Vredens Dag [1943)

Quarante-et-un.  Quarante-deux.

Quarante trois.

Goddamn, life is sad.

This is not a film to be watched once.

And not a film for young minds (though the pearly Lisbeth Movin gausses gossamer every vignette).

Form ever follows function.  So sayeth Louis Sullivan.

Your gauss is as good as mien.

Meshes of the afternoon blur her tearstained smile.

Movin’ on up, now.

In evolution.  Function ever following form.

Invocation vs. induction.

Carl Friedrich’s magnetic flux density.

88 miles-per-hour for all us schmucks out there.

Who is crazier:

the witches or the witch hunt?

The conspirators or the conspiracy theorists?

Myths overlaid like handiwork upon reality.

So that all of life is misunderstood.

Religion.

Not a theory, but a story.

A hall-of-mirrors lens.

Same.

17th century.

By my watch.

What century you got?

The witch craze.

The accusation frenzy.

Hysteria.  Wisteria.  Listeria.

Meanwhile, there was a fucking war going on.

Day of Wrath.  Dies irae.  Rachmaninov obsessed with the downward spiral.

Televised executions.

The Houellebecq method of citation.

Tag and seek.

Luddites invading Fort Meade.

Digital grinders.  And grindermen.

That USJFCOM found an enemy at a propitious time.

Inviting Christensen down from Harvard Business School to disrupt.

From Häxan through the Swedish.

Most everything passes through Denmark here.

The last executioner.

The founder (with a Grinder man) of neuro-linguistic programming who was charged with murder.

Age differences in relationships.  [Aha!  A sesame seed!!]

Pagans.  Odin.  Wednesday.

Hair parted right down the middle like John Waters’ mustache migrated due north (prove that you’re not a robot).

Professional videogame player?!?  Where’s the market for that…

And, of course, The Gambia.  No industrial light nor magic there.

White white white.

White man say all good thing come from him.

White man invent every innovation.

White man naturally attracted to white woman.

A Victoria’s Secret Angel with leprosy.  Yowzah!

Norwegian jazz.  A bit like Utah jazz.

But, most of all, yodelers!

Which is how I got on this string.

The grave importance of string theory.

Because her needlepoint tells a story.

A mother walking hand-in-hand with a son.

But the mother is the younger one.

The two mothers.

One a goddess of archetype.

The other a bored housewife.

You actually have to go back to 1590 for this kind of boredom.

But it comes alive.  Kiss.

Thanks to Dreyer.  A true auteur.  A true Danish genius.

Anna Svierkier acts her flabby behind off.

Thorkild Roose looks like Hume Cronyn in Brewster’s Millions (1985).

Such sad perfection from Sigrid Neiiendam.

It is not the hero role for Preben Lerdorff Rye.

No Ordet, this.

He might be stuck in the bog.  Or he might have gone around the bog.

It’s like a bad porno.

But Movin is a star on the order of Adrianna Nicole.

The Blue Bunny.

Brown is the Warmest Color.

Somebody please cast Adrianna Suplick in something.

Suplick?  Movin.  [Golly.]

Which is to say that Lisbeth Movin fills up the screen like a supernova.

Collapsing.  Prolapsing.  Yikes…

Her husband cofounded the works at Hellerup.

Ketchup.

Godspeed you b!ack emperor tomato

Spells ALM.  And nobody thought code.

Fearsome beauty of genius.

 

-PD

 

 

Suburban Gothic [2014)

Dear devoted fans [chuckles heard offstage],

I am still alive.  Battling a serious case of MBA.  And, as such, I was duped into watching what turned out to be one of the finest films I have seen in awhile.

But how did I stumble across this little gem in the first place?  For that I must thank the inimitable Kat Dennings.  [More about her as we go on.]

Let us first, however, start with Matthew Gray Gubler.  As someone who watches very little TV, I was unaware of this rising star in the acting world.  Gubler plays Raymond:  a newly-minted MBA who can’t even lock down an entry-level job.  His character grew on me…from, at first, an American Apparel model come to life…to a lovable outcast with impeccable comic timing.

Circling back, I was curious how Gubler’s 21st-century archetype (the unemployable MBA) would fare in this comedy.  As I found out, Suburban Gothic is actually a film of great depth masquerading as a campy horror send-up.

It’s really remarkable, but this film actually does speak for me in some strange way.  Perhaps it was because I was listening to The Dead Milkmen this morning. [Watch the film and you’ll understand why.]

Yes, Raymond’s town is a “depressing shithole” to borrow Enid Coleslaw’s pithy diction from Zwigoff’s Ghost World.  And the ghosts here are real–literal.  But what most impresses me about Richard Bates Jr. (who needs a Wikipedia page) as a director is that he manages to evoke the crappiest reaches of America…from the bombed-out city center of Albany, New York to the harrowing motel highwayside of Roanoke, Virginia…from the strip malls of San Antonio to…well, you get the picture.

It’s one of those films…like Ghost World.  It’s Anywhere, U.S.A.  [Well, almost anywhere.]  It’s the fake vomit-inducing magic of Orlando.  It’s the sprawl of Los Angeles.  It’s that suicidal ennui which Arcade Fire so deftly encapsulated on their album The Suburbs.

Pariahs of the American south will especially appreciate the wonderful redneck evocation of Raymond’s high-school-football-coaching father (played magnificently by Ray Wise).  Yeah…

This film hits a lot of themes.  People change.  Fat kids get thin.  Sensitive souls can’t shake the wimp label.  Some places are especially difficult for creative types to endure.

And so if your life consists of frequenting your local Starbucks on the edge of a super-freeway (I certainly don’t know anyone like that…wait?  Nope, no one like that around here.  This very minute.  Right here.), then you just might find Kat Dennings to be especially on-point as the salty crowbar-toting Becca.  This film is more about Gubler’s character, but Dennings is indispensable to this moral play.

And what’s the moral?  The moral is this:  no matter how much you know about demand and supply curves (supply and demand to us lowly folk) there is always a more important line to shift outwards.  It’s more micro than microeconomics.  It is, in a word, empathy.  Respect for the dead.  Paranormal.  And, most of all, conscience.  It is that latter word which sticks in my head…falling from the lips of Godard (forever in my mind) in his whispered Swiss French.

Conscience.

Sure, this film makes Poltergeist look like Citizen Kane, but one senses from the opening credits that such is largely intentional.  No big budget here, and yet…this film is frightening and laugh-out-loud.  And like a good Simpsons episode, it is more touching than anything Hallmark rolls out of their platitude factory.

John Waters makes quite a fine cameo, but the lion’s share of credit goes to Gubler and Dennings and their auteur-in-the-making Richard Bates Jr.  Really a worthwhile flick!  Thank you.

-PD

Made in U.S.A. [1966)

Primary colors.  Walt Disney with blood.  Bogart as a woman.  Bing!  Machine gun………———–.-.-.-.-.-.-.–.–.  No no no.

It’s like it never existed.  Why steal the plot from a pulp novel?  There is no plot.  Mise-en-scène translated as charade.  Bing!  Rat-a-tat-tata-a-a–a-a-a–a-a-a-!

We remember Robert Strange McNamara.  No no no.

Everything dies…baby that’s a fact.

No, it doesn’t matter the pop art.  It doesn’t matter the palette.

She wants to write a book about Oswald…and the 17 murdered after J.F.K.’s assassination.  The witnesses.  As reported in P—- ——.  Honk honk!  Zoooooom!  Swoosh!!!

Why pump the little guy full of lead when you can use a shoe?  Stiletto.  ^^^

The author, who is not the author (who is not the author [who is not the author]), is killed.

Stop making sense.

Anna Karina’s last movie with Godard.  They both live.  That’s it.  And so long to Marianne…captured for a moment in time.

She doesn’t fit the color scheme.  She is all pastel rose.  Ochre.  Light, watery hues.  She is a reflection.  She doesn’t fit.  Please:  take inventory of my bar.  One pop singer?  The song is singing the singer.

No.  It is much more likely that it never happened.  Remember:  use Ockham’s Razors for that manly-close shave!

Yes.  You’re trying to find out what I know without telling me what you know, eh?  Whaddaya know?  Dontcha know?

No, it was shown.  It is contradictory in such a short expanse.

All my lovers, backstage, hungry for men…about Sally and Annette.  The girls were willing.  A called honey.  B mercenaries.  So summer…virgin wife next door.  Sinner me, passion plaything.  Brother and sister (off limits).  Young, innocent campus doll killing time.  Strange McNamara.  361.  Strange killy hunter affair.  Lovers prowl sin.  Getaway face score the mourner outfit.  Pity the fugitive pigeon afterwards.  AH!!!

Here we are:  The Jugger!

No, nothing to do with that.

You want a real film review???

Better to talk of Florestan und Eusebius.  Fidelio.

OK.  We shall try again.

Take 2!!!  Quiet on the laptop!!!  (Quiet!)  Quiet please!! [Quiet everyone!]

Roll thoughts…and:  criticize!

Ok, yes…well…this is worse, but even better.  It’s not LOL starring Miley Cyrus.  Kevin Costner is not in the film.  It’s not American Pie:  Band Camp.  It’s not Wild Wild West with Will Smith.

There’s only two Dalmatians because the other 99 weren’t available. The Backstreet Boys did not make a cameo.

Yes, but there is an American flag burning.  Not in the film, you understand.

Ummm…  That guy from Ray…Jamie Foxx.  He is also not in this.  Lara Croft:  Tomb Raider?  I don’t know.

Yes, ok.  We like Clint Eastwood.  John Waters for New Balance.

Oh!  OK, yes:  the staged photo of the situation room…where they are “watching” “Osama bin Laden” get killed…but they’re actually not watching anything at all.  Right.  Getting warmer.  LOL.

Hot Tub…Time Machine…2?

Chuck Norris Planet of the Apes Wizard of Oz.  Patrick Swayze and Obama.  eBay.  G.I. Joe and Yoda.  Getting warmer.  Warmer.  Burning.

Liz Taylor G.I. Blues Ron Howard with wrinkles.  Colder.  South Pole.

Chaplin porn Kodak.  What would Nixon do?  Warmer.  The Hobbit Bud Light Black Dynamite Smurfs miniskirts rock and roll?

That may be as close as you ever get.  The static cling of foreign intrigue.  View Master red MGM lion Technicolor beef sirloin top butt.

-PD