My schedule has not allowed for regular movie watching lately, but my ardent eclecticism still wins out. Here’s the latest on Jen’s viewing list:
- Last Sunday night, after getting home exhausted from a week of auditions and a weekend supervising my group of Freshman on their Cedar Bend experience, I crashed on the couch with two lonesome, movie loving cats to watch the 1990 Cyrano de Bergerac with Gerard Depardieau. Very epic and dramatic. Great production values. Not my favorite story. Somehow I feel like I ought to have all these emotions, and I don’t. I get more from Steve Martin’s contemporary version, Roxanne (1987, Martin stars, and wrote the screenplay).
- The Sunday previous I’d watched half of a lovely 1958 Jaques Tati film called Mon Oncle. I’m hoping to finish it tonight. Understated comedy and commentary on modernism. The French New Wave may have been rather ‘arty’ and academic, but Tati is smart and funny.
- The other Netflix movie sitting around is Action in the North Atlantic with Bogey and Raymond Massey. It was released in 1943, so it will be wonderful WWII propaganda, meant to cheer on the Armed Forces and comfort the folks at home. Why is this propaganda different than Hitler’s? In some ways, it isn’t. It makes war look noble, which is a deception. But perhaps, because those who would have seen the film at its release had a more intimate idea of war (they were not separated by images being “contained” on a TV screen, etc.) it was not a deception, only a turning away from the harsh realities to the other reality of duty and honor. Cold reality or depiction of virtue; is one more valid than the other? In another sense, because the ideas being achieved by the Allies were much more altruistic than those of the Axis, American propaganda is different than Nazi. Is not a sermon propaganda? Are not some more noble than others? When it comes to this type of media and persuasion, I think two things are of vital importance: 1) The ideals/causes being touted and 2) the means of persuasion: deception and coercion are dark tools than reason and empathy. All this, and I haven’t watched the movie yet. . .
- Last week I did happen to watch Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist on Netflix instant. It was much sweeter than I thought it would be. I agree with much that has been written regarding the film. The soundtrack is great, the main characters full of chemistry and charisma, the stereotyped supporting players exaggerated enough to make their point. Worth the watch.
There you have it: Fairly recent French period drama, 1980’s Hollywood comedy, 1950’s French comedy, 1940’s Hollywood action picture, and recent indy-rock romantic comedy. What’s next? Perhaps something animated. . . Actually, my Netflix queue lists:
- Brother Sun, Sister Moon. 1972 Biopic of St. Francis directed by Franco Zeferelli
- Grand Torino. 2008, muscle cars, Clint Eastwood.
Perhaps something animated after that. . .