Wednesday, August 03, 2011

2011 Watch-A-Thon: Day 2

[Rambling on movies I've hit as part of this year's Brattle Theatre Movie Watch-A-Thon. For the running count of 'thon films with titles, sans commentary, look here]

  • TABLOID @Kendall Square 8/2/11.
    trailer | website
    Together with VERTIGO, this turned out to be an unplanned double feature about obsession. TABLOID is a wonderful Errol Morris documentary about Joyce McKinney, a young beauty queen (Miss Wyoming) who made headlines in 1977 when she tracked down and rescued (or was it abducted?) her lost true love, who had disappeared to London without a word. According to her, she was a naive innocent believer in true love, determined to save her fiancee from the brainwashing of his cult. In the words of UK tabloid reporters of the time, she was a manipulative stalker with a hidden past as an escort and adult model with a taste for bondage. It is an amazing story and the film does an excellent job of telling it like it is (and like it isn't). Only, you're never quite sure which is which. There's also a somewhat zany second tail to her story, unrelated to the true love and bondage, involving her faithful canine companion Booger and an appointment with a doctor specializing in cloning.

    That's right. You read it right: cloning.

  • VERTIGO @the Brattle, 8/2/11.
    A Hitchcock classic. I thought that I'd never seen it before, but as it unfolded, I remembered a couple of scenes and story elements and realized that I must have seen it at the Brattle in the last couple of years. This cinemnesia happens to me way more than I'd like. Sad.

    Jimmy Stewart is a favorite of mine and is as charming and instantly likable as ever. He plays retired police detective Jon Ferguson, who's hired by an old friend to keep watch on his wife. The old friend fears that she may need protection. As Stewart shadows Madelaine (Kim Novak, who reminded me here for the first time of Jennifer Connelly), he begins to fall for her. Of course, nothing is quite what it seems, and ultimately, once his protection services are no longer needed, Ferguson can't leave Madelaine alone. Wacky fun ensues. After this viewing, I hafta say, this is not my favorite Hitchcock film, and the plot/ending is not very satisfying to me, but it's still a fun bit of storytelling and manipulation.

    I thought that the director had a cameo in all of his films, but I didn't spot him tonight. Maybe I blinked and missed him somewhere? Foo.

    One of the elements of the film that sparked my faded memory of the film was a sting of music that happens early on. On screen I think Stewart is tailing Novak and we see the exterior of a building at twilight but I'm not clear now on which/where it is - the church w the graveyard? Anyhow, I remember remembering that this piece of music sounded like a theme from LOST's soundtrack and wondering that maybe it was the source inspiration. This film after all, along with NXNW, is playing at the Brattle as part of a centennial tribute to film score composer Bernard Herrmann, and the music is palpable and wonderful in both.

Keep on keepin on~

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