Posted by: ckckred | August 2, 2017

July 2017 Round-Up

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Another month, another round-up. This July, I managed to catch some more new releases as well and a few classic features.

The Man Who Wasn’t There (Coen, 2001)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (Watts, 2017)

A Ghost Story (Lowery, 2017)

College (Keaton and Horne, 1927)

Film (Schneider, 1965)

The Wrong Light (Swantek and Adams, 2017)

Dunkirk (Nolan, 2017)

What We Do in the Shadows (Clement and Waititi, 2015)

The Midwife (Provost, 2017)

Of the legacy pictures, I enjoyed The Man Who Wasn’t There the most, which has quickly become one of my favorite Coen brothers’ movies. I saw College with Film back-to-back in an effort to examine two very different stages of Buster Keaton’s career. College isn’t among Keaton’s best work, but it is still very fun. Film, on the other hand, is a masterful short film, a terse psychological drama that recalls Luis Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou.

As for the contemporary releases, A Ghost Story particularly stood out for me. I also found Dunkirk to be thrilling (and was fortunate enough to see in 70mm) and The Wrong Light to be a very captivating documentary. The Midwife too was an enticing picture, featuring a still illuminating Catherine Deneuve.

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Responses

  1. That’s a strong assortment. A Ghost Story finally opened nearby and I’ll be seeing it tomorrow. Glad you liked Dunkirk as well. I liked Spider-Man: Homecoming enough but the more I wrote about it the more issues I had. Also, really neat to see you talking about The Man Who Wasn’t There. I have something coming up in a few days about that very film.

    • I highly recommend A Ghost Story; Lowery definitely takes a lot of Malickian direction within the film and it’s probably my favorite film of 2017 thus far. Admittedly I’m not really into superhero films and I couldn’t get into Homecoming at all. The Man Who Wasn’t There though is fantastic, and I’ll be sure to check your post about it.

      Out of curiosity, have you seen Legion? It’s a show on FX based off the X-Men character. Noah Hawley created it (he also did the Fargo TV adaptation), and it’s one of the best series I’ve watched in recent years.

      • Homecoming has been overrated IMO. Not sure how it’s viewed so highly. Maybe I’m out of the loop. I haven’t see Legion. To be honest there isn’t a TV series I watch with any regularity.

      • Definitely check Legion out; it mixes in a lot of Kaufman and Lynchian influences with comic book mythology.

        I was a big Spider-Man fan growing up (and still am), and this lacked the emotion and energy that made the comics so memorable. But I guess we’re both in the minority…

      • For me it was working against itself. Segments tried to be a Spidey movie but other segments served to constantly remind us it was now an MCU movie. I also think they stripped it of some of the intimacy and charm that makes him a good character.

  2. I have loved Catherine Deneuve in everything I have seen her in since Repulsion. Hadn’t even heard of The Midwife but will be watching now!

    A Ghost Story and that psychological thriller w/ Joel Edgerton are two I really want to check out, though from what I understand the former is much more… experimental? Either way, I need to see both.

    And hell yeah for Dunkirk! I can’t recall a movie that had me gripping the seats that hard, leaning forward that much, despite knowing the ending. Amazing editing and score. And there isn’t even any blood!!

    And I’m with you – The Man Who Wasn’t There was my first Coen flick I think, perhaps there is bias there but goddamn I just love it – what they do with light and the story. And when Billy Bob is on…. he is the man.

    • I would highly recommend both The Midwife and A Ghost Story. The latter is really extraordinary and is very Malickian. And Dunkirk was incredible as well.

      The Man Who Wasn’t There may now be one of my favorites by the Coins. I really feel more people should have been talking about it, it’s as effective as No Country For Old Men and Fargo.

      • I’ve always wondered why it doesn’t seem to be very ‘talked about’ like you say. It has such an uncanny, UNIQUE atmosphere to it, hell how could you describe it? A love letter to noir – I’d love to know of the films that influenced it.

        The films that I have seen that some call ‘noir’ I have loved, but the description seems so vague to me I don’t really know what is what. Google said to see The Maltese Falcon, which I did at a film festival, but it didn’t do much for me. I’ll have to google what the Coens like from that sorta stuff.

    • The Coens are very indebted to figures like Raymond Chandler and William Faulkner as well as much of post-war cinema; their movies focus on morally ambiguous protagonists who are lost in a post-modern world (that’s true of TMWWT as well as NCFOM, Fargo, and Inside Llewyn Davis).

      • Very true observation. Kinda similar to Arizona too, not lost in that world you speak of, but just utterly lost in the world they inhabit haha. Ahh I need to watch that one again, its amazing when Cage is actually decent!

      • Cage was really an amazing actor back in the day. Wish he would return to doing projects like this and Adaptation…

      • Yeah Adaptation was cool and my memory is telling me he was in Wild At Heart but its been a while. He was good in Raizing Arizona too. But… then his role in Face/Off (the best shit movie EVER) slowly seemed to turn into almost every one of his performances hahaha. Put some coke in front of him and he looks like he’s doing a good job!

        Reminds me of that Community episode where there is a class on Nicolas Cage – “bad or good”. Dunno if you’ve seen it but its pretty damned funny.

      • It’s sad what happened to Cage’s career, he really was a great actor early on and hopefully he still has the potential to give another solid performance.

        As for Community, I’m streets ahead.

      • hehehehehe

      • BTW I’m gonna have to check out those two names cos I aint heard of either! =/

      • Two of the world’s best authors right there. Pick up The Sound and The Fury for Faulkner and The Big Sleep for Chandler.

      • I’m such a pirate, I just know I’ll end up sampling these before buying them. Though I do trust your judgement.

        BTW, off topic I know, but i saw you talking bout Twin Peaks in this (or the last?) post. You got me thinking more than I ever have now about the whole thing, I think I need to start again!! And that book you guys mentioned, the Secrets of Twin Peaks… it was written last year, and its ADDICTIVE. I didn’t want it to end!!

      • That book is addictive. It is important for several key plot points in the new season or so, and I really want to pick it up again.

      • yeah I am reading it a second time just after finishing it! Freaking awesome. I really wanna watch that episode you and Mark were talking about now. That Gotta Light one. That was just… fuckin…. Lynch wasn’t kidding when he said this isn’t a TV show, its an 18 hour movie. There are no BS cliff-hangars, its totally different to any other show ever…. goddamn its great to have him back eh?

        Now imagine binge-watching THIS when its finished!! Doing that won’t compare to any other show that exists.

      • The new season has been amazing thus far. It’s less like the original series, sharing more with the more dissonant FWWM or some of Lynch’s later work, but it has been incredible. Between this, Legion, and Fargo I’m going to have some difficulty in making my top 10 list this year for TV.

      • Haven’t seen Legion. Or heard of it. Must check it out. And Fargo is always solid, though I’ll always love billy bob in S01. He was just brutal. The English guy in S03 tho is great (was he in the UK Utopia? I’ve seen him somewhere) tho I’m only up to episode seven of that season

        And I’m with you on Twin Peaks. More like the movie in that is isn’t pretty much solely based in Twin Peaks, at least the first part of that movie, but what is cool is that it is spreading across the whole country, Twin Peaks is now kind of a small part of it that will tie in at the end I imagine. But what I love it that is just so Lynch. Who else could make such madness? No TV show will ever come close, and there -will- be imitators

      • Legion was done by Noah Hawley (who also adapted Fargo), based on the X-Men character, and it’s really great, sort of like a hybrid between Lynch and Charlie Kaufman.

        I have no idea how Lynch and Frost will conclude the season but I’m certain it will be great. No show this year has been as addictive and bizarre as Twin Peaks…

      • with you on that, it boggles my mind that so many people cream themselves over GoT and I feel like the only person who is thinking, but… but… Twin Peaks guys!!….

      • Same with me. I keep raving about the current season but few I know have seen it.

      • Hehe we are in the same boat! I have two petty grievances: each ep is barely 50 mins long cos they always end with a five plus minute song in The Roadhouse. But that makes the lack of cliffhangars more effective I guess.

        But! I want more evil Coop!! Dougie is great and all, but.., McLachlan is playing that role so well. You caught the last episode I’m guessing?

      • I’ve made sure to see every episode live, and all have been fantastic. Evil Coop may be one of Lynch’s most menacing characters, but every scene with Dougie is flat out hilarious. It was a big risk for Lynch and Frost to take their most charismatic actor and put him in the role of a semi catatonic insurance man whose psychic abilities bring him great success, but it worked perfectly.

      • hahahaha yes I agree, big risk, but what a reward. My flatmate walked in on the scene where he is winning jackpot after jackpot and was speechless for minutes until he uttered…. dude, what the FUCK?! hehe 😀

        And God Kyle just nails it all – menacing as HELL one second – I agree, most menacing EASILY, makes Windom (sp?) Earle seem nice. Then he is up in the clouds the next as Dougie. It still surprises me that Kyle never popped up in more bigger flicks, I love the guy.

        And re- the last episode – has a scene involving arm-wrestling ever been so goddamned awesome?!

      • Evil Coop reminds of the Mystery Man from Lost Highway or the Phantom from Inland Empire: a cold, sadistic villain with ambiguous or paranormal origins. He’s different than Bob/Leland or Frank Booth, who were outright maniacs.

      • yeah, he is more calculated. And creepy. I just love his response the the arm wrestling thing. “Is this nursery school?” Goddamn that whole scene could have been terrible but it ended up being brilliant.

        I want more Evil Coop! But now I want to rewatch Inland Empire!!

  3. You had a good month there catching some fine movies.


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