Saturday, November 1, 2008

Weekend roundup

Halloween is usually one of my favorite times of the year in NYC. But because this election has frayed my nerves in a way they usually don't and the Halloween Parade is overly political in even a normal year, I said no danke. And because I no longer have the stomach (or self-restraint) to suffer parties with a phalanx of girls thinking they're clever by dressing as Sarah Palin in lieu of the traditional french maid or hooker with bunny/pussycat ears I said no merci beaucoup to that. I could live with last year's "clever" costume of choice - a predictible Amy Winehouse every 3.6 feet - but even that is a crime because the slutty costume is Halloween's raison d'etre in my book. I hooked up with a slutty mermaid a couple years back and the glittery scales she shed all over my apartment still turn up from time to time to provoke a sly smile outta me. Ah, memories.

My rewards for hibernating were limited to watching some great college football. Pitt coming back from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Notre Dame in four overtimes was a thing of beauty. Not only is Charlie Weis a gluttonous tool but the thought of Notre Dame's fanbase of white-haired-drunks and their dimwitted progeny getting weepy makes sadistic tears of joy flow from my eyes. SEC fans may be the epitome of creepy obsessiveness, but there is nothing as deluded and unjustifiably arrogant as your average Notre Dame fan. Unfortunately, the rest of my weekend entertainment was a snoozefest of epic proportions.


I made a couple more random grabs from the movie collection. Two of my addictions are film noir and [the aesthetics of] late 50's/early 60's films, so I indulged in one of each.

A lady without passport

The thing about noir is that once you've burned through the classics you sort of have to love the genre or you're taking your chances. There are literally hundreds of good ones but many are as forgettable as your average Law & order episode. This film, starring John Hodiak and the beautiful Hedy Lamarr is an example of that. Hodiak plays an undercover immigration agent sent to post-WWII Havana to bust a human trafficking ring where he meets and falls for Lamarr who is desperate to get smuggled into the US. It gets off to an interesting start but sort of flounders after that. I can't really justify a serious review, except to say that if you're a noir junkie it is passable but if you aren't then life is too short and there are too many better obscure ones to bother with this.

Funny Face

Great visual style. There's something endearing about Audrey Hepburn even though I find her embarassingly campy and in many roles she exhibits all the sex appeal of Don Knotts, or, Gwynneth Paltrow. I suppose this film is a classic, sort of "The Devil Wears Prada" meets "Cinderella" with song and dance numbers. And I am totally down with any flick in which a bolshie bookworm is dragged into the world of crass commercialism. But I remembered really liking this film the first time I saw it and after a second viewing I don't remember why.

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