Showing posts from March, 2017

365 Films in 2017 #89-98

89. The Fog (1980), John Carpenter, Avco Embassy

90. Assassin of Youth (1937), Elmer Clifton, BCM Roadshow

91. Reefer Madness aka Tell Your Children,The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, and Love Madness (1936), Louis Gasnier, Motion Picture Ventures

92. A Time for Drunken Horses (2000), Bahman Ghobadi

93. Doctor Strange (2016), Scott Derrickson, Walt Disney Studios

94. Marihuana (1936), Dwain Esper, Roadshow Attractions

95. Gimme Danger (2016), Jim Jarmusch, Magnolia

96. Blues Road Movie (2002), Louis Mouchet

97. Child Bride aka Child Brides, Child Bride of the Ozarks, and Dust to Dust (1943), Harry Revier, Astor

98. Deadpool (2016), Tim Miller, 20th Century Fox

Classic Rock Saturday: The Possibilities of Genre

What is classic rock anyway? Sometimes genre specification make me wonder, especially when I listen to music from numerous genres as I work. However, I often believe the genre, rock music, is not so much a genre as a catchall category for most types of guitar-based music made after 1965. Just like alternative rock, such subgenre categories as hard rock, have become close to meaningless. Those who have suffered through my endless diatribes about certain periods of music know that I reserve specific definitions for other genres: rock 'n' roll to me is a very specific type of music drawing from Sun Records luminaries like Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Indeed, bands who play rock 'n' roll today follow this template. Yet it is more about rocking out on bass, guitar, and drums than exploring guitar solos. Rock 'n' roll is also an attitude like punk that gets the job done fast and dirty with little indulgence.

In the last couple days my musical exp…

365 Films in 2017 #79-88

79. Breakfast With Hunter (2003), Wayne Ewing

80. Blow-Up (1966), Michelangelo Antonioni, MGM

81. The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972), Giuliano Carnimeo

82. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972), Kenji Musimi, Toho

83. Spasmo (1974), Umbero Lenzi

84. The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971), Sergio Martino,  Copercines, Cooperativa, Cinematográfica, Devon Film
85. The Trouble with Angels (1966), Ida Lupino, Columbia

86. Do Not Disturb  (1965), Ralph Levy and George Marshall, 20th Century Fox

87. The Central Park Five (2012), Ken Burns, Sundance Selects

88. Torso (1973), Sergio Martino, Joseph Brenner

365 Films in 2017 #78 My Winnipeg (2007)

Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg is one of the oddest and most charming films I have watched since I started this project. In a love letter/rejection notice to his beloved hometown, he creates an oddball documentary that blends the fantastic and the real, while purportedly portraying Maddin's escape from the ever-wintry city. Personal history vies for space with historical vignettes, all filtered through a dream landscape that obscures reality. Maddin uses recurring characters, such as his mother, played deftly and domineeringly by Ann Savage (far removed from her femme fatale roles of yesteryear like Detour), and himself, played by Darcy Fehr, usually asleep on the train that never can leave the city. The film has to be seen to be believed, and I highly recommend it. The eerie narration and dead pan humor of the narrator's script are worth the price of admission alone.

I will mention a few other high points because I cannot capture them all. Here are a few key scenes/events/vign…

365 Films in 2017 #67-77

67. Slaughter Hotel (1971), Fernando Di Leo
68. Branded to Kill (1967), Seijun Suzuki, Nikkatsu
69. Lady Snowblood (1973), Toshiya Fujita, Toho
70. Onibaba (1964), Kaneto Shindo, Toho
71. Seven Blood-stained Orchids (1972), Umberto Lenzi
72. Mr. Majestyk (1974), Richard Fleischer, United Artists
73. Can't You Hear the Wind Howl?: The Life and Music of Robert Johnson (1997), Peter Mayer

74. In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey (2013), James Cullingham

75. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988), Penelope Spheeris, New Line
76. Breathless (1960), Jean-Luc Goddard
77. Drunken Angel (1948), Akira Kurosawa, Toho

365 Films in 2017 57-66

57. The Blob (1958), Irvin Yeaworth, Paramount
58. Park Row (1952), Samuel Fuller, United Artists
59. Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), Mack Sennett, Keystone
60. Viva Joe Strummer: The Clash and Beyond (2006), Mike Parkinson
61. The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972), Emilio Miraglia
62. The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), Emilio Miraglia
63. Don't Torture a Duckling (1972), Lucio Fulci, Medusa
64. The Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971), Paola Cavara, MGM
65. Devil's Doorway (1950), Anthony Mann, MGM
66. A Colt is My Passport (1967), Takashi Nomura, Nikkatsu

365 Films in 2017 #47-56

47. The Bag Man (2014), David Grovic

48. It's So Easy and Other Lies: Live at the Moore (2016), Christopher Duddy

49. The Whole Town's Talking (1935), John Ford, Columbia
50. Get Shorty (1995), Barry Sonnenfield, MGM
51. Elvis and Nixon (2016), Liza Johnson, Amazon
52. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), Joel and Ethan Coen, CBS
53. Burn After Reading (2008), Joel and Ethan Coen, Focus
54. Mulholland Drive (2001), David Lynch, Universal
55. Sunset Boulevard (1950), Billy Wilder, Paramount
56. Compulsion (1959), Richard Fleischer, 20th Century Fox