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Jul. 30th, 2007

King of All Cosmos


A few more oldies . . .

I'm trying to be fair in my judgement of these early movies, but MAN can they be hard to watch. Since I'm having a hard time with it, I pretty much only keep historical factors in mind when I'm watching.

The next flicks in line:

Anna Christie. I believe this was one of Greta Garbo's first "talkie" pictures. She really was amazing . . . I think this has been my favorite movie to watch so far. The acting was nice all around, and the sound and the print were both very nice. Much nicer than the other flicks I've seen so far. I imagine that Anna's "secret" was pretty taboo and controversial back in this movie's day, which raises my appreciation level, too. :)

All Quiet on the Western Front. I read this book many many years ago, and I remember it affecting more than this movie did. But when I think back on the movie, it really does play up the youth of the soldiers being sent off. I don't know that I've seen too many war movies that really focus on that end of things. I can imagine how moving these images were when the movie came out, and I wonder if Clint Eastwood took a thought or two into consideration for "Letters from Iwo Jima."

Hallelujah. Wow. Where to begin with this one . . . I was entranced by this movie more than any of the others so far, but not always for the best reasons. It began with a disclaimer. "Some of the images you see in this movie are considered terrible by today's standards . . . but to alter the film in any way would be to pretend that racism never existed" - which I wholly agree with. Just because it was wrong doesn't mean we should go back and sweep the dirt under the rug, eh? But then the movie started and my jaw dropped. Oh. My. God. Like, it was so bad I wanted to shut my blinds. It wasn't quite up to "Birth of a Nation" bad, but it was still embarassing, as a white chick, to realize that people really used to think this way (I know - they still do. Ick). I mean, short of eating a watermelon there wree more stereotypical presumptions about black people than you could shake a stick at. OH! And here's the kicker - this was the first Hollywood all-black cast production. In the opening credits, the crew was listed first. The crew!! Can you think of any other movie where the crew is listed before the cast? ACK. It took me about 45 minutes to get over the shock and try and watch the movie from an objective point of view. I was able to appreciate the music and dancing, and the weight of the spiritual scenes. This movie fell into the same "WTF" issue I'm getting . . . dude falls in love just 'cause a woman is hot. She's a snake, a backstabber, but she's pretty, so he loves her anyway. I wish I had rented the second disc, because I would have liked to have seen the footage of the actress that played "Chick."

With Byrd at the South Pole. After seeing "Hallelujah," it's really impossible to comment on this one. It was pretty boring.