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Month in Review: August 2011

by on 2011/08/31

This was a month of dread, the high point being a pun. August would be the month that we would tackle the “august” works, classics in our respective fields, film geek and vampire goth.

For my part I combed the world online, cross-referencing various lists . . . “bests” and “greatests” judged by critics and fans, where they overlapped my collection.

Then I stacked up the videos and realized my folly. These films were unusually long. Just getting through them, logistically, would pose an unusual challenge.

Furthermore, these selections are, to a one, legitimate classics. It’s fairly daunting to challenge oneself to contribute something new. What insight hasn’t already been offered up?

So we gritted our teeth, rolled up our sleeves, and got down to the task set at hand.

Here then are the results of those labours, a list of five-or-so: favourites, surprises, disappointments, least-liked, and remaining to be seen.

All the best!


Favourite
Citizen Kane (1941) on 2011/08/24

* * * * *

“Does desperation drive us to find significance in the banal?”

Citizen Kane is beyond reproach, not because it deserves a free pass, but because it endures ongoing scrutiny. It remains as engaging, effective, and relevant today as it ever was.”


Surprise (tie)
Metropolis (1927) on 2011/08/31

* * * * *

“Having seen Metropolis once before, I wasn’t expecting much from the recent “complete” version than simply more of the same. Regardless, my experience was far more positive. I saw more than just breadth, but new depth. Its style and content have aged very well, and its messages continue to ring true.”


Surprise (tie)
Taxi Driver (1976) on 2011/08/14

* * * *

“There’s so much more to Taxi Driver than just “You talkin’ to me?” Viewed as a slice of life, an atmospheric tone poem, or a sociopolitical statement, Scorsese’s vision is strong, unique, more compelling than I recalled, and scarcely dulled by the vintage of its world.”


Most Disappointing
Seven Samurai (1954) on 2011/08/26

* * *

“What Seven Samurai does unusually well are its visceral battle sequences. For all practical purposes, I disliked everything else.”

“The Emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes, and this Samurai has a bad bald cap. And no pants.”


Least-Liked
Blade Runner (1982) on 2011/08/16

* * * *

Blade Runner gives me little to hold on to. Thought provoking, yes, and with intellect to spare, but it doesn’t make me feel enough to care. Its future is cold, dark, desolate, distant and aloof. I understand and appreciate . . . I just don’t find it fun or entertaining.”


Show Me
Near Dark (1987) on 2011/08/29

* * *

“Written and directed by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, Near Dark is a movie that spot-welds and duct-tapes the vampire tradition onto a modern western. More than just vampires somehow co-existing with cowboy hats, Near Dark is also, at its bleeding heart, a meditation on family.”


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