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  • Alphaville

    Alphaville

    Film #20 of Film School Drop Outs 2018

    Everyone keeps reminding Lemmy Caution (Constantine) to check in at ‘Le Contrôle des Habitants’. Everyone keeps uttering the same phrases and repeating the same movements. Lemmy has just arrived at Alphaville and has already killed two men. Godard has made a dystopia of the present through photography, music, a bit of dialogue and an anti-narrative. By the time the film’s broken, omnipresent voice is identified as Alpha 60, a supercomputer 150 lightyears…

  • Desire

    Desire

    Our new landlord is providing cable along with internet, which means I have access to TCM!

    I think this is my first proper Dietrich, having only seen Touch of Evil. I'm struck by her controlling performance, turning glamour into a narrative agency. She gets to trick him (Cooper) into chasing her; she's the one that's through with her criminal past. Costume changes are motivated as changes in Madeleine's performance, a double performance that runs circles around her 'prize,' Cooper's endearingly awkward hulk of a man.

    "I did love you. I do love you. Goodbye Tom." And then, the slowest dissolve from Dietrich's image into the next.

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  • The Birds

    The Birds

    ★★★★

    The Birds: Hitchcock’s film version of the gothic romance, where female hysteria is realized by nature and the shadowy moors of England are replaced with a bright bay of California. The suspense is there, and the performances and direction are all high-grade Hitchcock, but it drags at parts and really, Hitch probably isn’t the best guy to talk about the institutional oppression of women.

    It is a fantastic film: from the brief wolf-whistle at the very start of the film…

  • WR: Mysteries of the Organism

    WR: Mysteries of the Organism

    Film #19 of Film School Drop Outs 2018

    WR opens with muted wordplay platitudes ("Who will re-direct our directors? ... Who will will our will?") as a hippie dresses himself as an exaggerated American soldier. He'll return intermittently to disrupt conventional urban life with his harmless presence, after the film completes a primary documentary sequence on Wilhelm Reich and introduces its framed political sex narrative.

    While that sounds like a mouthful, there isn't much in WR that grabbed my interest,…