Wednesday, September 03, 2003

current reads and old views

I'm flitting between Peter Cowie's book on the making of Apocalypse Now, Focus on Blow Up by Roy Huss (a compilation of journalistic and critical writings on Antonioni's wonderful {another sample verbiage-laden critical essay} film about filmmaking and voyeurism (which also captured some of the spirit of the mods) {this film was to Antonioni what 81/2 was to Fellini} {triviamongers will also note the explicit tributes to this film in the FTII cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron}, and three lightweight books on drums, drum kits and the spiritual aspects of drumming (on second thoughts, I'll probably skip that).

I must confess that I didn't (couldn't!) watch A.I. , or Yojimbo. I had to pass on the former, after the first 15 minutes of the film completely bored me: Kubrickian nothingness married with Spielbergian John Williams mush (aka background score). I did catch a look at the SFX of the film, and that is what cemented my desire to skip the film completely. I couldn't see the visions of Spielberg and Kubrick converging at anything but an impasse. I have grown to dislike the former's schmaltzy feel-good undertones and the latter's desire to extract over-the-top performances from his leads, accompanying classical music, phallic imagery, and lacklustre framing. Perhaps, one day, I'll return to Kubrick. And perhaps, one day, to this film.

The Criterion DVD of Yojimbo boasted a wonderful transfer from the source, but little else in terms of additional features. Since I had already seen the film, and had primarily hoped for special features, this was also a no-view.

CQ was delightful only for the movie-within-the-movie Codename:Dragonfly with its Barbarella-esque voluptuous female protagonist, catchy 60s theme and score, and outrageously B-plotting. Also worth mentioning is Roman Coppola's digs at his own film (and the films contained therein) potentially succumbing to the pretentiousness that it spoofs. The film, overall, is rather lacklustre. A cut below lukewarm, and nothing to rave about. Mellow's theme for the film is still running through my head though, and the computer voice with a French accent is worth several hats. If there's just one thing you'd like to take away from the film, let it be the soundtrack

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