Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze, 1952 - 2009 and QUICK NOTES on a few films.

The Swayz died yesterday, and quite honestly, I'm pretty sad. I was trying to explain to Alex yesterday that the death of actors that I grew up with makes me profoundly glum. I don't know if it's the actual passing of actors that I know, and sometimes love, or the grim reminder that I'm getting older and my past is starting to fade, but there's a real potent sadness when an actor like Patrick Swayze kicks the bucket.

Swayze was diagnosed with colon cancer a year or so, and from what I've heard the disease is pretty much a death sentence, thus, I was only awaiting the inevitable news. That said, I'm still bummed that my only encounters with the man who made Dirty Dancing amazing, the man who saved Colorado from a Red Dawn, the man who had a kiddie porn dungeon in Donnie Darko, will be ones from the past. He wasn't always the greatest actor, but the man made you smile, you have to admit that.

I'll drink a few for you tonight Big Patrick. You should too.

I've been slackin' on my bloggin', and accrued a few films under my belt in the mean time. Thought I'd slice through 'em real quick with a few snarky comments and even some recommendations.

Let the Quick Notes begin!

Valentino: The Last Emperor dir. Matt Tymauer

I threw this on the Netflix queue as Alex is obsessed with fashion and this account of famed designer Valentino's life peaked her interest. I'm curious about fashion, I like to look nice, and I'm interested in the terminology and design aspects, but a documentary about haute couture and the super rich seemed obnoxious at best. Strangely, I left this film happy with the experience. Director Matt Tymauer captures a lot of things on film here - Valentino's final fashion show, his tumultuous though loving relationship with Giancarlo Giammati, and the child-like emotions of a very rich, semi-powerful man - and manages to force them together in to a pleasant little film. The rich are fucking weird, the world of fashion (especially super high-end fashion) is even weirder, and I never want to be a part of this world. But I do enjoy just a glimpse in to it.

Errol Morris' First Person dir. Errol Morris

We're winding up our obsessive digestion of all things Morris right now, and we had to tromp through a few more discs of his television series First Person in the process. I've reached a point where I shouldn't even be recommending Mr. Morris, as I'm madly in love with him and can't help but gush uncontrollably every time I see anything of his. That said, this is another fascinating collection of interviews with fascinating people. It's low-budget, fairly talky, but man, if the interview with the crime scene cleaner or the large-toothed Mutter Museum lady don't have you engrossed, your brain is a mushy world. Also, the crime scene cleaner reminds e of my mother, if she traded nursing for cleaning up dead bodies.

The Thin Blue Line dir. Errol Morris

This is my favorite Morris film. A brilliant break down of a murder in a small town that is fascinating, gripping, and a downright chilling indictment of the American justice system. The final moments will confuzzle your ears.

Twin Peaks Episode 1 & 2 dir. David Lynch

Been hearing about these for years and finally started digging in. I'm mad because the pilot, which introduces the whole story, just isn't included with the episodes, thus you're propelled in to the town of Twin Peaks with almost no back story. I'm glad because this eyeball of Americana is classic David Lynch. It's a little campy, a lot creepy, and Kyle Maclachlan is at his very very best as Agent Cooper, a ebullient burst of freaky dreams and coffee-lovin'. Can't say I recommend it yet, but I'm certainly enjoying it.

And that's it.

Wednesday: Beastie Boys Video Anthology Pt. 1 (100)

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