I want to tell you about my daily routine. I wake up in the morning and set a clock in my head. It’s a countdown to the next time I’ll be able to watch Scandal. Then a bunch of bullshit invades my space (work, family, friends, etc.) and then I can finally binge on it when everyone is asleep and no one will bother me.
If I try to watch Scandal around my boyfriend he will reach over and shut my laptop while it is still playing. I usually then accuse him of sexism and abusing his male privilege. He then rolls his eyes and tells me it’s 3 AM and he needs to be at work in a couple of hours.
Kerry Washington stars as Olivia Pope, a genius lawyer who’s employees will do anything for her. She wears these great cream colored suits with gorgeous flowing blouses in hues of white. The president of the United States is in love with her. He spends approximately 0% of his time governing and approximately 100% of his time pining for Olivia and/or hating his wife. I wish I was watching it right now instead of writing this.
Room 237 (2012)
Godbless us every one. Room 237 is available on Netflix. Just in time for that weather that’s getting a little chilly, the leaves starting to fall off the trees and that urge we have to stay up late and get creeped out.
This is a documentary/essay featuring people who have theories of what the Shining is ABOUT. The people range from thoughtful film scholars breaking down what would in any other situation be continuity errors and explaining how these things are there to create a sense of unease or point to a character’s mental state to people who sound overly obsessed and nutty.
The theories range from the Shining being ABOUT the genocide of the American Indian to the Holocaust to the entire film being Kubrick’s confession for faking the moon landing.
Well put together and enjoyable, I think one of the greatest strengths of this documentary is that Rodney Ascher chose to show clips from other Kubrick films instead of showing the faces of the people providing the theories. There’s no ‘Look at the FREAK’ judgement here, all theories are presented with the same levels of importance, leading the viewer to sort through and draw their own conclusions. It feels very compact and builds to an amazing sequence of observations by a man who played the film forwards and backwards at the same time.
Whether or not you walk away with a changed view of the intentions behind The Shining even a casual viewer will get the message that film is a thing of purpose and choreography and that it’s fun to be an active viewer.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
Slick 70s heist movie with a fantastic soundtrack.
The premise is that four similarly dressed gentlemen who refer to each other by colors (Mr. Blue etc, sound familiar?) take over a subway train car. They demand one million dollars in an hour and will kill a civilian for each minute the city is late on payment. Walter Matthau is an MTA cop who has to piece it all together and bring these crooks DOWN! Hector Elizondo and Robert Shaw (from Jaws. god he’s amazing) play two of the criminals and they tear it up.
When I wrote ‘slick’ earlier I meant that everyone in this movie has style and attitude. This is dirty 70s New York City full of pimps and drug dealers. It’s a town where children laugh when bad guys brandish guns and one old lady is so nonplussed she sleeps through the whole thing. Fabulous.
Perfect for late nights, rainy days and when you’re feeling under the weather.
I will not give the remake the time of day.
This is a Hulu movie, not a netflix, but I feel like we can start opening this up to other streaming platforms, yeah?
Watched this documentary on Hulu yesterday. The subject is Marian Anderson, the lead singer of InSaints, who became notorious in 1993 for incorporating her dominatrix work into her live performances. I found this especially interesting in contrast to Karen Finley, who was censored for using her body to communicate the plight of powerless women. Marian Anderson lived both sides of that and I found myself conflicted by feeling inspired and overwhelmed by her tragedy.
Obsessively googling her after watching this documentary, I found Sadobabies, a 30 minute documentary short by a folklorist named Nancy Kalow. It features a group of San Francisco street kids in the mid-80s who live in an abandoned high school. Marian Anderson is one of those kids and you can watch here.
Sidenote: very excited about discovering folkstreams.net
And there is a follow up to Sadobabies called Losers Club that catches up with some of the kids five years later. Watch it here.
So all weekend I’ve been thinking about these kids who don’t have anywhere to go and still find it in themselves pursue their dreams and express themselves and I want to do something.
The Man Who Fell To Earth(1976):
This movie mad me saaaaad. It follows a (kind of) similar story line as Bowie’s 1972 concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, so it’s territory he’s familiar with. In this movie, David Bowie is an alien who fell to earth, a space oddity on a quest to replenish the water supply of his dying planet and save his alien family. Along the way he patents tons of alien ideas, he makes a lot of money, he gets sidetracked and depressed by our typical earthly woes: sex, alcohol, and church.You hope he’ll make it home one day… but will he? Watch to find out.
Also, what’s with the obsession with David Bowie’s nipples in this movie?
Bonus feature: Rip Torn’s penis.
David Fincher’s 1997 psychological thriller about a super duper rich asshole —pretty much Michael Douglass reprising Gordon Gekko, his Oscar winning role from 1987’s Wall Street— who gets stuck in a real life game where his life is always at risk but I never really feel bad for him because he is so rich. It seems like the kind of movie that should have a moral to it, but it really doesn’t. I’d say this movie is definitely worth a gander.
No, this is not a fantasy movie about a handsome hero who slays monsters to save a beautiful lady. Quite the opposite. It’s a documentary by Tristan Patterson about a California skate-rat, Josh “Skreech” Sandoval. Skreech has no money and no home and people take care of him because he is an alright skater but he has no real ambition. He is what you would call “drug addled”. He skates the empty pools of foreclosed homes, sad and lost in an America ripe with depression. He has a pretty 18 year old girlfriend who smokes weed and doesn’t talk much, everyone wants to know, “What is she doing with him?”. Perhaps it’s just a phase for her.
Play Misty for Me:
Women are SO crazy, right? Clint Eastwood has bacne.
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life-
Not a documentary! This is basically a French musical film about Serge’s life (with actors singing Gainsbourg songs). The magical/fantasy/very silly aspect of the film features a huge puppet called “his mug” (because he’s ugly but really it represents his sexy, cool ego). Best part is Gainsbourg cuddling a dog in the nude. Worst part is that the actress playing Bardot did NOT have a gap in her teeth. Lots of tobacco use.
The Lady Vanishes:
1930s Alfred Hitchcock. Difficult to understand all of the old-timey accents at first. Unsure who the protagonist is until 45 minutes in. Unsure if it was a comedy. Some boring parts (probably just a generational thing). The movie got enjoyable once the lady FINALLY vanished (too far into the movie). The last shot of the movie is a hilarious one.
Who knew smoking crack was so sexy? Just kidding. Um, hottie Ryan Gosling is a cocaine addicted teacher at an inner city middle school. He is not a heroic figure who changes these kids’ lives, we are not talking about Keanu Reeves in Hard Ball. This guy in Half Nelson is totally fucked up. A lovely Broken Social Scene soundtrack over the whole thing, which kept me totally interested since I listened to them nonstop in high school.
OH MY GOD. Parker Posey is a NYC party girl (24 and unemployed— just like me!) who has to get a job in a stinky old library. She has a crush on a hot Lebanese falafel street vendor. She dances. She has endless incredible outfits. She learns the Dewey Decimal System. Girls and gays will love this movie.
Kind of new to Netflix Instant is Fishing with John, a TV show that aired briefly in the early 1990’s on IFC and Bravo. Remember John Lurie, the musician/actor? I remember him most from the too cool for school Jim Jarmusch movie Stranger than Paradise. He was also interviewed in that too cool for school documentary Blank City (also on Instant Netflix) about a time in New York’s history (late 70s-early 80s) that was, simply put, too cool for school.
In this delightful TV series John takes his too cool for school guests out on fishing adventures. Guests include: Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon (1980s too cool for school heartthrob), and Dennis Hopper. The show is classically narrated like an informative nature documentary with occasional remarks that fall on the side of “both men have boners”. The cinematography feels “late night” or “public access” or “too cool for school”. Nothing is left out. Tom Waits gets sea sick in Jamaica, so John and Tom take a gambling and whiskey break, and finally after all that he agrees to try fishing again at which point he puts a fish in his underwear. After the filming of that episode, Waits didn’t talk to John for two whole years. Not a single person in this series has any idea how to fish.
Ultimately, if you like any of the guys mentioned in this review, or, like me, you admire a time when people were just naturally too cool for school, then you will enjoy this funny show.