Another week, another series of great/classic movies! I didn’t see as many films in theaters as last week, but I did manage to go see The Incredibles 2 on Thursday! You can expect a review later this week, but I will say that while it isn’t the classic the first was, it still is crackerjack entertainment.
At home, I started my week by watching the original Scarface from 1932. Quite frankly, I didn’t find it the greatest, or most original film in the world, but it is a rich, fascinating film, and the editing is out of this world. Much better were the classics I watched on Friday, both of which had a fascinating story going behind them. The first was 1955’s The Ladykillers, the classic comedy starring Alec Guinness. Guinness is remarkable in the film, and he single-handedly pulls off what might be the most British comedy ever made. The other Friday viewing was the twosome of the 1967 short film The Perfect Human and its 2003 documentary follow-up The Five Obstructions, where director Lars von Trier had original filmmaker Jørgen Leth remake his own film five times, each with a different specification. The film is a masterful exploration of filmmaking, intent, and friendship, and also confirmed my deep-seeded belief that von Trier is a grade-A assh*le. I also spent my Friday with my father watching our greatest cult favorite: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. I usually try to watch the film once a year around Halloween, but I’ve slipped the last year or two. Well no more, because I have returned to the light. The film is a master class of surrealism and hilarity, and if you can’t enjoy the childish glee that Tim Burton, Paul Reubens, and Phil Hartman relish in, I don’t want to know you. Over the weekend, I watched yet another Hayao Miyazaki film in my quest to become more acquainted with Studio Ghibli. This time, it was Howl’s Moving Castle. I appreciated the film for its message, and for the bigger themes it was juggling, but compared to Mononoke and Grave of the Fireflies, it felt closer to a “That was fine” than a “That changed everything.” Meanwhile, on Sunday, I took in two classic stylized action films, and boy did they blow me away. The first was Dr. No, which I saw on the big screen for the first time in over a decade. And dear lord. I’ve always been a Bond fan, even though I’m so-so on Connery (he’s just a bit too dickish for my taste), but I was shocked at how technically perfect the film was, from start to finish. The second was John Carpenter’s breakout neo-Western/horror hybrid Assault on Precinct 13, another one of Priscilla Page’s Top Ten (the other two I will be watching soon). And while I found the first third to be a little mundane, clichéd, and muddled, when Carpenter gets going (in the most shocking way possible, I might add), the film morphs into a tight, taut, excellent little thriller. It’s definitely worth a viewing, especially if you’re a 70s action fan. And my week ended with a viewing of one of the greatest films of all time, a film you all know and love, and a film that is for everyone, no matter what certain people on the Internet are trying to declare: I watched the original Star Wars, de-specialized. It’s a film I adore, a film that’s perfectly crafted, and a film that will speak for generations to come.
The reason I watched Star Wars, though, is because on Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to the Detroit Institute of Art’s exhibit Star Wars: The Power of Costume. The exhibit featured original sketches and costumes from all eight of the films ranging from Obi-Wan’s robes to Strom Troopers to Padme’s many dresses to the original Yoda Puppet. It was an exquisite, fascinating tour, and I’m incredibly happy I went on it. Outside of film and the museum, I didn’t really have a chance to watch or listen to much else. I did, however, listen to the new Unspooled on 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I greatly enjoyed. And with the promise of one of my favorite films, Bonnie and Clyde, in next week’s episode, I can’t wait to see what films they talk about going forward.
That does it for this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched. I’ll be seeing yet another Bond film on Tuesday (it’s a month of Bond at my local indie theater), I hope to take in a couple of documentaries this week, and for the 4th I will be watching both Miss Firecracker and Nashville, so I’ll have reports on that. I also hope to get caught up on GLOW, so I can start Season 2. Until then, you can let me know in the comments what you’ve been watching this past week. Any interesting films or shows you’ve seen that you want to write about? Otherwise, I will see you all next week!