Spitball Army

Fire all of your guns at once and explode into space.

Spitball Army random header image

Screenings: Manifesto (2015)

November 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

4.6
[blu-ray, Netflix]

If the context that I watched this in was as an evaluator of a philosophy/art school dissertation, I would be tempted to give it one of the highest marks available. But as a filmic entertainment, it is merely semi-audacious. Certain scenes hit the mark, such as when Cate Blanchett assumes the role of a mother saying grace at the family dinner table but the words coming out of her mouth are from Claes Oldenburg’s “I am for an Art” (“I am for the art out of a doggy’s mouth, falling five stories from the roof. I am for the art that a kid licks, after peeling away the wrapper.”), followed by her husband ripping the roasted bird apart with shears while Blanchett empties the contents of a gravy boat on top of it. Or Blanchett as elementary school art teacher, mouthing a melange of film theory dictums from Godard, Von Trier and Werner Herzog to her students, who are innocently scribbling in their notebooks (“The camera must be hand-held! Genre movies are not acceptable! The director must not be credited!”). MANIFESTO is its own unique brand of Meta, but it’s too busy trying to be clever to generate any genuine feeling in the heart, much less true stimulation in the brain.

https://boxd.it/lPHGF

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: The Little Hours (2017)

November 12th, 2017 · No Comments

3.7
[blu-ray, Netflix]

Aside from a handful of sincere deep laughs at hearing nuns cuss, this was unfunny. I’m beginning to think that a film featuring Aubrey Plaza is most likely a film to avoid.

https://boxd.it/lzRhD

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: Mechanical Principles (1930)

November 11th, 2017 · No Comments

6.6
[on-demand, TCM]

Mesmerizing. Essential viewing for all interested in engineering, construction work, logic, shopping at Ikea, climbing stairs,…in other words, everyone!

https://boxd.it/lyp8L

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: Julie & Julia (2009)

November 10th, 2017 · No Comments

7.7
[blu-ray, library]

Watched with the Nora Ephron commentary: lots of breaks, especially when Meryl Streep is on screen (and that’s a good thing). Re-watched primarily for Streep’s performance, which overpowers every other actor’s on screen (also a good thing, because that’s what I came to see).

https://boxd.it/lxA3b

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

November 10th, 2017 · No Comments

4.2
[DVD, library]

So much shouting, much of it in rapid Cockney accents, and occasional spirited singing of British music hall songs without the nuance of Noel Coward. Katherine Hepburn is a woman disguised as a man pretending to be a woman, several decades before Julie Andrews did the same in VICTOR VICTORIA.

https://boxd.it/lw6O5

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: Alias St. Nick (1935)

November 9th, 2017 · No Comments

4.8
[DVD, library]

Mix a precocious young mouse who refuses to believe in Santa Claus with a hungry scoundrel cat dressed as St. Nick, and you have the basic outline of this trifle that retains the nostalgic tinsel-y Christmas glow of my parents’ childhood.

https://boxd.it/lw6zf

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: Los Angeles – Wonder City of the West (1935)

November 9th, 2017 · No Comments

6.0
[DVD, library]

Wonderful footage of early 20th century L.A. The narrator, however, suffers from “Los Angle-is” syndrome, and continually pronounces Olvera Street as “Olive-arrow” Street, which I’m certain only irks us natives.

https://boxd.it/lw6mb

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: The Free World (2016)

November 8th, 2017 · No Comments

8.3
[DVD, Netflix]

Elisabeth Moss (who I greatly admired as Peggy Olson) and Boyd Holbrook (who I hadn’t noticed before, but apparently have seen in about a dozen movies) got me so emotionally involved that, at one point toward the end, I had to pause the DVD because the tension caused by their careening toward inevitable disaster was too much to bear; If I’d seen this in the theater without the benefit of a pause button, I would surely have been reduced to tears. Moody, steamed by sepia tones, cloaked in an appropriate ambient score, practically every supporting character has a hidden agenda, and the prisoner/dog parallels aren’t overblown. Recommended, but I seem to be one of the few on Letterboxd who thought very highly of this film – so be it.

https://boxd.it/lupIh

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: Undercurrent (1946)

November 7th, 2017 · No Comments

6.3
[DVD, library]

MELODRAMA!!! Crazy-great ultimate Hitchcockian ending scene, plus several uncredited appearances of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3. There is a shot near the end of the movie with Robert Montgomery climbing a staircase a la Cary Grant in SUSPICION (though without the light-bulbed glass of milk) that confirmed my, er, suspicions that the similarities between the two films were more than coincidental. At least Montgomery never calls Hepburn “Monkey-Face.”

https://boxd.it/lsePx

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings

Screenings: Lonesome Lenny (1946)

November 7th, 2017 · No Comments

4.3
[DVD, library]

I found this screwball animated take on “Of Mice and Men” (in which Lenny gets his “revenge”) to be in questionable taste, but then found myself wondering if I’ve become too politically-correct in my thinking. Still, this is slight entertainment, at best.

https://boxd.it/lsckd

→ No CommentsTags: film · Screenings