The other night, at the Capitol Theatre, I projected Sean Penn's Into The Wild, which is a terrible movie. I had a weird reaction to it, one not as visceral as I get with other movies- I was actually viewing it and reacting to it largely on technical grounds. I kept on thinking, over and over again, "oh, that's a bad decision." The way the text appears on screen in yellow, the use of voiceover as this thing that seemed outside the rest of the narrative, the editing decisions. It was really not very well-made, no matter what sympathies people might feel to the subject matter. It is weird to suddenly start seeing a movie with that kind of filmic sense, that throught process. I actually felt like I could do a commentary track for it.
Today, by way of a link at the Family blog, found in a great post about Saul Bass, I ended up at a movie blog, which linked to an interview with movie critic Armond White, who I don't agree with on everything, but at least has an interesting perspective, which allows him to be right about things like Wes Anderson while being wrong about things like Billy Wilder. He sings the praises of a movie called Chameleon Street, from 1990, which, if my understanding is correct, is made by a black man, shot on video, and aspires to Orson Welles. Sounds great! Netflix has it as being out on DVD this Tuesday. Netflix doesn't have the movie Saul Bass directed about giant ants, though it does have the movie of the same title that stars TV's Dean Cain.
Tonight I projected Kurt Cobain: About A Son, which is not very good, but is interesting to me because of the footage of Olympia, shot not while Kurt Cobain was alive, but fairly recently. It includes footage of the Yes Yes, an alternative art space where I saw a lot of great shows that only lasted a year. Immortalized on film is the writing on the window in red marker "The Yes Yes needs $1500 for rent this month."
Then, I came home and watched Kim Ki-Duk's Time. Which is a good movie. It's not as transcendent as 3-Iron: there comes a point where the ending is vaguely imaginable, it's a bit repetitive (although deliberately), and maybe a tad misogynist. It's still very good, and in terms of things like shot compositions, it's probably better than any other Kim Ki-Duk movie I've seen. There's also more dialogue, I think, although I don't remember Bad Guy too vividly. Really interesting psychology, great images, and the vague impression of there being something to think about to think through the movie. Right now it strikes me as being similar in some ways to Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, although without the same depth of feeling to its plot movements. I don't know what to say about it, besides recommending it. It really invigorated my love for Ki-Duk, after not seeing any of his films for over a year, because the things I saw that weren't 3-Iron weren't as good as that first film.