Film Friday Weekly Roundup

Posted by Brandy Dean November 30, 2012 3 Comments 4984 views

When I first grasped that the NHL Lockout was going to be a reality this season, a black wave of depression swept over me. What’s winter without hockey? Just a cold, gray lump of crud, that’s what. But as the lockout has dragged on, I’ve discovered I can watch a lot of movies in my regularly scheduled hockey slot. I’ve been playing catch-up with all the cultural touchstones I missed in my non-movie-watching youth. Yippee kai yay, motherf*ckers, I’ve watched Die Hard 1-4. I’ve watched Rocky and Rocky II. I also watched First Blood and then Rambo: First Blood II, pinpointing the exact moment that cocaine overtook Hollywood production meetings. As much as it pains me to say it, “Long live the lockout!” I’ve also been doing a lot of traveling around the interwebs and gathered up the best and brightest for you. Read and enjoy (I know you’ve got non-hockey watching time). Happy reading and happy viewing!

11 East 14th Street calls out the diabolical tube that killed the silents.

Bristol Silents delves into Brit silent director Anthony Asquith.

The Hollywood Revue reviews Jimmy Cagney in The Mayer of Hell (1933). How bout running for that office?

Only the Cinema opens Pandora’s Box.

Moving Image Archives News interviews the authors of new book Reel Time: Movie Exhibitors and Movie Audiences in Prairie Canada, 1896 to 1986.

Forgotten Classics of Yester Year digs up Mystery Street.

Bah! It’s becoming apparent that I have to watch The Passion of Joan of Arc again.

Twenty Four Frames reviews The Maltese Falcon (1931). Imma watch this one soon!




About Brandy Dean

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films.

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There are 3 Comments

    - November 30, 2012
      -   Reply

    Bah! If you do watch “Joan” again, I’d stick with the Criterion release and the “Voices of Light” soundtrack contrary to what the reviewer says. I happen to be one of those people who think it’s a powerful film, but a slower, hence longer, version without music would be deadly in my opinion. I saw the film for the first time in college — the truncated, completely silent version that was the only one thought to exist at the time, and it made my ass sore in just over an hour or so. The Criterion restoration made a huge difference. I don’t care (and I’m not convinced) that Dreyer wanted it run at 20fps (by the late 20s, most silents were projected at close to what we now call “sound speed”), and even great artists aren’t always the best judges of their work in my crazy opinion. If you do watch it, follow it up with some satirical relief: watch Luis Bunuel’s “Simon of the Desert.” You’ll at least get a few smiles with your religion. Or, even if you want to remain moody, try Robert Bresson’s 1962, “Proces du Jeanne d’Arc” which is something of a talkfest (with subtitles of course), but provides a strong contrast with Dreyer’s version of the trial (and this one is also based on the trial transcripts which, btw, are not really transcripts in the modern sense, they are the opinions, notes and commentary of the trial judges, not a word-for-word record). Bresson’s Joan is an intellectual and is combative, not weepy, though the ending is just as brutal. Happy Viewing!

  2. Pretty Clever Film Gal
    - November 30, 2012
      -   Reply

    So my problem with the Passion of Joan of Art revolves solely around the soundtrack. I watched it a few years ago, with high expectations, and the soundtrack drove me nuts. It was completely overblown. Unfortunately, I now have no idea what version or soundtrack that was, though I suspect it was in fact “Voices of Light.”

    My take away from that first viewing was that the film was solid, but not “one of the greatest films in the whole history of the universe!” I do harbor a nagging little suspicion, however, that I might have felt differently if the soundtrack didn’t make me want to gag.

    So do I try it again with a different score? I would never, ever even attempt to watch this thing without music. It’s way too slow for that, and I don’t care what speed you run it at – it’s a slow burn. I just want a soundtrack that doesn’t involve a chorus of angels going “Ah! Ah! Ah!” for hours.

    - November 30, 2012
      -   Reply

    If I remember correctly, I kept the volume down about as low as I could so that the music was almost subliminal — I’m not someone who absolutely has to have a thundering score whether orchestral, choir or just piano or organ with a silent film. Maybe that’s why I don’t recall the “Voices of Light” as being all that obtrusive? But no way would I want it any slower.

    Also, I happen to like the 1931 “Maltese Falcon” a lot more than the later Bogart/Huston version — which isn’t necessarily a huge compliment since I also think that the later version is crapppy from just about every standpoint and that it might have helped if everyone involved, esp. Messrs. Huston and Bogart had made a habit of having just a bit less to drink the nights before each day of shooting. Any movie with Bebe Daniels, Una Merkel and Thelma Todd gets my vote over any of the Bogart-Huston collaborations with the possible exception of Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Maybe.

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