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Street Scenes (1970)
Why Can't We SEE This Movie?
This is an amazing historical document, exploring the explosive response to Nixon's announcement of his incursion into Cambodia. Climaxing in an enormous March On Washington, the film records the confrontation of Wall Street working man with the rebellious students and anti-war personalities like Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Bill Kunstler and so on... This film was made less than a year after the Woodstock festival, and a lot of the film-makers involved with the concert film were on hand for this, much darker, movie. The film ends in a remarkable conversation among some of the participants, in a Washington hotel, after the march has largely failed but before everyone decided to throw over the revolutionary goals. Very clearly these people are talking about "revolution" -- they imagined themselves to be in the midst of one, just as had those dead at Kent State, and as had, perhaps, their killers. This is a forgotten moment in American History, and this film lays it out quite strikingly. Criterion, where are you?
Wonderful Film, Sadly Unavailable
I saw this movie when it played at the New Directors New Films series at the Museum of Modern Art in 1975. It was a wonderfully straightforward consideration of a very simple artist who, rather in the manner of Toulouse-Lautrec, hung out in bars and painted, literally, for his living, for food and drink. The film, I remember, had a style which diminished perspective rather as the artist did himself; I completely admired it, and frequently reflect on the sorry state of things that so fine a work can be just unavailable! I grew up in a world where memory of films was often the best one could hope for -- that world had the advantage of "revival theaters" where some old films might be viewed on a full-sized movie screen -- but now things are quite different and many many movies are available for owning or rental, but here is a clear example of a wonderful film -- sadly one of thousands -- still unavailable.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Ferociously, Agressively, Sadistically Boring
When the credits rolled on this rolled on this miracle of movie-making, i was shocked. I had just watched a movie that offered zero excitement, zero character development, zero anything interesting. It is a veritable engine designed for the sole purpose of making its audience as miserable as possible, and it accomplishes this quite admirably. There is truly nothing good at all about the film. From the lame, unimaginative, obvious script, to the pervasive, ever-intrusive score, to the innumerable pointless scenes that offered nothing in the way of character development or plot. When your big ending twist is something so ridiculous as the one in this, and I have absolutely no reaction to it, something is wrong with your movie. I was writhing in my seat i was so bored, and by the ridiculous last scene, i felt tears welling up in my face i wanted it to end so bad. Please, for your own sake, do not view this film. Consider yourself warned.