Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's In Store #5!

I've been to my local video store twice in the last week (Lost Weekend you are a heavenly respite) once with JM and once with Alex, almost entirely just to wander the aisles and geek out over what movies I haven't seen and what movies I'll soon be watching.

I forced JM to stand next to me while I perused each and every Criterion film in Lost Weekend's Criterion section. I pulled out different covers to show which ones I liked the best, marveled films I'd never even heard of, and generally exclaimed excited things as JM stared idly in to the distance.

Five days later I brought Alex to Lost Weekend and did the same thing. Just totally geeking out, nit-picking, showing her movies I was excited about, generally just embracing my movie dorkness in all its glory. And this is what I love about my friends, this city, and Alex: that's the norm around here. My obsession with movies is pretty standard for a city where people are obsessed with hippopatomus, kinetic steam inventions, shift dresses, weekly thrifting, pinball, pirates, animal bones, and the list goes on and on and on. I sat in Lost Weekend last night, and talked to the front store clerk about Star Trek, and the upcoming The Prisoner mini-series, and J.J Abrams and just all the filmic things I love to talk about. And walking back down Valencia with Alex, it struck me as it often times does in SF: I'm very very happy here.

Alright, there's a new chunk of films barreling down the shotgun that is Criterion, so lets hash out what I might be talking about next.

#85 Pygmalion dir. Anthony Asquith & Leslie Howard

I'll be honest, I watched this film last week in a brief respite from panic, overwhelming emotions, and a load of data entry unknown to man before this week. I'll have a full review, but let me say this, I was expecting to be bored stiff by a film based on a play made in the late 30s, but was pleasantly surprised by so much of this film. It's a good start.

#86 - 88 Eisenstein: The Sound Years dir. Sergei Eisenstein

This set of films features Alexander Nevsky (87), and both Ivan the Terrible (88) films and I couldn't be in a greater state of dread over my next three or four years of bushwacking a trail through these old school Russian films. Eisenstein is certainly a master, but a master in the sense that Prometheus Bound is a classic play - meaning, it isn't a terribly enjoyable process dragging oneself through either. I was literally standing in Lost Weekend last night, head pointed at the ceiling, moaning in annoyance.

#89 Sisters dir. Brian DePalma

Another reason to love Criterion. Just when you think they've hit the rock bottom of pretensious boring film (I'm looking at you Eisenstein), they drop a pulpy, bizarre Brian DePalma flick in the mix. I love DePalma (well, some DePalma) and have heard only stunning remarks about his early work, so this film has me very excited. If I can still hear and see by the time I'm finished with Eisenstein, I'm going to enjoy the shit out of this film.

I'm dreading this lot of celluloid more than just about any, only because of the presence of the Russian Iron Fist dead center in the group. They're stodgy, stoic and altogether snoozers, but I do this because I love it. Russia here I come!

Thursday: My review of Star Trek

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