Thursday, 1 March 2018

twenty-seven word review of my favourite 1960s b-movie which i watched for, perhaps, the fifth time, plus some other films i watched during november, december, january and february


X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963, dir. Roger Corman, starring Ray Milland, Diane Van der Vlis). This Kennedy-era thriller – creepy, hilarious, theremin-enriched – set, by turns, in clinic, fairground, Las Vegas, revival meeting is resonant for our own moment, which fetishes (also weaponises) ‘transparency’. 

Time Traveller’s Wife (2009, dir. Robert Schwentke, starring Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams).  He keeps vanishing from marital home, arriving naked elsewhere. She’s super-accepting about it. Genetic defect, yeah right. I dozed, sorry (busy week) – form of time-travel in itself. 


Equals (2015, dir. Drake Doremus, starring Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart).  Well-realised, -acted, -designed emotion-phobic dystopia; this film dares to be quiet (minimal soundtrack). Equal but opposite ‘Jeremy Kyle World’ dystopia also possible (where emotional grandstanding is obligatory*).

Space Between Us (2017, dir. Peter Chelsom, starring Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson). With this title, we shouldn’t get real-time Earth-Mars communication (where’s the average twelve-minute lightspeed delay? come on!); this passable, somewhat linear coming-of-age drama makes other unforced errors. 

I haven't watched many films during the last few months - granted, it's been Christmas, so I must've watched both Big (1988, dir. Penny Marshall, starring Tom Hanks) and Elf (2003, dir. Jon Favreau, starring Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel) at some point; also we saw The Greatest Showman (2017, dir. Michael Gracey) at the cinema on December 27th (twenty-seven word review: I mostly slept**, in a fortysomething dad style – not convinced I’d have gained a dramatically greater insight into P.T. Barnum’s life and times if I’d stayed awake... but, actually, this seems churlish; daughter loved the songs, knows them by heart, has them on repeat play. To be a parent is to be - as a wise person once said - no longer the picture, but the frame; likewise it's to be, if all is well, no longer the target demographic but the funding stream).

Mainly, instead of films as such, daughter and I have mostly watched Doctor Who; wife and I are mostly on box sets, also First Dates Hotel (those waiters/ waitresses are actually actors, though, did you know? gutted to find that out) and, don't tell me you haven't seen it, Say Yes To The Dress. 


*Are we nearly there yet?

**Second mention of sleeping through something. I could say, well, I work hard, I give; if something doesn't wholly engage my attention and I'm on a comfy sofa or in a darkened movie theater... or you could say, well, it just sounds a bit passive aggressive. Would one perspective be right and another wrong, or are they complementary, partial aspects of a totality (cf, light as wave/ particle)? Let's not even get started on transactional analysis and game-playing.

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