Belmondo Cane

Posted in FILM, literature, MUSIC with tags , , , , on April 25, 2019 by dcairns

A new edition of The Forgotten, featuring, for the first time, Jean-Paul Belmondo, in a dopey slice of thick-ear called LE PROFESSIONAL, which answers the gnawing question “What kind of film would Melville make with heavy concussion?” The answer: a 1981 Georges Lautner one.

Here you are.

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Here’s Hough

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2019 by dcairns

 

Fiona had a wee hospital thing yesterday which involved a very early start for both of us. While recuperating, she watched ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN and THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS, all directed by John Hough for Disney. After we bailed on the HERBIE quadrilogy when it looked like HERBIE GOES BANANAS wasn’t going to be edifying.

Hough certainly had talent, and an odd career that would see him making the Disney fantasies alongside paranormal rape flicks THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE and THE INCUBUS. But WATCHER may be his scariest film, aided by atmospheric locations, committed performances from Bette Davis and Ian Bannen in particular, and some really effective jump scares. And yeah, I know we’re all meant to be too big and mature for jump scares now, and I know they’ve been done to death, but… these are really good.

This UFO from the first WITCH MOUNTAIN is engraved in my memory. I’m old enough to just recall the old days of cinema-going: the family would rock up at the Odeon or ABC at any old time, and walk in on the end or middle of a movie, then watch through a whole double feature until we got back to where we began. So I saw the ending of this movie first, and its the one bit I recall.

Fiona was horrified to hear I experienced the cinema in this chaotic way. She always saw movies from beginning to end, like a person.

Kubrick Boxes

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2019 by dcairns

Mr. George Swine!

When I first handled Michel Ciment’s magisterial Stanley Kubrick, my friend Robert pointed out something unusual about the pictures, which were glossy and coffee-table-suited, but also — “He’s making connections.” I’m not sure a movie book had done that, previously.

(Obviously, I should have connected the fights in THE DAY OF THE FIGHT [where SK proves it’s not a proper documentary by filming the big match flat on his back at the pugilists’ feet], KILLER’S KISS and BARRY LYNDON, and Tom Cruise’s street-crazy palm-punching in EYES WIDE SHUT with Nicholson’s rather more compelling version in THE SHINING, the vehicular love scenes in STRANGELOVE and 2001, etc, etc…)