Sunday, November 4, 2012

Joel's Top 15 Weeknight Movies


Okay, picture this with me: It's Tuesday night. The week isn't even half over, but you're already tired. It's getting later and later into the year, and the dark of night is coming earlier all the time. As you get home, you're undoubtedly tired, but you also know that, if you go to bed now, the events of the day swimming around in your head (work, school, whatever) are going to keep you awake all night. You need a distraction.  TV? No. Last time you tried that, there was nothing on, and you ended up marathoning QVC until 2:00 am, which led to the purchase of a gallon of rug cleaner, 8 yards of animal print, and several needlessly complicated desk lamps (wait, do you even own more than one desk?). Well, you can't decide which of the seven books you're currently "reading" to dive into, and there are only so many minutes you can play Doodle Jump before your eyes defocus... So, with a shrug and a sigh for emphasis, you decide to watch a movie. But what?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vertigo (1959) Appreciating Obsession

Alfred Hitchcock's more precarious masterpiece has been declared the #1 film of all time by the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound poll this year, so I figured that's a good reason to do a write up about it, but also because I myself consider the film very personal.  There are many people who can appreciate the film's artistic merits, but nothing more. To them it is a bleak film with a protagonist that is hardly likable through his actions later on in the film.  These seemingly despicable characters are hardly what one would expect from a film to come out in 1959 and audiences then were rather cold to it.  So it is today in fact, but due to most people's idea that we are supposed to root for them, or sympathize with their actions.  If it isn't already apparent, Vertigo is a highly personal film, and Hitchcock did not seem afraid to alienate most of his audience through it.  Indeed, for most of the audience, these characters are hardly relatable.  Yet this was not the case for Hitchcock and certainly not for those who fully appreciate it.