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Your Friday Five: Netflix Instant View you should, uh… view

September 3, 2010

Playing strip-poker with an exhibitionist somehow takes the challenge away.

The Last Picture Show. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich. A perfectly paced, beautifully shot film that captures the ambient angst and slow, slightly angry cadence of small town life in the early 50’s. Every single performance is spot on, from Timothy Bottom’s brooding, awkward Sonny to Cloris Leachman’s achingly lonely, Ruth Popper. Post-War malaise. Hank Williams songs. This is one of my favorite films because it kinda hurts a bit. It pulls heartstrings only when needed, not just for a cheap thrill, and no matter how many times I watch it, it haunts me for weeks afterward.

  • Bodies, Rest, and Motion directed by Michael Steinberg. Forgive the awful, awful trailer. Indeed, as you may have guessed, this is a movie about listless, white, late-20-somethings, searching for themselves. Yes. But it’s a really great movie about listless, white, late-20-somethings, searching for themselves. Again, a great cast takes the cake here.
  •  Go Directed by Doug Liman (who has about a 50/50 signal to noise ratio).  This is Mr. Liman’s most unabashedly fun movie. Yes… Much more than the overly self-aware Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  Sarah Polley makes a great sort of anti-heroine for this goofy film about… uh… grocery store clerks who need money, gay t.v. stars who want drugs, drug dealers who want power, and uh… ravers. Seriously well made candy. Please, don’t make me talk about Katie Holmes (who is great in this).
  • Metropolitan. Oh god. Oh, Metropolitan. Oh Whit Stillman, master of the bourgeoisie chatter. Bitchy, catty, and ‘pitch perfect’ as they say. Please place your tongue firmly in your cheek, shove your foot up your butt, and pour a glass of Moet White Star into a paper cup before watching.  Part one of one of the greatest trilogies in film. Move over, Lucas.
  • Man on Wire directed by James Marsh. A straightforward, and loving documentary on what singularity of vision can accomplish. If this doesn’t get your blood flowing and your heart inspired, then you should smack yourself in the face check that big bag of cynical at the door.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2010 10:02 am

    I feel like the Comic Book Guy, “Coming through, excuse me!” as I push past to be first. I LOVE THIS ENTRY. So much. Not only because I feel like Hipster McHippison because I have seen all these movies, but also, because you’re so right about each of them.

    The last Picture Show – so amazing and oddly enough there never feels like a “right” time to watch this film. Completely heartbreaking, but also so very awesome. baby Starman has one of his best roles.

    Bodies… – It is a lovely Ordinary Whiteness of Being film and one of the few really GOOD ones tackling the lives of 20 somethings. It’s what Reality Bites should have been (though that film is certainly charming in its own right.)It’s also a more interesting exploration of the subject than say Suburbia.

    Go – Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley and even Scott Wolf shuts this thing down. I love the frenetic pacing and the dialog. You’re right about Linman. When Holmes brings a little pep to a role she’s really fun to watch. Uh, no pun intended.

    Metropolitan – I love Stillman so much. His anachronistic, hilariously smug self important yuppies are far more amusing here than even in smugtastic Last Days of Disco. Chris E. is my favorite Stillman player, though for the most part it seems like he tends to play the prototypical annoying hipster smarmy mofo in all the Stillman films. I revisit this film frequently.

    Man on Wire – I put this with Christo’s “Running Fence” documentary as my all time favorite art documentaries.

    Such a great list, Poplife. I want to revisit Go right now.

  2. September 3, 2010 10:51 am

    One thing that sets Bodies apart is that not only is far more quiet than other movies in that vein (Reality Bites, Suburbia, ) because it doesn’t rely on a “hip” soundtrack. In fact, the music is barely there for most of the movie. It also doesn’t use topical humor and trendy clothing in an attempt to get you to relate to the characters.

    I also forgot to mention how sexy it is! The chemistry between Stoltz and Fonda makes me get all hot and bothered! There is no, “look how sexy and young and fashionable we are!”. How refreshing!

  3. September 3, 2010 11:45 am

    Bodies is really “old fashioned” in that sense and endures in ways that other films tackling the same subject simply do not. It’s also got gorgeous cinematography. And doesn’t the camera always love it some Bridget Fonda?

  4. September 3, 2010 12:25 pm

    Of these, I’ve only seen the first, and it’s been a while at that. So I guess that makes me the perfect audience for this post, because they all sound fabulous! It makes me happy that it’s supposed to rain this weekend.

  5. hsofia permalink
    September 4, 2010 12:00 pm

    Yay – Sarah Polley mention – she’s my favorite female actor.
    I like the idea of a Netflix Instant Friday Five – instant gratification FTW.

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