Henry Fool

Apr. 1st, 2009 12:08 pm
fr_defenestrato: (Aruh?)
I rewatched Henry Fool last night for the first time since it was new and in preparation for watching Fay Grim tonight or tomorrow night, and through the entire movie I was trying to place Thomas Jay Ryan, who plays Henry. Specifically I was trying to locate his voice in my memory: every time he spoke I was gobsmacked by this intimate, immediate familiarity... I could almost hear his voice pronouncing lines directly out of... something else... WHAT else? WHAT THE FUCK ELSE?

Of course I was too lazy to go plug my laptop in, boot up, and check imdb. But in the process of doing so this morning, even before I got to his list of work and saw that he was uncredited in The Dying Gaul, it struck me: he sounds precisely like Campbell Scott. Precisely. It's friggin' uncanny how precisely he sounds like Campbell Scott. So what the hell was he uncredited for in The Dying Gaul? Voice double? Or! [melodramatic music swells] Has he always voiced Campbell Scott, in everything Campbell Scott has ever been in? Does Campbell Scott really sound like Gilbert Gottfried? or Truman Capote? or Doctor Mrs. the Monarch?

The world may never know.

Oh, yeah, I also got the 2HenryIV references for the first time. But Hal? Yo, Hal Hartley? I knew prince Hal, and Senator, you're no prince Hal. And Henry Fool is no Falstaff. And Simon Grim is really Doctor Venture, and he's way better off for it.
fr_defenestrato: (who's afraid)
My new used copy of After Hours, Scorsese's 1985 dark comedy, arrived in yesterday's mail, disguised, once again, as Marathon fodder. I can't remember when was the last time I saw this movie (it appears to have shown THRICE at Movie Marathons, the last one being spring 2003, but I must not have actually watched it then)... Somehow in the interim I forgot how incredible the cast is. Twelve hours ago (pretty much precisely when I pressed Play) I could only have named Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette... oh, and I guess Cheech and Chong; I had completely forgotten about the presence of Teri Garr, Catherine O'Hara, Bronson Pinchot (very briefly), and Linda Fucking Fiorentino! And I guess I didn't know John Heard from Adam at the time.

About 15 minutes into the movie, before anything tremendously bad has happened to Paul (Griffin Dunne's character), I started getting squeamish, wanted to turn it off before the tremendously bad stuff DID start happening. What's that about? Am I getting wimpy in my old age?
fr_defenestrato: (23)
Last night I watched God Said, "Ha!", which came in yesterday's mail disguised as a movie marathon DVD. Hadn't seen it since it were new. Julia Sweeney is not Spalding Gray, but her storytelling is mostly effective and the story she tells affecting.

Speaking of movies, on Tuesday night I watched Full Frontal, Steven Soderbergh's penance for Ocean's Eleven. Much of the script was improvised, and at one point a character, who's a theater director, is telling his lead actor (playing Hitler), 'I don't care what you do offstage. You can eat the ass out of a dead wolf for all I care.' Alarum. I watched again with Soderbergh's and the writer's (Coleman Hough) commentary, and the only thing either said about this line was that it was the only line that made Hough's mother laugh out loud. Hough didn't claim to have written it, and my impression was the whole scene was improv. So I head to my library and pluck from the shelf P.S. Your Cat Is Dead (James Kirkwood, 1970) and, sure enough, exactly as I remembered it, there's burglar Vito Antonucci tied to the kitchen counter, complaining, 'I'm so hungry I could eat the asshole out of a dead wolf.' I've never doubted that Kirkwood originated the phrase, but has anyone our there in LJland ever heard/read this phrase?

Speaking of the history of words and phrases, can I just tell you how much I hate the term ‘matrix’? In a generic sense, table, matrix, and array are all synonyms, but matrix has a broader structural meaning... table salt and jello are matrices, or in matrices. Your PC display is a matrix. But somewhere in the last decade or so the American officeplace started calling every bleeding ordered data array a MATRIX. Stupid fucking Wachowski brothers. Stupid fucking Keanu.

[Optional aside: the original meaning of 'matrix' in Latin was 'womb' or the carrier thereof... Speaking of wombs, Julia Sweeney discusses the removal of hers in God Said, "Ha!". But that would be all 0000 GOTO 0000 so... onward...]

Speaking of The Matrix, I swear to fucking Christ I will travel to Hollywood and cut into little tiny pieces the next screenwriter or director who puts out any movie in which any character is referred to as 'the one' foretold in prophecy.

Speaking of prophet-foretelling, I really want to see Jeebus Christ Superstar, even though it stars an 80-year-old Jeebus. Who wanna go wif me? It plays next Tuesday, 3/17 through Sunday 3/22.

Speaking of Christ, the Cheese Lords are singing a Tenebrae service on Wednesday, 20090408, at the Franciscan Monastery in NE DC. I mention this because, of all the church services that we used to sing, Tenebrae is the only one we've retained on an annual basis—because it's weird and dramatic and grim. It's all about the upcoming sacrifice of the only begotten blah blah fucking blah, and so the playlist is DARK: all lamentations and behold and see if there by any sorrow like unto my sorrow and stuff. Also, late in the service they outen all the lights in the church and everybody makes a fuckload of percussive noise, 'symbolizing the earthquake that followed Christ's death'.

Speaking of the end of Jeebus's life, it is now Day 16 of Lent and therefore Day 16 of my non-drinkiness. Cheese Lord rehearsal last night presented some temptations but all in all was manageable. I am a little more worried about going to Manahatta this Saturday for a party of the old Steve Wolownik/U. Penn Balalaika Orchestra gang, they with all the flavoured vodkas, etc. But I promised pierogi and I haven't seen these folk in several years, so... I go. Wish me luck and dryness.

Speaking of this weekend, I'm also planning to lunch with Mr. Greg 'Stop Calling Me the Mayan Houseboy' Orlando on Sunday: the first time I shall have seen him in about 13 years. His loathing for me (based on a shady house rental deal in 1994) seems to have abated somewhat. This is ancient history, but I once intensely loved this very odd man and cried a lot when he cut me out of his life. Greg's catch phrase back in the day in Newark, Del., was 'Donde estan mis zapatos?'

Speaking of shoes, Muntadhar al-Zeidi got sentenced to three years in prison for throwing shoes at one of history's most virulent and successful criminals against humanity. *Sigh.* Honestly, it was an act of simple assault, and should be punished under the law. But Zeidi's still a hero to me; I only wish he had thrown the anthrax shoes.

Speaking of accessories, [livejournal.com profile] madknits knitted me a hat and sent it to me. It arrived in Tuesday's mail and I wore it briefly yesterday, even though the weather was quite warm. It is gorgeousness and gorgiocity. I need to DL some pics from my camera and then I shall show it off good'n'proper.

Speaking of pictures, at 8:30 tonight the motion picture Cool Hand Luke is playing at AFI Silver. You goin'?

Speaking of invitations to outings in the D.C. area, Crooked Still and Railroad Earth are playing the Birchmere next Thursday. Who like da bluegrass/roots music?

Speaking of bluegrass/roots music, I don't believe I've EVER told someone to turn music off because I found it 'painful' to listen to it.

Three men went a-hunting, and something they did find;
They came upon a porcupine, and that they left behind.
The Irishman said, "It's a porcupine," the Scotsman, he said, "Nay."
The Welshman said, "It's a pincushion with the pins stuck in the wrong way."
fr_defenestrato: (who's afraid)
Folks: This is as good a time as any to point out the existence of the Movie Marathon community, LJ home of the semi-annual Maggott Movie Marathon, which, on the weekend of April 10–12, will be celebrating Marathon #47 in Washington, D.C. I know a bunch of youse live way the hell over there and prolly won't be heading to the nation's capital for a weekend-long movie party... but methinks there are a few new local types that I've frient, and vice versa, since last time I checked... So hook up to this community for news. Bye.
fr_defenestrato: (dissenters hate freedom)
Quoting the Rude Pundit's column today, about the National Review's list of 'the best conservative movies of the last 25 years':

'...if the best you can come up with for a quarter century of movies is Red Dawn, a movie so jingoistic that it made George S. Patton get out of his grave and slap the fuck out of writer-director John Milius, then your culture is bereft, indeed.

fr_defenestrato: (LOLCTHULHU)
Some filmic characters we never think twice about: they are complete entities unto themselves. We don't have to work to suspend our disbelief; we don't need to think about the actor playing the role. That character is that character to us.

But as my beloved brother is wont to go "Booooo!" in an uncannily precise imitation of the old peasant woman who boos Princess Buttercup and calls her "the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of PYOOOOOO-trescence!" in The Princess Bride, I am delighted to point out that the actor Margery Mason can also be seen as "Teacher's Wife" in Pink Floyd the Wall—a terrifying figure in precisely one scene who, with a wiggle of her finger, compels her effete husband to pick up the bit of gristle he has just sneakily stashed on his plate and put it back in his mouth. This is another instance of a wholly self-sufficient character to me, one I've had in my mind's eye since first seeing The Wall in 1982. I've never connected the two till now. Dog bless imdb. The world is weirdish.

(She also played the ["anything from the"] Trolley ["dears?"] Lady from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She's 87 now.)
fr_defenestrato: (riff raff)
1. Who thinks Clue is funny, and why? What are the funny bits?

I believe I've made it clear by now that I find that movie not merely unfunny, but insultingly so. Like its makers went out of their way to say, "You people are so fucking stupid you'll laugh at anything." Cut for the usual gourdian friends-page-monopolizing loquacity )
fr_defenestrato: (riff raff)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] eric_mathgeek just posted a survey asking his friends what they thought of the movie Clue. To my surprise and chagrin, there are apparently many people out there who like this movie, who think it's very funny. In fact, there's a skin-crawlingly scary comment Eric reported, that "Someone on my list said almost every gay man he knows thinks it's the funniest movie ever." Well, it's not like I haven't found territory before in which the shibboleths of the gay community somehow escape me... I, who doesn't get the devotion to Cher, who still doesn't understand why we can't hear a Joni Mitchell or an Ella Fitzgerald or even a friggin' Beatles tune in a gay club (unless somebody's raped it with a thumpa-thumpa beat), I who still dress primarily for comfort to the sometime detriment of fashion. I with the hair. But CLUE? To me as bizarre as discovering the overwhelming majority of gay men sleep in three-piece suits and attend business meetings in pajamas.

Anyway, I thought I'd throw this out for my particular Maggotty circle... not for a poll but for more substantive or analytical answers. I know we showed this movie at the Fuckitathon a couple months ago, certainly not by my choice... but I'm curious about a couple of things:

1. Who thinks Clue is funny, and why? What are the funny bits?

2. Do you believe that repeated viewings can turn un-funny movies into funny movies in your consciousness? Is it possible we/I have movies we/I think are hilarious that are really just as dumb and badly written as I find Clue to be? What are examples that might fit that description in your experience?

2a. Are we susceptible to a lingering affection/respect for movies we found funny in our childhood?

3. Name some movies that you think are some of the funniest movies you've ever seen. Can you quantify or describe the humor in these movies such that there's a common element or thread? Or are there many different kinds of funny that you appreciate?

4. Name a movie or movies you have never found funny but most other people seem to.

5. Put these in order of funny (leave out any you don't know): The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Our Gang, Burns and Allen.

6. Is The Rocky Horror Picture Show really as stupid as the "oh that's so old what were we thinking" backlash would have it?

Thanks for any insights.

happy thon

Apr. 23rd, 2007 02:31 pm
fr_defenestrato: (spiderman)
it was a really nice weekend. my only personal regret is re how much i drank saturday night, which was a few beers more than a few too many beers. i was wobbly; and woke up much too late sunday afternoon feeling generally blech. as always a number of things i wanted to do food-wise fell by the wayside throughout the weekend. i have massive leftovers even of some of the stuff people liked :) more thonical musings )
fr_defenestrato: (Default)
So I finally saw Tideland, on DVD, night before last. I guess the best thing I can say for it is that it defies not only genre but actual description. A cursory glance at the user comments and more formal reviews linked on IMDB confirms such: the one-line PLOT summaries, for Pete's sake, are wildly contradictory. Jeliza Rose "delves deeper into her fantasies to escape her increasingly strange life"? I seriously think not, but somebody else thought so. (Of course, that someone was also stupid enough to mistake heroin for meth, so I'm not sweating the outcome of any hypothetical argument.) I weep )

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