Derik Badman's Journal

2021-09-19 09:46

Back home again, which, after a week, makes everything feel both familiar and new. Buddy was thrilled to see us and has been a bit demanding for pets since then.

Friday was the fourth day of Ozu commentary theatre with Richard Peña on Late Spring. By this point, not sure what new there was to glean from it about Ozu, a lot more just about the narrative in the movie itself. That exhausts, as far as I can tell the available commentaries on Ozu. Unless there are some on the dvds that are not on the online version.

Finished up Neuromancer which I enjoyed as a sci-fi thriller with great writing, but don't have much else to say on it.

There was no DVD player at the beach house this year (I guess it broke so they removed it?), so I ended up not being able to watch some DVDs I had brought along that aren't available online, so that's part of the weekend plan now that we are home. Yesterday I watched my library copy of Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country, another western with a kind of "end of the era" theme to it, with Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott playing two aging gunfighters. It was enjoyable enough, but wasn't amazing. The ending in particular had a fairly complete lack of logic that seemed to be designed as a way to get McCrea's character to die a noble death, but really just made him seem like he was kind of bad at his work.

Rewatched Tsai Ming-Liang's Goodbye Dragon Inn since I recently got Nick Pinkerton's book on it from Fireflies Press's Decadent Editions series (10 books on a movie from each of the first 10 years of the 2000s). I figured I should rewatch before reading, so it would be fresher in my mind. Like all the Tsai movies I've watched, it is a slow film, lots of long, unmoving takes, often with very little going on in the frame. It is an elegy for a movie house on the last showing of the last film on the last night. It's the kind of film you have to relax into, just let go of any expectations of plot or action and just watch it, let your eye linger over the composition, the setting, the subtle movements of the actors. If you are too impatient you'd just say "it's so boring, nothing is happening" and you'd turn it off and miss a really lovely, melancholy, and also funny film. Started the Pinkerton book which is so far all about the changing character of movie watching (ah, the laments of "people stream movies now" and the gnashing of teeth).

Started on David Lynch's Inland Empire this morning. I've had that DVD since it was released and never watched it! Somehow it just... never got put in the player. So finally, I've watched the first hour of it (ah yes, the other movie sin of not watching the whole thing all at once, but it's 3 hours long). The next book in that Decadent Editions series is on this one, hence the spurring on to finally watch it. It is also about movies, in that the protagonists are actors making a movie and they start to blur the lines between themselves and their characters. Realizing that one of the other books in that series is on Hong Sang-Soo's Tale of Cinema which is also a movie about movies in a different way. One gets the feeling the critics like to write about movies that are about movies.

Feeling the oncoming start of autumn, it was a bit chilly as I left the house for a walk this morning. Looking forward to the end the summer heat, looks like the temperatures will be cooling a bit this week. Maybe I'll even get to start wearing my sweatshirt again. I took it to the beach and it was unexpectedly warmer than usually, I didn't end up putting it on even once.