“When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life.”
-- John Kennedy Toole, from A Confederacy of Dunces
I was twelve the summer Jaws came out. My parents saw it just before we were to head to the beach, and returned home to tell me I wouldn’t be seeing it. It’s the only movie I ever remember my parents proscribing. Forty years later I still hadn’t seen it. Of course I’ve seen so many clips over the years I could probably cut the movie together if you gave me the elements.
So when I finally decided to watch…
I’m agnostic about the Dune books, having never read them, and indeed all SciFi. So I arrived neither overexcited nor vulnerable to betrayal. I can honestly say it was the best pure science fiction movie I’ve seen since the original Star Wars trilogy. I’d compare it to the pleasurable foreplay I experienced seeing The Fellowship of the Ring when it came out.
Villeneuve seems to have mined Herbert’s Dune and extracted its unadulterated mythic essence. It does exactly what myth…
Carl von Clausewitz said that war is diplomacy by other means. This movie shows us diplomacy as war by other means. Britain, France, and the Arabs carve up the spoils of the Ottoman Empire after WWI.
Fiennes and Siddig are fabulous as the Ambiguously Gay Duo, Colonel Lawrence and Prince Faisal. But overall, it’s a bit too much inside baseball. Not a sequel to Lawrence of Arabia but a made-for-TV footnote to Lean’s grand epic.
What this film does best is what Agatha does best: capture fabulous locations trapped in amber, painted with local color, and foregrounded with implausible eccentrics killing in puzzling ways.
The location here is the Palestinian Mandate before the creation of Israel, 90 years of conflict, tourism, and modernity. The direction and Poirot’s mustache are not as sharp as in prior outings.
Highbrow quote injected incongruously by the screenwriter: “To know how to free one’s self is is nothing; the arduous…
About 40 minutes into Psycho, Norman removes a print hanging on his wall of “Susannah and the Elders,” a story from the Book of Daniel of two men spying on a naked bathing woman. Norman then spies through a peephole at Marion undressing to bathe. There’s an extreme close-up of his eye in the darkness lit by a beam of light from the peephole. Here we have the ultimate metaphor for moviegoing, the audience-as-voyeur, sitting in the dark spying on…
This is the most complex relationship between two leads in an Hitchcock picture: spy and handler, misconceptions and magnatisms, delusions of morally superiority, manipulations and guilt, jealousies hidden and barbed.
Cary Grant is a basically saying to Ingrid: please sleep with Claude Rains so you can spy on him for us. If you do I promise to love you. She’s saying to him: if you love me you'll tell me not to do it. Grant finds himself falling in love…