Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The anime feature Spirited Away is still playing at the Point, you Madisonians. Go see it. I loved it.

Movies I also want to see before they go away, and why:

Auto Focus. I'm a "Hogan's Heroes" fan from way back. My favorite moment in that curious series's run comes when Hogan and the Richard Dawson character and another POW are chatting in the camp, and up walks Colonel Klink. Hogan says to Klink (I paraphrase), "Mein Commandant, we were just trying to decide, who's the most perfect Aryan, Hitler, Himmler, or Goebbels?" Klink's immediate reply: "Hitler? Himmler? Goebbels? They're all perfect!"

Femme Fatale. I'm also a big Brian de Palma fan from way back. I could talk for a long time about The Fury, Phantom of the Paradise, Raising Cain, Carlito's Way, Blow Out and other relatively obscure de Palma releases, to say nothing of his more prominent releases, like Carrie, The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible, and Mission to Mars, each of which I also liked. I'm the only person I've met who enjoyed his film of Bonfire of the Vanities; the key is to read it not as a retelling of the Tom Wolfe book, but as a satire of same. Anyway, Femme Fatale looks to have all the hallmarks of a juicy Brian de Palma sex thriller, and what's better than that?

8 Mile. I loved Wonder Boys, another film by Curtis Hanson, the director of 8 Mile. Plus, that Eminem's all right with me. "Controversy" was a terrific single last summer, and I'm glad all the hooha has died down. If I were taken to task for everything that came out of my show business persona's mouth, I'd be in no end of trouble.

Frida. Good word of mouth. Oo la la.

Plus, some films not out yet, but that I'm excited about.

Die Another Day. I've blogged elsewhere about James Bond, but suffice it to say that this franchise's theatrical releases had been uninteresting to me my entire adult life until the last one, The World Is Not Enough. Since then, I've made substantial reforms of my understanding of James Bond movies, and I'm looking forward to this one. I may even go back and watch a Timothy Dalton one.

Solaris. I've been excited about this ever since I saw a creepy preview for it before Minority Report. I can't say I'm intimately familiar with the Tarkovsky ouevre, but I have seen the 1972 Solaris, and it's a terrific film. It made me wonder what other brilliant art came out of the Brezhnev-era USSR; someone tell me. At any rate, I've been a fan of many Steven Soderbergh movies (sex, lies and videotape, Out Of Sight, Erin Brokovich), and I've come around to George Clooney.

In Chicago I used to go to what seemed like a movie a week. Since moving to Madison I have curtailed this diet considerably: the choices usually are lousy, and good films seem to stay around for only a week or so. Which is to say, I can't think of the last time there has been a comparative wealth of first-run movies I'm eager to see. Mazel tov.

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