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Isn't it like the full movie equivalent of the slide-whistle car flip in Man With the Golden Gun, but mostly just the slide whistle?
Your point being?



minds his own damn business
Isn't it like the full movie equivalent of the slide-whistle car flip in Man With the Golden Gun, but mostly just the slide whistle?
Even with a non-masturbating Ernest Borgnine in the car?
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This may not be the best place to post this news - well, maybe it is - but Stuart Gordon's Robot Jox is now on Amazon Prime.
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Last Great Movie Seen
The Seven-Ups (D'Antoni, 1973)



I know, right? I thought it would be a movie I'd never see. I mean, I love Stuart Gordon, but I'm not willing to spend $95 on used DVD made in 2005.



I know, right? I thought it would be a movie I'd never see. I mean, I love Stuart Gordon, but I'm not willing to spend $95 on used DVD made in 2005.
Exactly. I should clarify that I haven't seen it, so my excitement is just that it's available. Couple of years ago I tried to watch every Gordon film but that one couldn't be found.
(I also didn't see Space Truckers, but I'm not sure how hard I tried to find that one. )



Exactly. I should clarify that I haven't seen it, so my excitement is just that it's available. Couple of years ago I tried to watch every Gordon film but that one couldn't be found.
(I also didn't see Space Truckers, but I'm not sure how hard I tried to find that one. )
It looks like you can rent Space Truckers on Google Play for only $1.99. All of this Stuart Gordon availability is making my week!



This may not be the best place to post this news - well, maybe it is - but Stuart Gordon's Robot Jox is now on Amazon Prime.
This is most excellent news.



ANTONIONI, COMPLIMENTS OF GOLDIE GARDNER




Sometime in early 1980, one of Michaelangelo Antonioniís children must have interrupted his dinner to tell him someone on the TV had just asked to talk to him. The matter was urgent. He must put down his fork immediately and contribute whatever he could afford to help. Shortly thereafter, following some negotiations of whether heíd prefer the Bob Ross tote bag or the Oscar the Grouch belt buckle, public broadcasting in Buffalo had secured the rights to the modernist master's next film.

Or so I assume. There seems no other explanation for The Mystery of Oberwaldís bad television vibes or its cheaply rendered lifelessness. Itís almost as if all his energy was spent waiting by the mailbox for his Thank You Gifts to arrive and there was nothing left over for the movie. Maybe this payment simply never came and he thinks this absolves him of the slow drying mess heís created here. In any case, I watched it, and its curiosity factor seemed just enough to pull me through to the end of its ghastly slow runtime. But in the end, I was only left with questions.

Why? What? Huh?

Making the perverse choice to record Oberwald directly onto video, it doesnít take long for it to become very hard to reconcile what we are watching with anything that has anything whatsoever to do with Antonioni. There will be brief moments of gracefully rendered camera movements, as well as his talent for asymmetrical compositions that make us want to look closer. These will be a nice call backs to a better time in the director's career, but to what end? What exactly are we being made to look more closely at? How blurry does he want this to get?

Ultimately, these will only be momentary and empty flashes of the director we know. The rest of the time we canít help but be put off by how unpleasant everything is to look at. It seems to lack all sense of grace, deliberately embracing an ugly modernity that would unfortunately become dated almost immediately. As a result, we canít help but be pulled out of the moment every time we watch the zoom of a lowly camrecorder slowly approach the stony visage of Monica Vitti. Instead, it feels we should be inching closer to some looming playground embarrassment, and that the actress, instead of staring at foliage and droning on about how assassins are poets and their victims their poems, should instead maybe fling herself headfirst down a plastic tube slide. Dampen her legendary noble face in a puddle waiting for her at the bottom. Then let Bob Saget introduce the next existential crises to rock this dreadfully boring 19th century period piece. Maybe then, this movie might make some aesthetic sense.

This said, there is still something slightly compelling about watching a film that simply doesnít seem like it should have ever even existed. The notoriously meticulous Antonioni should not be making films that can draw such surface parallels to David Priors Sledgehammer or Doris Wishmanís A Night to Dismember. Not unless he also became infected with the sudden urge to film tank-top food fights and axe inflicted head bonks. But, regardless, it is kind of amusing to watch him slum it a little in embracing the washed-out world of VHS tape recording and all of its low budget baggage, presumably dreaming of a day that Oscar the Grouch would aid him in keeping his pants from falling down. Or at least inspire him to do something better than this








ANTONIONI RANKED


1) L'Avventura
2) Eclisse
3) Red Desert
4) Blow Up
5) La Notte
6) The Passenger
7) Le Amiche
8) Identification of a Woman
9) Zabriskie Point
10) Mystery of Oberwald


I think I've seen Story of a Love Affair too, but not sure. If it is what I think it was, it would be in the middle of the pack somewhere.


All of those are at least strong likes, until we get to Zabriskie Point which I sort of dislike, but I find passably interesting because of its hippie goofball qualities and (of course) that last image is incredible.



From what I've seen of Antonioni's filmography, my rankings would look like this:

1) Red Desert
2) L'Avventura
3) Blow-Up
4) The Passenger
5) Le Amiche



L'Eclisse, Red Desert and Blow Up are all top notch. I appreciated what L'Avventura and La Notte were going for, but they're almost unbearably dry viewing experiences (only L'Eclisse clicked for me out of the trilogy). Zabriskie Point has a lot of greatness at the periphery, but it asks me to take the leads and their hippie bull**** uncritically, so my admiration is muted.



Almost forgot I've seen The Passenger. Remember next to nothing about it so it probably deserves a rewatch.



minds his own damn business
Almost forgot I've seen The Passenger. Remember next to nothing about it so it probably deserves a rewatch.
Nothing? Yeah, rewatch it.


My ranking:


Red Desert
Blowup
L'Eclisse
L'Avventura
The Passenger
Zabriskie Point (f#cking, flaming and falling!)
Beyond the Clouds (quality erotica)
La Notte
Il Grido


All at least 8/10



I saw The Passenger in the theater upon its re-release a few years ago, and I liked it alot, but feel a rewatch would kick it up a few notches on my list.



THIS ROOM COULD BE YOUR LIFE



Itís a room. We can move furniture into it. Music can be played in it. People can die in it. But mostly it is just a room, and it sits there, not doing anything. Not able to move towards us but making sure we move towards it. It demands a suspicious level of attention. Maybe from now on we should hold each and every room with a deeper hostility and fear. Especially ones like this, that are not quite empty, but are threatening to be. There is simply just too much room here and all of it can be filled with something. Anything. Today? Tomorrow? Or maybe never. Just keep your eyes on it, will you. Itís not like youíre going anywhere for the next 49 minutes.

So, to pass the time, maybe we can start paying more attention to the tops of cars we see passing by the windows (clear evidence of a world outside!). Or the pictures tacked to the wall (indistinct and mysterious). Or the bookcase that is slowly being pushed out of frame (waiting patiently for the moment it ceases to exist). Or how about the chair which, as we drift nearer and nearer to it, we can now tell is definitely a chair (it wasnít always so clear). When you stare at something long enough in this room, and the light is playing tricks on you, it becomes possible that anything can be anything. Everything is a question mark. But at least we know this is most definitely a room.

Or maybe itís even more. Maybe itís also a movie.

Yes, thatís what this is most of all. An artifact. A recording of a moment in time. A room in 1967. A place that existed and now doesnít. At least not in the same way anymore, Iím sure. So, letís instead start paying attention to this being a movie. A piece of photographic material that can be altered as well as decompose. We can watch the manipulation of light through the lens. The defects that appear on the film and the use of muddy, diegetic sound. Listen as a window is closed. How the sound of traffic disappears, and a recognizable song comes on the radio to take its place. Itís hard to believe the Beatles exist in this place, but why not. After all, anything can potentially be here. We canít see the door, so itís silly to think we have any idea who or what can come and go.

But then as the sole occupant of this room leaves, we wonder if we should be concerned. We were alone before and now weíre alone again. They turned off the radio before they left, allowing the non-diegetic sounds to now take over. A whistling madness starts building and building and building. There is a sense something is happening that should make us anxious, and we only become more so when we canít find anything to attach to this anxiety. There is a crashing and banging. A moment of blackness. Itís possible someone has crumpled to the floor. Should this make us feel better? Are they dead? Does it even matter what state theyíre in once they are out of frame?

Itís possible the cops have been called. Itís possible, that beneath the whistling, there is the jangle of a telephone. Maybe the police are calling back to double check what theyíve been told or need details on how to get to the room. Where it is. It seems they are no better than us. Even to them this room is nowhere and this crime has been committed in limbo. But itís also possible this jangling sound isnít them calling at all. Maybe the phone isnít even ringing. it's just a side effect of the whistling getting into our ears and rattling around. It could just be the madness this film peddles starting to get to us. Or wishful thinking that someone else will come into this room and save us before the camera pushes straight into that black space that waits for us at the center of the wall, the center of the frame, growing in size, a photograph of outerspace. Or the ocean. Something vast and alien. A universe inside a room that is also a universe.

At some point the movie will end.

As it turns out, Wavelength is a movie that brings grave insult to the notion that nothing happens in this movie that nothing happens in. All it asks of you is to just sit. In a room. And watch. And wait. But there is more. We are watching time unfold, pass us by, trick us into thinking we havenít gone anywhere. But we have. You can come back here anytime. It isnít going anywhere. Try to make what you will of this alien yet familiar room that is waiting for us here and forever. There is an entire world to be found in it. I think it was a terrifying one. But maybe itíll just make you want to buy a couch.









I wasn't looking forward to Wavelength, but it blew me away both times I watched it. Initially, I was mildly on board, amusing myself by watching various items in the room disappear from the frame as the camera kept zooming in. Once the man fell on the floor though and, presumably, died, the movie terrified me in an abstract way. The various aspects which I initially found amusing or annoying suddenly made me grow anxious (the zoom in, the darkness of the room, the frequency which kept on increasing) and I began to dread where the zoom in was leading to. For obvious reasons, it's one of the most divisive classic films out there, but I'm a huge fan of it, personally.



I wasn't looking forward to Wavelength, but it blew me away both times I watched it. Initially, I was mildly on board, amusing myself by watching various items in the room disappear from the frame as the camera kept zooming in. Once the man fell on the floor though and, presumably, died, the movie terrified me in an abstract way. The various aspects which I initially found amusing or annoying suddenly made me grow anxious (the zoom in, the darkness of the room, the frequency which kept on increasing) and I began to dread where the zoom in was leading to. For obvious reasons, it's one of the most divisive classic films out there, but I'm a huge fan of it, personally.



I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it inexplicably unnerving.