sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-09-01 05:28 pm

I turned in all directions, but my compass wouldn't spin

It is a quiet, sunny September afternoon and all of a sudden it feels like fall. Last night it was cold enough for an electric blanket and as of today I have transferred my keys into the pockets of my corduroy coat; the color of the light and the clarity of the sky are stone-washed, paling, remote. The leaves are not yet turning that I can see, but I just realized that the tree directly across from my office window may have died. Its branches are split and grey with lichen, its twigs leafless. I wonder if the ash borer got it. It had better not be an omen. Autolycus crouched next to my computer with the afternoon in his green eyes suggests that I should not take it as such.

Tomorrow I plan to meet [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for the HFA's all-night vampire marathon. For most of next week [personal profile] spatch and I will be out of town and traveling because of family business on his side. When we get back, the Brattle will be running a celebration of Tilda Swinton and I will get to see more Derek Jarman on the big screen, including The Last of England (1987), which I have only read about. The HFA is not running a full Wellman retrospective, but selected works with emphasis on his pre-Code and social message pictures. I am glad that someone other than me considers Heroes for Sale (1933) and Wild Boys of the Road (1933) "neglected classics," because they are. Any summary that leaves Dorothy Coonan out of the latter, however, is out of focus.

I keep thinking about Dunkirk (2017). I went to see it again last weekend because I wanted to observe the structure now that I knew how it worked; what I feel I mostly ended up observing was the emotion. It's really not a cold movie. Some characters' arcs leapt out at me this time around, one numinous moment in particular which I may describe if I can recompile my brain. The cinematography still sticks for me. There are moments of great visual beauty, disorientation, immersion, but not everything needs to be quick-cut, adrenaline-flash. You can create astonishing claustrophobia and chaos holding the camera crisp and steady—Sidney Lumet and Oswald Morris did it with The Hill (1965), yet another film I saw this summer and failed to write about. I know Christopher Nolan thought the alternative would be more intuitive. I don't know that he was right.

I wish I were not so tired. I remember being able to think. I liked it.
lost_spook: (Dracula)

[personal profile] lost_spook 2017-09-02 08:55 am (UTC)(link)
Aw, enjoy the vampire all-nighter! And I hope you get some sleep soon (although presumably preferably not at the vampire all-nighter. Unless one of the films is duff...)

(I'm currently watching the BBC's 1977 Count Dracula, but not overnight. My brain doesn't work properly even when I do sleep...)

And re. Dunkirk is good to have fictional things that keep coming back to you in that way.
lost_spook: (Dracula)

[personal profile] lost_spook 2017-09-02 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
If you do, and are left feeling Cushing-deprived, I saw a Peter Cushing gifset go past on tumblr this morning. Which doesn't happen every day.

To be honest, I try not to watch movies overnight except in marathon contexts. I loved that Dracula and Renfield.

It's being very good! I'm enjoying it a lot so far (Dracula has just made it to Whitby and bitten Lucy). My heart obv. still belongs to the creaky b&w ITV 60s version made on a budget of about tuppence and only one day's studio time, of course, but there's nothing new about that. ;-D
lost_spook: (Dracula)

[personal profile] lost_spook 2017-09-03 08:44 am (UTC)(link)
I still need to see that. Denholm Elliott.

Oh, yes. He's rather an enjoyably troll-y Dracula. After all, if you can turn up at dinner parties and mock people while making vampire innuendoes as well as biting them, why not? It' an odd one, because it does feel a little as if someone put a bunch of my favourite 60s TV actors in a studio somewhere and told them to do Dracula (possibly without much prior warning and enjoyably random actor choices), but on the other hand it's also in outline it's a really interesting and well-cast adaptation with lots of thoughtful and imaginative touches and the two filmed sequences are lovely - it does make you wonder what it could have been like if they'd had the cash and the time to do it all on film. Par for the course for British 1960s home-grown telly, really, but still.

Whereas the 1977 (so far), despite being studio-bound, isn't any less watchable than most films of the period, which is pretty impressive for the BBC. (Although if a person could take away some of their SFX budget and give it to the 1968 version for use in more location sequences, we would have the best of all possible worlds. Probably.)