Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer of Sam (1999)


stuart said...

Hi Darren,
How you doing? Hope you and yours are well. Can I just ask, if you mention these films, are you recommending them? Just asking cos we recently joined an internet film-hire thing, and we need some tips on what to watch!
All the best

Darren said...

Hello Stuart,

I'm only mentioning them because I've recently watched them. (I like to keep track of these things because of my failing memory.)

If I was honest with myself, I'd rename this blog, 'The List', because that's all I seem to do these days with it: list films I've watched, list books I've read or re-read (with the occasional plug for SPGB/WSM meetings etc thrown in for good measure.)

I would also list all the music I've listened to but I don't think I've got the bandwidth to cope with it.

I know I could provide a brief synopsis or mini-review of the films listed that I've seen but, to be honest, I can't be arsed. If I was that motivated to write, I wouldn't just be using the blog as some sort of cultural laundry list, would I? ;-)

However, feel free to litter the blog with comments if you want my opinion of any of the films listed. (Notice that? Can't be arsed to blog . . . get the arse if I don't get comments. Such is the strangeness of my thought processes. ;-)

Of the films recently mentioned on the blog I can unreservedly recommend 'In Bruges'; 'A Month in the Country; any of the '7-Up Series' and 'Itty Bitty Titty Committee'. The rest? You'll have to take your chances. ;-)

Be sure to reciprocate with your own recommendations, but I'll tell you know: I refuse to sit through Gary Cooper in The Fountainhead. ;-)

Darren said...

I'll have to do something about the nervous twitch that I seemed to have developed in the previous comment.

stuart said...

Thanks for the tips! I shall be sure to comment on every mentioned film in future. And I don't blame you for not wanting to touch "The Fountainhead". "The Passion of Ayn Rand" with Helen Mirren is worth a go though – very little about Rand's philosphy, loads of hot sex. And saw City of God again recently: grim but fantastic. And The Sure Thing with John Cusack, for the millionth time. I grew up with it.

I believe your nervous tick may be due to my tendency to take everything you say humorlessly seriously, and write a long diatribe accusing you of being worse than Stalin. Which of course you are. ;-)

Darren said...

Check out Half Nelson if you haven't already seen it. Brilliant film.

Remember you asked after Tom Perotta's novel, Election, a while back? The novel's disappointing but the film adaptation is excellent. Another one for your dvd queue if you insist on unsolicited recommendations.

Oh, and if aren't watching Tina Fey's 30 Rock - in sequence, taking notes as you go - you should be shot. (That's me being Stalinesque with you.)

Darren said...

Here's the link for Half Nelson.

In my haste to be heavy, I was half-arsed with my previous comment.

stuart said...

Indeed, Election is already there, as is the complete series of Roseanne. Keep the tips coming!

By the way, I never did get round to watching Watkins' Paris Commune which you very kindly sent me. Is it worth it?

Darren said...

I think it's worth watching but I totally understand that its length - one version is 345 minutes long! - makes it just a wee bit daunting when the discs are staring back at you.

I'll be honest with you. I only watched it in bits and pieces on disc. The temptation to wander off and do something else was always too great. (Six hours of obscure and fractious political discussion in a black and white setting? Sounds like an EC meeting but with ammunition in the guns that are pointing at you!)

I finally got round to watching it in its entirety -and in one sitting - one Saturday afternoon in Manhattan when I popped along to a film society showing at one of the universities in mid-town.

I can go to my death bed knowing that I watched The Commune in its entirety and that I once read a copy of World Revolution all the way through.

Weaker people have tried and failed.

stuart said...

Well, I've sat through Battleship Potemkin and October. And my eyes were open almost all the time. Perhaps I'll save the Commune for next time I'm laid up with man flu. Cheers

Darren said...

Mention of the flu gives me an idea.

Remember that scene from Trainspotting where Ewan McGregor's character attempts to go cold turkey? Let Commune be your heroin addiction, and you can't leave the boarded up flat until you've sat through Watkins' classic.

Anyway, I'm sure you used to do something similar when you used to do the lay out for the Standard.

Namedropping Eisenstein films in a thread about a mediocre Spike Lee film? Next you'll be telling me that you watched a David Lynch film . . . and enjoyed it. Bastard.

stuart said...

No, not sure I've ever seen a David Lynch film. I sat bored stiff through Eisenstein's films and thought there must be something wrong with me. That's until I picked up a film one day, and read off the back:

"A controversial film from a first-time director that was to have a profound and lasting effect on the art of modern motion pictures. Through its unique jigsaw puzzle storyline, inventive cinematography and brilliant ensemble acting, this is a fascinating portrait of America's love of power and materialism... A memorable fusion of cinematic art and marvellous entertainment."

To which Lynn said, in her broadest Brummie, "Sounds shit, don't it?"

I think we watched a Jim Carey flick instead.

Darren said...

Yep, Eisenstein is one of those film makers that I feel obliged to check out at some point but I always seem to put off watching any of his work. Probably 'cos I expect to react in the same way that you did to one of his films.

Wait up, did you mention Helen Mirren as Ayn Rand? Surely that can't be right? I get the Russian connection and all, but surely if anyone was to play Ms Rand, it should have been Abigail's Party's Janine Duvitski?

stuart said...

Haha! Yes, she'd have been perfect as the older Rand. But Mirren was excellent too:


Darren said...

You had me at Julie Delpy.

stuart said...

I went to add your tips to our list at the film hire website, and found that most of them were already there on Lynn's list. Great minds think alike.