Derik Badman's Journal

2019-10-11 16:11

That's two days without writing. We were releasing code for work this week, and it was some major changes so it ended up using up a lot of my energy and brainpower. It was not as catastrophic as I feared, but there have been some tricky little issues. Once again I'm trying to figure out solutions for problems I don't totally understand. It is often extremely frustrating, and I also know that I probably care a little too much about everything working right so we don't have angry customers.

In other news, I don't remember much else that I have been doing. I tried watching a few movies for the second half of my Tuesday off and the first few just didn't hold my attention: Bresson's Pickpocket (which had a whole analysis on the Bordwell book I just finished), Mizoguchi's Street of Shame, and and Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur The Leopard Man (which came up recently in something I read on the many adaptations of Cornell Woolrich's work). I ended up watching the Taviani brothers' Night of the Shooting Stars, which I had already seen long ago in an Italian Neorealist Cinema course I took in college (the only film class I've ever taken, I think). I guess that was the part of syllabus on post-neorealism because this film is quite different than stuff like De Sica or Rosselini. The whole thing had a staged feel to it with elements of fantastic imaginings and an oddly lighthearted feel for a movie that takes place during the final days before the Allied forces fought back fascists in Italy.

In one scene we see cathedral in the town square. There is the sound of an explosion and screaming, then the door opens and smoke plumes out. People then exit the build, stumbling wildly... some of them run around like they are children pretending to die in a game of make believe. I can't quite find the word I want to use to describe it... not melodramatic... staged... playful... no... The filming and narrative style of the movie seemed to frequently undercut the dramatic plot points. It's quite odd.

The movies use of characters was also... confusing. There were a lot of characters, and at any one point it was hard to say who was actually important to the plot, or who the protagonists were. Some of the characters at first seem important, but then they disappear, or quietly get killed off. One young woman seems important. We see her pretty early on, there are various scenes with her, even a series of flashbacks to her childhood, yet, at one point late in the movie during a firefight between fascists and resistance, she is seemingly thrown into a truck by the fascists and driven off. We never see her again and no one else seems to notice or care that she is gone.