I know a lot of people watch many more movies than I do, but in March, I averaged a movie a day every day, mainly due to being sick for a week and attending the Annapolis Film Festival (but not at the same time!). This post will not include any of the festival films, which I plan to review and post individually. “Movies Watched in March 2015 Part I” can be viewed here.
Runoff begins with a series of images from nature that transcend time – a clear running brook, rays of sunlight piercing through tree branches, bees producing honey – all of which show us something that was meant to be good, simple, and uncorrupted. Agriculture is part of that natural process, but you don’t have to be a reader of Wendell Berry to know that local farms are fighting an uphill battle against big business.
The Rewrite (2014) Marc Lawrence
The Annapolis Film Festival opened last night with Marc Lawrence’s The Rewrite, a romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei. In a way, it’s somewhat surprising that the festival chose a romantic comedy whose headliners are 54 and 50, respectively, yet in some ways, it’s refreshing not to have to sit through a rom com about teenagers or twenty-somethings. Maybe it was also a smart move, kicking off the festival with a film sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Once everything is said and done, I hope to have viewed at least 15 films at the festival. I’m really interested in the short films, and although I’d like to attend some of the panels, I’d rather see the films themselves. Some of the films I’m hoping to see:
5 to 7 – Victor Levin
Five Star – Keith Miller
Gabriel – Lou Howe
Help Us Find Sunil Sunil Tripathi – Neal Broffman
In Country – Mike Attie & Meghan O’Hara
Runoff – Kimberly Levin
The Zero Theorem – Terry Gilliam
I’ll try to post as much as I can, so stay tuned!
Yesterday I discussed my DVD and Blu-ray collection, so today I’d like to talk about comics, graphic novels and collected editions. Well, I guess I should say mainly graphic novels and collected editions since I buy very few individual comics these days. (Most of the ones I have would fit into one long box.)
Recently the guys over at Criterion Cast were discussing their movie collections and how to shelve them. I’m sure these guys have way more films than I do, but I thought that I’d share how I organize my collection of both movies and graphic novels. Keep in mind two things: (1) Although my wife thinks otherwise, my movie/graphic novel collections aren’t that large and (2) I am a librarian and tend to organize things as a librarian.
Ride the Pink Horse (1947) Robert Montgomery
Criterion Collection DVD (library)
A man named Gagin (Robert Montgomery) wearing a suit and hat steps off a Greyhound bus into the small town of San Pablo, New Mexico, looks around, takes several tentative steps, and discreetly transfers a gun from his briefcase to his suit jacket pocket. The locals – Hispanic Americans and Native Americans – are preparing for the town’s annual fiesta, but Gagin has no interest in these people or their celebration. He’s here for another reason: to find a man named Frank Hugo, the man who killed Gagin’s friend.
The Imposter (documentary 2012) Bart Layton
Many people avoid documentaries for several reasons: they generally consider them boring, slow-moving, poorly made, they don’t feature real actors… The list of excuses is endless (and not always unmerited). I’d like to challenge those folks who avoid documentaries to watch Bart Layton’s The Imposter, a film that singlehandedly could change the way you feel about documentaries. Seriously.
Derek and I had a great time interviewing comics creator Dylan Horrocks the other day at The Comics Alternative, discussing his new book Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, his previous book (one of my all-time favorites) Hicksville, as well as his prose short story “Steam Girl” and much, much more. I hope you’ll give the podcast a listen!
The Phenix City Story (1955) Phil Karlson
Film Noir Collection Vol. 5 (Warner Home Video)
The Phenix City Story is one of those odd films you’re not exactly sure how to handle. Is it film noir, crime drama, true crime expose, or something else? Some writers of works dealing with film noir include it while others ignore it. It’s a question best settled by each individual viewer.