Monday, December 20, 2004

'tis the season...to watch loads of movies

The Christmas Stanley Kubrick Festival continued last night with Barry Lyndon. We had originally intended for the festival to be more of a marathon, but work, exams and social events got in the way. So we're just spacing them out over the two week period.

So far, we've watched:

  • Lolita (1961) - I commented earlier about how this is a funny enjoyable film, with a brilliant bit by Peter Sellers, but also leaves a somewhat disquiting feeling when you recognize the creepiness of Humbert's obsession.
  • Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) - Brilliant black comedy. One of the all time greats and probably my second favourite Kubrick after...
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - One of the most transcendent film experiences of all time. This is the must see Kubrick film if you haven't seen it yet.
  • Paths of Glory (1957) - This was the first time I'd seen this one and I was really impressed with it. The battle sequences were remarkably intense and realistic for such an old film. Kirk Douglas is great in it, and it also has a brilliant military courtroom scene that you know films like A Few Good Men were inspired by.
  • Barry Lyndon (1975) - A fascinated exploration of one young man's journey up (and down) the social ladder in late-seventeenth century Europe. Barry's experiences range from serving in the Prussian army to being a professional "gamester" (a gambler). Kubrick's touch can still be felt in this period piece, as Barry is in many ways an character without a clear moral centre whose lessons are learned the hard way in life. Definitely worth watching.

Last night I watched A Night at the Opera, with the incomparable Marx Brothers. Groucho is the king of one liners, and Harpo's silent gags are priceless (I'm convinced that Walt Disney fashioned Dopey in Snow White after him). It really is probably one of the funniest movies ever made, because they are always on. These guys go all out in their efforts to make you laugh, and the combination of Groucho's wit with Harpo and Chico's slapstick means that it never seems one-note or repetitive. A classic.

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"When I invite a woman to dinner I expect her to look at my face. That's the price she has to pay."
- Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx), A Night at the Opera



1 Comments:

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Johannes de Silentio said...

You're preaching to the converted; I love the Marx Brothers. One of my all time favourite movies is 'Duck Soup.' I prefer their first five movies to the later ones, but that doesn't mean they aren't still enjoyable. 'A Night at the Opera' is almost on par with 'Duck Soup,' the only problem I have with it is that it isn't manic enough. There is too much of an actual plot. I realize this sounds ridiculous and it isn't even a real complaint; I still love the movie. Any time anyone wants to watch a Marx Brothers movie, you just have to give me a call. I own all but 'Love Happy' and am more than willing to stop what I'm doing for an hour and a half. I may or may not watch one right now.

 

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