Monday, May 26, 2008

the weather could not be better for the beginning of summer. it is what anna and i refer to as a 'swedish summer day' which means that the days are very cool, overcast and with a fairly heavy breeze. normal temperatures in sac for the memorial day weekend sits between low 90s to the triple digits. in other words, this short respite from the heat is a cause of pure pleasure.

movies i've watched the past 3-4 days:

there will be blood

this film is fucking astonishing. daniel day-lewis's performance is a work of genius. i've already written a poem using a scene from the film. there were moments when the photography, the sound and the figures in the frame literally took my breath away. i'm surprised and happy that a film of this nature, a slow-paced, densely textured piece about a last turn-of-the-century oilman, got such a strong critical response and made a few buck at the box office. it gives me hope that there is something good in humanity that a movie like blood got financing, produced and distributed at all.

the darjeeling limited

wes anderson's first film, i think it's his first film, rushmore is simply one of my favorite movies of the past 10 or so years. however, anderson specializes in studies of lack of affect. most of his characters are odd-ball intellectuals who engage the world and each other in what i can only describe as a calm frenzy. it worked well with rushmore, it didn't work so great with the life aquatic with steve zissou, at least not for me who was more annoyed with murray's character and anderson's deliberately slow storytelling. yet, i enjoyed limited immensely. the characters' silly, but profound, intended spiritual quest in india worked. anderson's camera made much of the claustrophobic sets where the characters never seemed to mind inhabiting. i laughed almost as much as i did with rushmore. that is, and i'm not kidding, high praise indeed.

the phoenix lights

this is a documentary of one physician's research into the mass ufo sighting in the state of arizona on the night of march 13, 1997. she discovers of course that we are not alone. i love the paranormal and usually salivate over ufo miscellany such as this. what is remarkable about this ufo event is that thousands reported seeing the same thing and even the governor of arizona at the time, fife symington, is among the witnesses. my only complaint about this documentary is that there is no conflicting explanations, just one airman was interviewed and no scientists were interviewed at all. instead we have a series of talking heads corroborating what each saw. is that necessary? do i doubt their veracity? i simply missed a more balanced approached to a controversial, or silly, depending upon your point of view, subject. i like the premise of the documentary but in the end feeling the lack of a more down-to-earth explanation of the phoenix phenomena i felt that i was indeed alone.

other films i've been watching because i am the father a three-year-old i've seen them more than once:

scooby-doo and the aliens

scooby-doo on zombie islands

nicholas is on a scooby-doo kick.


At 12:30 PM, Blogger gina said...

Anderson's first film was Bottle Rocket--which is you haven't seen it, you should check out! I still haven't seen the Darjeeling Limited, or for that matter The Life Aquatic, both of which have been on my I-want-to-see list since their releases. Apparently I don't want to see them bad enough!

At 10:48 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

i'll definitely have to check out bottle rocket, gina, but do see the life aquatic and tell me what you think of it since i thought it rather arch and just a bit boring. perhaps what i need to do is see it again to change my opinion of the movie.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Logan Ryan Smith said...

bottle rocket is my favorite. but i think bottle rocket and rushmore are the only two good movies of anderson's lot. he got real self-aware after rushmore's sucess and hasn't been able to take his head out of his ass since.

and please don't rebut this remark by telling me how great the royal tennebaums was. because it wasn't! IT WASN'T GREAT AT ALL!

At 11:36 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

agreed. could only watch a bit of tanenbaums before turning it off and tuning it out. self-indulgent and dull. but give limited a shot. it's not as clever as rushmore but it does have its goofball moments and i thoroughly enjoyed it.


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