a little christmas break from our regularly scheduled programing.

what makes a great musical moment in film? a great song for one. a great movie for another. so here they are the 5 best, or the 5 best that i could remember.

5. bohemian rhapsody – wayne’s world

the funniest sing-along in movie history

4. wise up – magnolia

the greatest moment in one of my favorite films

3. pure imagination – willy wonka and the chocolate factory

gene wilder is great. that is all.

2. falling slowly – once

glen hansard is my favorite artist working today. so i was very happy when i found out he was making a movie and writing the entire soundtrack for it.

1. the rainbow connection – the muppet movie

greatest childhood movie. greatest moment

(i’m a dreamer by the way)

the bicycle thief

December 23, 2007

because i’m tired and it’s close to christmas i’m not going to type much. i loved the film and here is my favorite scene (luckily it was on youtube)

i didn’t watch the criterion transfer and there were a lot of scratches and whatnot. it was a pretty poor copy. hopefully i’ll see a better transfer at some point.

5 films for january

December 17, 2007

january will be the alfred hitchcock month. catching up on all the hitchcock that i’ve missed, and revisiting one classic.

week of january 1:

dial m for murder

week of january 7:

rope

i’m really interested in the way that the film was shot, with all the long takes.

week of january 14:

the man who knew too much

there’s going to be a lot of jimmy stewart this month.

week of january 21:

shadow of a doubt

very excited about this one that i’ve heard hitchcock considered his favorite film of his.

week of january 28:vertigo

the one film that i have seen but really do need to revisit. i wasn’t blown away by it the first time, but i’ve heard that the second time is a lot better.

chinatown

December 16, 2007

watching an old nicholson movie really makes you appreciate him as an actor. if you just watched his modern day films you’d never guess that he was this good. i mean right now he’s just playing that persona that came out of womanizing a laker games. i mean seriously…….what happened jack? you got money. you don’t need to be making the bucket list.

all kidding aside, this one was great. there’s something absolutely riveting about investigative stories. there’s nothing more exciting than being on the verge of busting a case wide open. the suspense is great, the acting is great (except for a few faye dunaway scenes…oh and that last part with john huston, that was laughably awkward) an overall very enjoyable film. one of the best i have seen through this process.

oh, and i was holding my nose for about 30 minutes after that incident. brutal.

the seventh seal

December 5, 2007

not sure what to say. going into it i wasn’t sure what to expect…a knight back from the crusades plays death in a chess match? that does sound awesome. i don’t know if i could do the film justice by trying to write something about it. i will say that i was glad to see bergman’s sense of humor come through in this one. wild strawberries was the first bergman film i saw and i really thought bergman was the biggest pessimist after watching it, but the seventh seal changed my opinion. some really great shots, no matter what you think about the content of his films you gotta admit bergman knew how to shoot films properly (also credit is due to gunnar fischer the cinematographer).

i did enjoy it, although i’m not sure i understood it all.

citizen kane

December 1, 2007

kane

it’s largely considered the greatest film ever made, so it was a shame that i had never seen it. but with that status of “greatest film ever” comes some very high expectations. so can it meet the expectations?

i would say, for the most part, yes. it hasn’t taken over as my favorite film of all time, but that’s neither here nor there. coming in i already new the “twist” at the end of the film and i was able to really focus on what made the film technically great.

the deep focus in the film is just phenomenal. welles always stages his actors in three different stages, or has action going on in the background, or in a reflection off a window. i can see why this film was so highly praised, the camera work is great.

the sort of moral of the film is also something i can get strongly behind. cherish childhood innocence and joy because it’s something you’ll never get back. it’s a fairly obvious statement about the human condition, and since i knew the ending i saw it coming. i’m sure seeing it for the first time in 1941, it would have had a much greater impact on me. but just based on a visual take on the film it’s got to be considered one of the greatest ever.

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watching this film got me thinking about the differences in classic cinema and cinema today. and i have to admit that there is something different to the classic cinema. there is a sort of aura about an old black and white film like citizen kane or treasure of the sierra madre where it sort of missing in something like no country for old men. there is an excitement that i get from watching someone like cary grant or james stewart that i just don’t see get from clive owen or harrison ford even. that’s not to say that modern day cinema is bad, i would argue that it’s better than it’s ever been. but there’s no denying that classic cinema has a certain aesthetic to it that films today do not. maybe it’s just that a lot of time has passed since they were made. maybe 40 years from now i will be saying the same thing about no country that i am about citizen kane.