Saturday, June 09, 2007

D'oh! D'oh! D'oh! I mean, Woo Hoo!

You've got to love the nature of illness. It's a beautiful winter's day, sun shining, mild weather, long weekend and I've got a bloody cold! I certainly don't feel up to going out to see any films. Ah well, by chance my Errol Morris DVDs arrived from Amazon and now I can maybe get around to watching something. Mind you, I'm trying to finish the Kieslowksi documentaries I bought online from Poland several weeks ago, and continued on with that today.

From Amazon I received: Errol Morris' First Person The Complete Series (3-DVD set), The Dark Wind, Mr. Death, The Fog of War and Fast, Cheap & Out of Control. I already picked up the Errol Morris DVD collection (3 DVDs: Gates of Heaven, Vernon Florida and The Thin Blue Line) several days ago from Umbrella Entertainment in Northcote.

Also, arriving yesterday, was the latest Astor Theatre calendar and I spent some time this morning marking the titles that look like they might be worth seeing. Some, like Kieslowski's La double vie de Véronique I definitely want to see while I need to research some of the others to see if it's worth the effort, particularly for a late night mid-week when there's work the next day. I happy to get comments on the films in this list (all times are 7.30pm except where indicated):
  • Hannah and Her Sisters + Manhattan (Mon 18th Jun)
  • Sabah + Tibet, A Buddhist Trilogy (Sun 24th Jun 2pm)
  • The Double Life of Veronique + Diva (1981) (Mon 25th Jun)
  • The Army of Darkness + The Return of the Living Dead (Mon 2nd Jul)
  • Paris, je t'aime + Paris, Texas (Fri 6th July)
  • Apocalypse Now Redux (Sun 15th Jul)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace + The Ladykillers (Sun 22nd Jul)
  • The Party + What's New Pussycat? (Sun 29th July)
  • Cousin Cousine (1975) + Petulia (Sun 5th Aug)
  • Some Like It Hot + Victor Victoria (Sun 12th Aug)
  • Les Enfants du Paradis (Wed 15th Aug)
  • Repulsion + Cul-de-sac (Mon 27th Aug)
  • Gas Pump Girls + Motel Hell (Mon 3rd Sep)
  • Vixen + Super Vixens (Mon 10th Sep)
  • Sweet Smell of Success + Raging Bull (Sun 16th Sep)
  • Up! + Beneath Ultra Vixens (Mon 17th Sep)
  • I Have Never Forgotten You + The Italian (Wed 19th Sep)
  • Watusi + Mogambo (Sun 23rd Sep)
  • Baraka (Mon 24th Sep)
  • Mon oncle + Play Time (Sun 7th Oct)
  • The Boat (Director's Cut) (Mon 8th Oct)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sun 14th Oct)


Marty said...

Paul, if you have not seen any of the film's on that list then these are the ones you MUST (I won't comment on some of the obvious ones but the ones that stand out):

Hannah and Her Sisters - great film and one of Woody's best. The screenplay sparkles and everyone is great here especially Michael Caine ann Dianne Weist and Barbara Hershey. This is a perfect fit of Woody's humour and obsessions with a tinge of moving drama.

Manhattan - what can I say! In my top three films of all time. This is a bona fide masterpiece and Woody's best film, IMHO. This is a must on the big screen with its glorious b&w. Diane Keaton is marvellous in this film.

The Double Life of Veronique - Arguably Keislowski's best film. Irene Jacob is great here and beautiful to boot. This is a great film for a rainy afternoon. Cinematography and music and breathtaking. I own the Criterion Collection DVD which is a must own!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - I am a huge Sergio Leone fan (Once Upon a Time in America is my favourite film of all time!). This one is pretty good as well. The musical score is a knockout. I can see this film being a huge influence on Tarantino. Its great fun!

Paul Martin said...

Well, that's pretty high recommendation of the Woody titles, Marty. I've only seen his more recent films and everyone says you've got to see his early stuff, so I'll mark these to see.

I do own the Criterion collection, which I purchased after the Melbourne Cinémathèque season, but would obviously prefer to see for the first time on the big screen. For me (so far), Three Colours: Blue is his best film and is the only film that comes close to contention with my all-time favourite film, Lost Highway. But of course, these two films are completely different.

I've seen various clips of Leone's film on TV. It does look like fun - Clint's always entertaining.

Stephen Rowley said...

It's a shame Apocalypse Now is the Redux version. I second Manhattan as an absolutely vital experience; if you've only seen his recent stuff, this is your chance to see why people make a fuss about him. The first five minutes, in particular, are sublime.

And as for the Good the Bad & The Ugly... well, I envy you seeing that for the first time. Once Upon a Time in the West might be a slightly better film, but GB&U is pretty close.

By the way - Surely Errol Morris' film is "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control", rather than him having two separate films - "Fast" and "Cheap & Out of Control"?

Paul Martin said...

It's a shame Apocalypse Now is the Redux version. Why is that Stephen? Too long?

Looks like GB&U and the Woody double are must-see, though I think the Astor plays them regularly.

As for my cut-and-paste folly, I'll fix that up, thanks. ;)

Matt Riviera said...

I envy you Paul, seeing the early Woodies for the first time. I wish I could go back to that amazing moment and experience it all over again...

Try to catch the amazing Baraka if you can, and if you like it, it could lead you to the amazing Qatsi trilogy. A different kind of cinema that demands to be seen on the big screen.

Get well soon!

Paul Martin said...

Gee, I hope you guys aren't building my expectations up too high with Woody. Ironically, I think I have enjoyed his later work more than most people because I don't have anything to compare them with.

Matt, the Astor also screens Koyaanisqatsi from time to time, but I didn't realise it was part of a trilogy. I see that Ron Fricke, director of Baraka contributed to Koyaanisqatsi as a writer. According to, he and Godfrey Reggio (director of Koyaanisqatsi) are colluding on a new project called Savage Eden.

I'm sometimes a little hesitant to go see these types of films as I've had a fairly mixed experience. While I thought Microcosmos was OK, I found Winged Migration much more sublime, particularly because of how close the camera got to the birds in their in-flight struggles. But then I found Deep Blue very disappointing (basically a rehash of stuff seen before on television).

Can anyone explain why Baraka is worth seeing?

Paula said...


A must-see is Les Enfants du Paradis. (Even if you do miss out on the Cinematheque screening that night.)

Paula said...

Further information re. Les Enfants du Paradis. Do look at:
Do write this film up if you see it - it's always interesting to check out your blog.

Paul Martin said...

Thanks for your comments, Paula, and for your interest. One of the purposes of this blog (or any, I suppose) is dialogue, so feel free to add comments as you see fit.

I had a look at the Senses of Cinema article, which was written by Girish Shambu, whose blog's RSS feed I subscribe to. Fortunately, I won't have to choose between this film and Cinémathèque, as the latter will be in recess for MIFF and resumes the following week. So chances are that I will see it, and I have it in my film diary. Thanks again for dropping by.

Stephen Rowley said...

Re Apocalypse Now Redux, I will confess I haven't seen that version so take my comments with a huge grain of salt. But just on principle I'd much prefer to see the version of the film that was put together by the Coppola of the 70s rather than the new millennial model, and I resent that the 1979 cut is out of circulation.

I believe it also reinstates the French colonial sequence, which prior to the new cut I thought pretty much everyone had agreed simply didn't work.

Paul Martin said...

Stephen, I mentioned your reservations to someone who has seen both, and she much preferred the Redux. Mind you, there's 48 minutes extra on the Redux.

Noel Tanti said...

i recommend repulsion... it's my favourite polanski film out of the ones i've seen... it's surreal in just the right amount, diligently playing the paranoia game without overindulging... deneuve is great... and you won't look at narrow caorridors and cooked rabbits in quite the same way after you've seen this film... astonishing b&W photography...