Precious Bodily Fluids

Quickies, Vol. XXX

The Stranger (1946, dir. Orson Welles) – Deserves more space, obviously. Suffice it to say, Welles’ camera rewards the viewer’s careful attention. Every movement is so deliberate, and the long takes don’t draw attention to themselves as a result of competence in front of and behind the lens. This would be great for a study of spaces and eras. Wartime Germany –> postwar Americana. Small-town rural: the soda joint, the church, the trail through the woods.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011, dir. Rob Marshall) – Yeah, rough. Hadn’t seen the previous one and had only seen the one before that once. Thanks to Twitter, was expecting it to suck, and it came through. Something actually a little interesting was suggested by the vicious, bloodsucking, vampire mermaids, but of course it descended into a Twilight-esque melodrama. Depp: get back to hanging out with Jarmusch, or even Burton, for that matter.

Rango (2011, dir. Gore Verbinski) – It’s been awhile now, but this seemed like one of the better, more unique examples of animated fare of the last few years. Unlike a lot of stuff, which is made both for kids and adults, this one is made for kids and cinephiles. Plenty of allusions to the classics, particularly Westerns. And it sticks pretty well to the man-with-no-name formula, in the sense that Rango doesn’t have much of a past and we only know his self-invented name. Also, a shout out to some of the most impressive animation one’s gonna see these days.

The Outlaw (1943, dir. Howard Hughes & Howard Hawks) – Other than existing to ignore censors and exploit Jane Russell’s assets, The Outlaw has the feel of a B-movie from its acting to its absence of substance to its poor camera work to its striking lack of cleverness. Still, it stands as yet another testament to the mythos of the American West, a kind of revisionist history that puts Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, and Pat Garrett in the same story and imagining a different ending to the generally accepted historical one. The characters don’t have the edge that later Westerns do, instead glorifying the “outlaws” and vilifying the sheriff. Doc and Billy are sweeties; innocents, really. Gay stuff is everywhere, of course, even with a woman like Russell cast aside by comparing her regularly with a horse.

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This entry was published on June 10, 2011 at 8:47 am. It’s filed under 1940s Cinema, 2010s Cinema, American film, Howard Hawks, Orson Welles, quickies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Quickies, Vol. XXX

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