Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Alotta good linkage goin' on:
First, the indefatigable Mystery Man on Film scores a major coup with the transcript on the original Raiders of the Lost Ark story conference. If, like me, you've always been bewildered by Marion Ravenwood hollering about being taken advantage of as "a child" by Indy, this convo between Lucas, Spielberg and Kasdan clears that up: she was 15, and Indy 25, when they first met. If you think that's icky, Master George originally suggests that she be 11. (I know they're just bouncing ideas, but Jesus.)
Second, there's no better example for James Wolcott's amusingly pissy mood lately than his evisceration of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. An opinion completely antithetical to mine, and one I respect -- though your criticisms of the longwinded narrator, Jim, would be more persuasive without your oft-spoken admiration for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Third, Ed Howard has been on a major roll lately, and to single out just one example, I'd have to go with his contrarian critique of The Wild Bunch. I tend to lean toward the opinion that it's a masterpiece, that the stylized violence and absence of subtlety are redeemed by how Peckinpah clearly (in my mind) struggles with his viewpoint on the characters and the bloodshed. Robert Ryan occupies such a crucial center to the movie, he's the conduit for all of the director's ambivalence and sorrow that undercuts the machismo. Plus it's such a tremendously well-made movie, so blazingly alive: I still can't get those horses falling in slow-motion into the river out of my mind. Nevertheless, I'm not completely without misgivings....so well played, Howard. Well played, indeed.
Lastly, I was going to offer a link to the fabulous opening credits sequence for Watchmen, in case like me you frequently peruse the internet to placate one's curiosity about elements in movies you otherwise don't want to waste time or money to see. ("Who's the killer in that awful new Diane Lane thriller?....[checks IMDb feedback page]....Oh, good, thanks.") But the studio hounds took it down. You could always read Ed's review for that too.