Baby Jesus?"...

Tom: It's not that. [1-minute pause. Begnini mugs for the camera.] I just don't like fuckin' Christmas, that's all.

Begnini: But the Baby Jesus...

Tom: [cocking head. Another one-minute pause.] They're singing in fuckin' Whoville again. Goddamnit.)

So anyway...I managed to sit through all of Coffee and Cigarettes if only because I couldn't help but marvel at:

1. How someone who has been making films for at least 20 years now can crank out something that seems like an undergraduate project at NYU.

2. How someone can make a conversation between Iggy Pop and Tom Waits excruciatingly dull. ("Well, what would Iggy Pop and Tom Waits talk about in real life?" asked Teh Wife. "Pussy," I said. Always the optimist, I am!)

3. How incredibly boring and repetitive it all was. Yes, it's nice to see motifs run through films and that can provide a certain richness to what's going on but having the same dialogue come out of different people's mouths doesn't necessarily supply that subtext or that extra level of interest, sometimes it is just boring and stupid. But what does, you ask? I don't know! I'm not the filmmaker!

Anyway, a couple days later we watched The Chronicles of Riddick and that made it all better. It was fun. I want Vin Diesel's goggles!


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