October 1 haiku.

Oil spots, leaves, pavement
A car pulls out from the curb
Dog-walker startled

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3 things about Robert Aldrich’s AUTUMN LEAVES

Autumn Leaves [1956]

1. “Am I a neurotic need?”
2. She takes off her apron and unconsciously wraps it around the plate she was drying. She then carries the bundle around the room.
3. Chicken salad, no bread.

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3 things about Robert Wise’s THE DESERT RATS

The Desert Rats [1953]

1. In The Desert Fox, James Mason doesn’t use a German accent. Here he does. And though it sounds right somehow it’s less effective.
2. “I made my usual mistake of being in a pub the day war was declared.”
3. From the desert, the sound of bagpipes.

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The big three.

  1. The “substance” of the film, i.e. the stuff of which it’s made: at moments it feels almost contemporary, at other moments it’s archaic. But the film itself never “talks” about this.
  2. Central relationship: R and D live together, “work” together, and yet don’t really communicate, never truly connect. What they do have to “say” to each other is mostly between the lines.
  3. The film within the film: R thinks he’s making a profound, articulate statement; in reality he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, and isn’t being skillful about it. It isn’t as profound as he thinks it is.
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3 things about Hong Khaou’s LILTING

Lilting [2014]

1. Crying. Snotty beard.
2. He plucks a hair from Kai’s nipple, puts it in his mouth.
3. She sits alone at the table, listening to him move around upstairs. She passes a hand across her forehead.

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3 things about Ranald MacDougall’s QUEEN BEE

Queen Bee [1955]

1. Telephone cord as lasso. Or noose.
2. “I don’t like the light. Put it out.”
He snarls, “I know what you like and don’t like!”
3. Cold cream all over the mirror. Shades of Diane Ladd in Wild at Heart.

3 other things.

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3 things about Terry Gilliam’s THE ZERO THEOREM

The Zero Theorem [2013]

1. He matches the drapes.
2. A vault of vials.
3. The head of Christ is a surveillance camera.

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