April 6th, 2011

Unknown Cinema

Ok, so let's take advantage of the brief period of time that Live Journal is actually functioning and not under a DDoS designed by whatever the fuck they call the KGB these days. (P.S. is anyone else amazed that the Russian security service is so tech ignorant that they can't shut down a dozen dissident blogs without also stopping American housewives from being able to post their latest Snape/Malfoy non-con fan fic?)

Anyway, your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to make a comment about a movie you really love, but that you suspect most people haven't seen or heard of.

We all have one or two films like that in our heads. Movies we stumbled upon late at night on cable or picked up randomly in a video store. Movies that didn't get any real splash, yet, somehow stayed with us.

Yet, we never really talk about these movies - except when we force our partners to watch them - because we know that nobody will have any idea what we are talking about.

My nominee for Great Lost Film is a 1983 flick called Local Hero.

I've seen this movie at least two dozen times, if not more, and each time I see it, I see something new in it. What's really weird about it is that it's impossible to really appreciate the film on a single viewing.

At first, it seems like a simple linear story with nothing happening in the middle of it. That story is set up in the first 10 minutes of the film and resolved in the last 10 minutes of the film.

Which, makes you wonder, what the fuck is the point of the other 70 minutes of the film? It's only later that you realize that the start and end of the film are the least important parts.

What's really happening is that in that 70 minute middle period there are about a dozen new individual stories going on - as long as you pay attention. One of them is even supernatural (though I didn't "get" this plot point until the third or fourth viewing.)

Each story isn't told directly as it would be in most Hollywood movies. Instead you pick up the stories by listening to the random bits of dialogue between different people. And, once you do these stories are amazingly interesting and human.

The result is a film that seems simple at first, but in the end is as complex as anything Dickens could have come up with - and quite simply beautiful in the way it brings us into the lives of these people.

Ok, I went first.

Now, it's your turn. What your favorite bit of "Unknown Cinema" and why?


TMZ has a blow by blow account at what goes on at these Charlie Sheen live shows.

I'm very amused that he actually spends some time during the show explaining that he's not an actual warlock.