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  • American Hustle

    American Hustle 2013

    Watched 10 Apr, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Sometimes you just want to watch awesome actors doing awesome stuff with an awesome script, and though it was a little uneven sometimes (I don't mind the tonal shifts, I just found the more plot-heavy parts less interesting), this delivered.

    Memorable parts:

    Irving's comb-over
    Irving's quiet seething when Richie musses his comb-over
    Irving and Sidney falling in love in between the moving dry cleaning ranks
    Description of Rosalyn: "She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate."
    Rosalyn exploding the microwave ("No,…

  • Suspense

    Suspense 1913

    Watched 28 Mar, 2015

    This was REALLY good. A huge step up from the other films in the program in terms of editing and use of the camera. The shots are still static, but they're often from very interesting angles, especially a few shots from above the door looking down on the vagrant outside - when he looks up, it's genuinely terrifying.

    Weber also uses a triangular split-screen to show the woman inside with her child, the tramp outside trying to get in, and her husband at work, answering her call and rushing home to help. It's ingenious.

  • Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N.Y. Herald and His Moving Comics

    Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N.Y. Herald and His Moving Comics 1911

    Watched 28 Mar, 2015

    I assumed this would be Gertie the Dinosaur, but it's not - part live action as McCay promises to deliver a bunch of drawings to Vitagraph, which turn out to be pretty basic pencil sketches and animated drawings, sort of a proof of concept of animation.

  • A Corner in Wheat

    A Corner in Wheat 1909

    Watched 28 Mar, 2015

    I've heard about this film a lot, but I'm not sure I'd ever actually seen it before. The big innovation for Griffith this time was crosscutting between three different stories that never meet up, but that comment on each other thematically - wheat sowers in a field, businessmen cornering the wheat market and living high off the profits, and a bakery whose customers can no longer afford the cost of a loaf of bread, even when the bakery has bread to sell. Most of the other things in this program were pure entertainment; this was a bracing change of pace.

  • The Dancing Pig

    The Dancing Pig 1907

    Watched 28 Mar, 2015


    Seriously, this is on YouTube. Go find it and watch it. I don't even know what my life is about anymore.

  • A Trip to the Moon

    A Trip to the Moon 1902

    ★★★★ Rewatched 28 Mar, 2015

    I've heard this with narration before, but the guy from the Academy who did the narration at this screening gave more narration than usual. I guess I've normally heard it in French with subtitles - maybe the subtitles didn't translate everything. I enjoyed having a bit more detail about what's going on in the scenes.

  • The Four Troublesome Heads

    The Four Troublesome Heads 1898

    Rewatched 28 Mar, 2015 1

    An early Melies trick film, and it's still pretty funny.

  • Those Awful Hats

    Those Awful Hats 1909

    Rewatched 28 Mar, 2015

    Hats - the cell phones of the 1900s. Some really early matte work going on, too!

  • Christmas in July

    Christmas in July 1940

    ★★★½ Rewatched 28 Mar, 2015

    I found this much more charming than I did the first time I saw it (it helped that I both understood Jimmy's slogan this time and also thought it was dumb, which put me pretty much on the same page with his girlfriend).

    The broad humor of the supporting cast won me over, too.

  • Air Mail

    Air Mail 1932

    Watched 28 Mar, 2015

    Dragged a bit in the middle, but the last act was pretty great. If I ever time travel back to the 1930s remind me never to fly in a plane, or fall in love with any pilots.

  • So Dear to My Heart

    So Dear to My Heart 1948

    Rewatched 28 Mar, 2015

    I grew up watching this film, so I was surprised to find out how rare and unknown it actually is - it has never been properly released on DVD, and no one else near me in the theatre had seen or mostly even heard of it before. Crazy. Anyway, I was a bit afraid it wouldn't live up to my nostalgia, but it's pretty adorable in its quiet way.

  • Why Be Good?

    Why Be Good? 1929

    Watched 28 Mar, 2015

    Utterly charming.