Miracle Mile (1988) Steve De Jarnatt

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Miracle Mile (1988*)
Written and directed by Steve De Jarnatt
Produced by John Daly, Derek Gibson
Cinematography by Theo van de Sande
Music by Tangerine Dream
Kino Lorber Blu-ray (1:27)
(mild spoilers initially – more later)

As I mentioned in my recap of the movies I watched earlier this month, I have absolutely no recollection of Miracle Mile coming out in theaters, on cable, or on VHS. If not for Brian and Elric at Pure Cinema Podcast, I probably would’ve never seen it, so many thanks to the guys for recommending a title that has immediately become one of my favorite movies from the 80s.

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My Introduction to the Genius of Jacques Tati

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Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
Directed by Jacques Tati
Filmstruck (1:27)

5/5

MPW-30743

PlayTime (1967)
Directed by Jacques Tati
Filmstruck (2:04)

5/5

These two films represent many “firsts” for me: the first time I’ve seen anything by Tati, the first time (as far as I can remember) that I’ve watched two works by a new-to-me director back-to-back, and the first time (again, as far as I can remember) I’ve given five stars to back-to-back works by the same director.

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The Machinist (2004) Brad Anderson

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The Machinist (2004)
Directed by Brad Anderson
Produced by Carlos Fernández
Written by Scott Kosar
Cinematography by Xavi Giménez
Music by Roque Baños
DVD – interlibrary loan (1:42)

The Machinist disturbs us from the very first frame and never lets up until the final credits roll, yet when you think about it, we’re really not off the hook even then. Much of what disturbs us is watching an emaciated Christian Bale, who lost 62 pounds for the role of Trevor Reznik, a machinist with a prolonged case of insomnia. The disturbing sight of Bale is a strong foundation for more things that will disturb us in the film, grounding the audience in elements that have one foot in horror and the other in noir. Part of what makes The Machinist so powerful is in how it maintains that balance.

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