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Nope - culty weirdo. The difference is: ahem: locally... if your religion stroke cult has a single temporal leader comma then your cult may be called a religion for the purposes of this by-law. if your cult stroke religion admits to no single temporal leader (that we can debate with/ declare jihad against) then, like it or not, you're a cult.
I'm a cult, i'm a cult, but my ma won't admit it...
'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)
I love this film - and
If I was putting it in a double bill, it would be, not with another Scottish film, but with 'The Peaceful Man', set in Ireland, or 'Gone to Earth', set on the English/ Welsh border country.
Heck, let's call it a triple bill!
The essential qualities are: beautiful countryside: real people, albeit some a little unusual: excellent acting from fine actors - and, most importantly, a story that may not be new but is neither hackneyed nor trite.
If you want a period film that's not a 'just-so' story - where there aren't necessarily good guys who always do the right thing, and bad guys who are obvious villains, and macguffins round every corner - well, here it is.
The Pajama Game (1957)
I wasn't expecting Michael Moore,
But the moral of the film (couldn't speak for the stage play) is 'steal from your employees by cooking the books to pocket their pay rise for six months! you won't be arrested! you won't be fired! you can keep six months of your ill-gotten gains! and then you can sing an up-beat number about great job you're doing! As long as your second in command gets the girl with your connivance, he's not going to make a fuss!
I can see why people were ready for the sixties. 'Steal from the poor to line your own pockets', 'steal from people who implicitly trust you', 'make deals behind closed doors to stiff the female workforce' - well, they're not really tag-lines I can get behind, myself.
Bring on North Country.
Contains spoilers for the next millennium or 2
The core scene in this movie is the one where the unHoly trinity carve things out.
"I played the 'only begotten son' card." "I, too, played the 'only begotten son' card." "Ah, so you, too, have realised that, in this game, that gets you total world domination for two thousand years?" "No, you bastard, I loved *my* son." And meanwhile the ice maiden who is also becoming-mother looks on in horrified fascination.
What? Was I the only one who got that? I vote for Bruce & Milla. A bloke who'll take it on the chin and love his kids and the flesh & blood version of his wife, and a girl who'll get the job done and then hurry home to gestate.
Or maybe I vote we play a better game.
The Golden Compass (2007)
Are you looking for a crowd-pleaser - or would you like to step out of the crowd?
Bottom line - I went to see this all on my own (I invited my children to see it with me, but, possibly because the weather was vile, they elected to stay home with a full fridge, computer & DVD player at their disposal. Oh - and one father - should mention that, right?).
I love the books. Part of the reason I love them is that they aim for the people who don't want easy, who don't want pat, who would quite like to sit chewing a thumbnail for a little while, thinking, 'I'm not sure about this...'.
Think 'Battle Royale'. Think 'Serenity'.
So, as I handed over my ticket, and the chap said 'enjoy the film', I said 'I hope so...'.
And he said, all quiet-like: 'best film we've ever shown here.' People - take a moment to think back through every cinema-going experience you've had. Ever had a member of staff climb out on a limb like that? Nope? It was a first for me, too...
And that's the cinema I first saw Bambi at - making the point that I think he wasn't saying: 'comparing this only with films such as 'Dumberer & Dumberest', it is my considered opinion that...' I shared the auditorium with one member of staff, one courting couple, three families, three grown-ups who arrived in a group, and about seven other people who arrived alone and without popcorn, picked a seat with a good view, and concentrated avidly on the film for the duration.
I'm sure we all had different opinions - but the two kids who moved from behind me to right down the front - they seemed pretty keen. The lad who kicked the seat seven across from me throughout the trailers - he stopped when the film started, and then used it only as punctuation for battle scenes, for which I'm enormously grateful.
Headcount when the film ended was the same as headcount when film started, and I didn't notice one person go for a toilet break. And, trust me, I have the ears of a bat, and a parent's peripheral vision...
This was always going to be a hard one to screen without being blamed for a few firebombings, but darn if they didn't walk that line.
And I did seriously consider chatting up two of the guys who arrived alone to see the film because a) they were startlingly good-looking, and b) when you glance at someone's face during a film, and they're reacting very subtly, but reacting nonetheless, and too drawn into the film to even notice you staring... well.
But instead, I sprinted home, still married.
Connie & Carla get real
Connie & Carla is a comedy musical. This is a comedy/drama. But I'd double bill them any day, and curl up for a torch-song fest.
I know there are gay republicans these days. I know you don't have to be a drama queen to be a queen, you don't need to sing to be a female impersonator, and heaven forbid anyone should sing 'glad to be gay' or limpen their wrist a la Naked Civil Servant - but, hey, sometimes you just want to embrace the cliché.
I wanted to embrace all of the clichés on display here - with the sole exception of the whore-with-a-heart-of-ice, who I hope you too will boo, hiss and throw popcorn at... at the appropriate point, and I will say no more.
I watch Blues Brothers regularly because I think Life Is Better With A Soundtrack. You know it makes sense - the soundtrack here is sympathetically chosen, and owes more to our glorious predecessors than to their wannabe descendants.
'You think you're a hero? Try facing *one day* in my shoes...'
Batoru rowaiaru (2000)
America's next top.... assassin.
Cool film. Spent since it came out until 21/11/07 avoiding it, then one person too many that I actually like, put it in their top 100, and I settled down to watch it. Bought the thing outright, too, because, for some reason, renting it would have felt skanky.
I guess it's the difference between Butch & Sundance leaping off a cliff, and Bill and Ted tying on some bungee ropes. Not that eternal-sunshining it out of my brain would be an option either way - but there's something subconscious there that wants scary stuff to come without elastic on it.
I had a weird sense of deja vu during a lot of the scenes. I went back afterwards to watch them again, so I could track it down.
Basically the 'this is life and death/ and yet we're putting on make-up now' dichotomy is very 'America/ Australia/ continue the alphabetic listing/'s next top model'. Although I guess in that case, the dichotomy is more 'we're putting on make-up now/ but pouting like it's life or death'.
'be my best friend so I can cosy up and stab you in the back!' 'i didn't mean to do that - it was all your fault, you just kinda made me cross, and then i *had* to do it, but it wasn't my fault, it wasn't anything to do with me, it just kinda happened, and i'd say sorry, but really it wasn't me, you just kinda backed onto my knife, there...so *you* apologise, bitch!' The dumb, unconvincing-yet-utterly-in-character dialogue some of the characters swap made me really uncomfortable about my old habit of tuning to Wherever's Next Top Model whenever I'm looking for a bunch of people I feel entitled to superiority over.
Lawksalawdy, look at that! Hidden shallows....
Good film. Life-changing - and, who knows? Maybe even for the better... too soon to tell yet, methinks.
Clive Owen - 'nuff said
Like Harrison Ford, don't we love to watch him win, and don't we love to watch him suffer.
We quite like watching him have a nap, wash a car, or have his lip bitten by prettier girls than us...
As if we weren't being spoiled enough already, there's an ensemble cast that makes you go 'wow, he/she was in this?' about every five minutes before you finally settle down to enjoy it.
There's social commentary to die for - I've yet to see a more succinct analysis of the (tawdry) joys of asset-stripping, or the heady (and extremely dangerous) thrills of teeming and lading.
Now admit it, all my accountant friends out there - you've never seen teeming and lading outside of a textbook or a bad client's ledger books, have you? A series brave enough to educate its audience, and gorgeous enough to keep its audience after admitting it was gonna be educational...
Rumor Has It... (2005)
enjoyed the film but...
wish they had called it 'the postgraduate'.
It's fairly grown-up humour - people who like gross-out movies are likely to walk away disappointed, and nor is it a snuggle-up-with-the-kids feel-good fest.
But if you've just spent 6 days watching snuggle-up-with-the-kids feel-good fest, this should cleanse your palate nicely.
I'd double-bill with 'the graduate' (well, duh!), and I suspect that this would prove two things - that 'the graduate' is the better film, and that, inmyeversohumbleopinion, that is largely because Simon and Garfunkel (genuflects) did the theme music for that one. I know it would be a copout to just steal *that* theme music for the new film - but sometimes copping out is a *good* thing, children!
Good Luck Chuck (2007)
Special Hell Alert - & probably Special Spoiler Alert.
First off, this is not a third date movie, not a film to take your adolescent niece/ nephew/ kids' outing to. Or your favourite Aunt/ Uncle/ Lesbian Godparent.
Not unless you *like* awkward silences.
On the other hand, I watched it alone, and laughed myself silly. And was touched by the love stories, for they are plural. And, no, did *not* 'touch myself'. Not that kind of movie.
The crucial thing about it is, it's not a plot I've seen before, although if an anorak insists the same film was made in 1948 with James Cagney & his sister playing Jessica Alba & her brother - well, I'd believe it. A lot of weird stuff was made that year... And I have known a couple of real-life 'catalysts', so it's nice to see the notion get recognition.
Some people only like to see the stuff they've seen a thousand times already - me, I hope I never get *that* old.
I'd watch this as a triple bill with Happy Feet & The Thing - this would be the sandwich filler. But that's just me...
Battle of the V-1 (1958)
In times of war, truth is generally much weirder than fiction...
My Mum always used to tell me that you should use every part of the pig - except its squeal. She also used to tell me that the reason the Nazis lost is that they tried to use the squeal.
One of the turning points of the war was when Alan Turing (no umlaut!) - or possibly one of his chums - or even one of his enemies - worked out that the base number used to set everyone's Enigma machine was the published rate of deaths in Auschwitz. See? They prided themselves on using the skin, the bones, the fillings - the lot. And then they used the squeal.
Give me a film, or book, or song, about Violette or Odette or Noor - or Alan, or Leo, or Vera - and I'm just about in heaven. Loved this film - loved it.