Took full advantage of the tail end of the Barnes & Noble Criterion sale. Jiri Menzel’s Closely Watched Trains (1966), Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy (2010), and Bernardo Bertolucci’s La Commare Secca (1962).
It was definitely lame a while ago when I decided to review The Iron Lady because Margaret Thatcher died but I will probably take another look at Invictus since Mandela died today. I remember thinking it was below average.
Horror films so often take shortcuts with their sound. Tension can be built around a lack of context and wan direction using a slow crescendo of dissonant music that drops out at just the right moment before it surges back in with a blast. Blood-curdling screams, ringing clangs of objects hitting the floor and the amplified screech of the cat initially believed to be the lurking monster are just some of the noises that mingle with this overworked musical approach to get a cheap jolt out of a crowd. Not that tawdry genre music and clichéd audio effects cannot be used to great effect—see any good giallo or the recent, demented love-letter to giallo audio engineering, “Berberian Sound Studio”—but sound regularly works in place of exceptional or even competent filmmaking rather than as a part of it. It is an integral aspect of jump-scare horror, a generic approach against which I have a recorded bias.
It may be for that reason, then, that horror films from the silent era excite me so. They are movies that must live and die by their imagistic properties, their ability to establish the parameters of a diegetic reality and to what extent that reality can erode from sheer force of madness. Films made in the wake of German Expressionism especially demonstrate this, erecting two-dimensional but dynamic backgrounds that play out a character’s insanity and terror in purely visual terms. That lack of filter between a character’s inner state and its art direction and structure routinely creates a more visceral link between film and audience than the host of found-footage movies that have taken over the genre in the last few years.
I am distressed by Orson’s position on gay marriage. I hold the opposite view. But I loved the book. … Would I prefer to be doing a movie without controversy? Yes, but I’m not in the least distressed that we are having this conversation. It is a very important conversation. It’s just odd that our film, which is all about tolerance, has to be used to counter of the author.
I was definitely planning on not seeing this movie because of the stuff Orson Scott Card has said but now I’m not sure. The problem still remains that if the movie makes money, Card makes money and I don’t really feel comfortable with that. I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether Hood’s film can really, as he says, counter the intolerant things Card has said.
My Nosferatu pumpkin!