Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Day, my parents don't love me, THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY (26) and NIGHTS OF CABIRIA (49)

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. In traditional American fashion I ate exactly one giant pile that contained turkey, mashed 'taters, wild rice, gravy, three glasses of wine, a beer, a glass of scotch, a shrimp cocktail, one piece of bland pumpkin pie, and an assortment of other you know food. I gained a layer of chub around my mid-section that not only makes me look like a forty-four year old from my double-chin down but riddles with self-doubt (hey, this single thing is harder and less lady-filled than expected). I colluded with family and friends and watched football on a television that may have been taller than me. In the end it was as T-Day always is in The Sanders' Family, a reminder that no matter what might be ailing you in the real world, the family is always there to make you laugh and put everything in perspective.

That said, I'm pretty sure this whole "Mama and Papa Sanders love Noah" thing is a sham. I've been harassing my slightly-addled folks for a while now to get on the Criterion Quest bandwagon, and sure, they talk about it, they assure me that they've written it down and they'll start reading just as soon as they get home. But, after 30 blog posts, they've yet to even glance at it.

So, my brother, Dimwit Sanders, recently started his own blog ( about his upcoming move to Los Angeles, and guess who signed up as followers before the, er, "ink" dried on the digital "page"? Mama and Papa Sanders. If it wasn't for the vast Sanders' fortune I'm sure to accrue when the old codgers kick the bucket I'd disown the shit out of them. Maybe I'll emancipate myself from them and hire some new parents that will read my blogs and shower me with guilt-ridden presents when they forget my birthday.

I've spoke at length about Fellini in this blog before, and as I've gotten older, and further along in my Criterion Quest I've come to eagerly anticipate his next film in the collection. I was blown away by Amarcord (4), so when a customer (and Criterion Quest follower) mentioned that Nights of Cabiria (49) was his favorite Fellini film I couldn't wait to get home and throw it in my broken ass computer. To say the least, Customer Matthew's high praise was entirely deserved. This tale of mouthy Italian prostitute Cabiria (played by Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina) is as heart-warming and hopeful as any movie I've ever seen. The gist of the story is that Cabiria is a tough-living lady of the night that is just continuously getting shat on by the world and those who live within it. Men take advantage of her (hell the film starts with her getting pushed into a roaring river by her boyfriend for a few hundred lire), her prostitute friends betray her and mock her, hell, even the good Lord won't throw her a break. But, and this is the heartwarming part, Cabiria just continues to see the good that this world possesses. It's beautiful, it's funny (Masina was referred to by the French as a female Chaplin), and the final shot of the movie is so goddamn optimistic that only those without blood-pumpers will be without a smile.

It's funny that The Long Good Friday (26) is the second film I'm talking about because it's such an exact opposite. The story of a man, Bob Hoskins (playing Cockney like no one else can) is a big-time gangster on the verge of a huge property deal who suddenly realizes that someone very smart and very dangerous is out to snuff his wicked little life. It's pretty much a film about a bad person who can't help but see the bad in the world, and the untimely fate that befalls him and his seedy friends. I don't want to give anything away, but I'll say this: this is a lean, mean piece of filmmaking that doth not pull a punch. If you like crime flicks this is a classic.

Hope everyone either found some place warm and friendly for the holidays or drank enough that it seemed that way.

Tuesday: And The Ship Sails On (50) and Flesh for Frankenstein (27)

1 comment:

wescoat said...

Hey! It's "DimWITT" Sanders. Two T's. It's Swiss. Maybe if you knew more about our family's roots mom and dad would love you more.