And it was turgid shite, I'm afraid. Jack Nicholson and some bird go round Spain being followed by a crap hitman. And nowt happens.
Here's the best scene:
Scene: Hotel room overlooking dry and dusty Spanish square. Jack is looking out of the window, Bird is lying on bed.
Bird: What do you see?
Camera pans over square, Jack continues looking. 10 minutes later
Cut to later. Jack on bed, Bird looking out of window.
Jack: What do you see?
Camera pans over square. Then pans over it again. Then cuts to Bird. Then pans over square. Hitman may or may not be in square. After 5 more minutes of no dialogue cut to next scene.
In other words, it epitomises all that's bad about art house cinema. It's tedious, pretentious, terrid pish.
Antonioni - genius - knows the secret of silence (and has a grip on geography). Interesting early cameo from Steven Berkoff too and a camera shot in the league of Omar Shariff in Lawrence of Arabia coming out of the Desert. Bliss.
Ahem - 'Bird' is Maria Schneider who died earlier this year and was renowned for her role in Last Tango in Paris.
Still, I like Mike Leigh fillums (in general), so not averse to films where nowt happens. But I do like some sort of attempt at characterisation, rather than assuming that silence says it all...
To put that into further context, my favourite movies are probably:
The Tin Drum
The Beat That My Heart skipped
And of course, Bad Boy Bubby...
If you like Spinal Tap then watch A Mighty Wind, a friend of minw who has asthma laughed so much we almost had to call 999
Rick - Steven Seagal
Ilsa - Jennifer Aniston
Victor Laszlo - Hugh Grant
Capitan Renault - Jean-Claude Van Damme
Major Strasser - Nick Frost
Signor Ferrarri - Ricky Gervais
Signor Ugarte - Jude Law
Dir. M Night Shamalamadingdong
Ken Russell's 'The Devils' should be avoided if you've just eaten. I first saw it more than 30 years ago at the Penultimate Picture Palace in Oxford because my room-mate had encouraged me to go out (he may even have paid me) so he and his girlfriend could, er, 'have the room to themselves' for the afternoon. Anyway at the PPP you queued outside one door while the crowd who'd seen the previous showing came out of the one immediately alongside. I swear they just looked at us and shook their heads. Some of them were green. Others had their hands over their mouths. These days we've got used to films being a bit unsavoury but in 1978 this was A Big Deal. I went in though. It would've been uncomradely to go back home quite so quickly ...
Talking of the PPP and recalling Nicholas Roeg (see above) I went there very late one night - they used to do midnight showings as well as matinees - for 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'. I thought it was excellent despite having David Bowie in it (not really an actor, let's be honest). My opinion might have been coloured a bit by the fact that I and the crowd of friends I was with had been drinking steadily and hard for nearly 12 hours by this point. I could barely see. One of the crowd was a friend I'd signed out of hospital that morning. She'd been in for attempted suicide and we all (including her dad, who'd got into town shortly after lunch) thought she needed cheering up. By the time we got to the cinema we were all much, much more poisoned with alcohol than she had been 48 hours earlier with aspirin.
Last of the PPP memories is 'Harold and Maude'. I don't like the music and in the end the whole film is too naive and sentimental. But it has some of the funniest lines and sight gags I've ever seen:
Psychiatrist: Tell me, Harold, how many of these, eh, *suicides* have you performed?
Harold: An accurate number would be difficult to gauge.
Psychiatrist: Well, just give me a rough estimate.
Harold: A rough estimate? I'd say
[savoring the thought]
Harold: That's a rough estimate.
Psychiatrist: Were they all done for your mother's benefit?
Harold: No...... No....... I would not say "benefit."
Harold and Maude is brilliant - the E-type hearse.
This thread has a split personality.
Like Jedward in the upcoming blockbuster, Dr Jedd and Mr Ward
Here's something definitely worth avoiding:
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky - a yawnfest of the highest order and the 'cinematography' is so dark I had to turn the brightness and contrast right up on my telly (not that there was anything worth watching anyway)