Sunday, August 15, 2004

Recent viewings

Ok, I saw the "For The Man Who Has Everything" episode of Justice League Unlimited. It's very, very good. You should watch it. Then, if you haven't already, get a copy of Superman Annual #11 or Across The Universe: The DCU Stories Of Alan Moore and read the original by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It's a bit richer in a number of places, and includes the rather frightening coda that the episode only hints at. I'm sure in that order they could both be enjoyed to their fullest.

Nothing beats the "Burn." moment in the comic.


Amazing.

I watched Lifeforce again the other night, too. I was a little drunk and a little groggy, so I'm not sure I have any new insights. Tobe Hooper shows off his chops against a script that's a little overcrowded with exposition, and the end just doesn't live up to it's potential.

I find myself realizing that time helps me forget the things that don't work and only leave me with the fascinating concept and Mathilda May's beautiful breasts.

I definitely need to make a concerted effort to continue my long held pattern of only seeing it every so often, so I can just live happily with that memory.

I do, however, have a copy of Space Vampires by Colin Wilson, the book upon which it's based, and I do need to read it one of these days. I suspect a book would have the time and space to explain a lot of the details of it more elegantly.

I'm also very, very excited to see Toolbox Murders, Tobe Hooper's nominal remake of the gore classic, which is apparently a return to form of one form or another. It looks very creepy and smart.


Lastly, I saw The Beguiled by Don Siegel. This is a movie, I must admit, I don't think I'd heard of until it was recommended it recently, despite its pedigree.

It's the story of an injured Union soldier, played by Clint Eastwood, who is taken in at a southern seminary for girls. Now, Civil War era southern women seem about like a foreign species to me most of the time. As far as I can make out, Scarlett O'Hara is one of the least sympathetic or compelling characters in history.

Now, I'll take a brief moment to acknowledge that, on some level, I'm missing something there. That story has too many intelligent true believers to not have real merit, but I don't think it does nearly the job of inviting the unconcerned in as those with some natural inclination to understand or sympathize like to believe. The truth, as it so often does, lies somewhere in the middle.

Tomorrow I go back to saying that it just blows chunks and Margaret Mitchell is a lousy fucking hack, though, ok?

The point is, however, that this, after a short period, caught me up in the world of the women at this school. The acting is all striking and rich. The mood is creepy and southern gothic without being heavy-handed. The story sneaks up and unfolds in that perfect way in which nothing is fully as you expected and yet every result seems the only possibility once it has unfolded. It's very slow and methodical. It's also smart and rich.

I didn't expect to be as impressed as I was, but every moment I spend thinking about it is one I admire the movie even more.

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