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Apr 20, 2011

The State of the Cabins (4/20/11)

Movies watched for the first time (non-theatrically) since last week:
Again, I talked about this a bit on the most recent LAMBcast (coming this Saturday), so I'll keep this short and sweet.

As with most any classic film, when I watch it I get a sense of appreciation for what must have been great advances in film making - and, to be sure, there are loads here - but am left pretty empty otherwise.

I suppose a large part of the problem as it pertains to Rashomon lands squarely on my shoulders. As far as I can tell, a large part of the appeal of the film is in analyzing and interpreting what it all means. However, I'm just not the type of person that can watch the type of events that it depicts on screen and see them as metaphors for this, that, or the other, at least not unless they're hitting me in the face (like Animal Farm, perhaps, and even then a fair amount of historical knowledge is necessary). No matter how many times I were to see the sunlight come pouring in through the trees of the grove, I don't think I'd be making any sorts of connections to good or evil (see the "Symbolic use of light" section on the film's Wikipedia page). I see shots of sunlight through the trees and think it's an establishing shot of the fucking sun and the trees. Does everything have a layered meaning? Is nothing just an element of a story? Yes, I'm an idiot.

All that said, I enjoyed Rashomon. There's a reason it has an "effect" named after it - it's a damn cool storytelling technique, and the film does say a lot about man's instinct to not only destroy but to also save face.

Fletch's Film Rating:
"You're the best...around!"
"Darn tootin."
Large Association of Movie Blogs

Music I'm currently obsessed with:
* Not much on the music front this week, as I've been slammed with podcasts, thanks in no small part to the epic three-hour Cinecast (#206) that Andrew, Kurt and Matt did recently. I give them a hard time for the length of their show - because no podcast should be that long - but there I am, still listening. It's just that good.

That said...I've heard this song a few times recently and am digging it. I've been aware of Peter Bjorn and John for some time now, but have never listened to their music because (mostly) I didn't like the sound of their name. Came off as twee. But a big man can admit when he is wrong...

Book I'm currently reading:
* Slogging (that's a word, right?) my way through The Roald Dahl Ombibus, a collection of 28 short stories from the author for adults.

I suppose it's the same story with any collection like this - some good, some bad, some meh. Mostly, I'm just left unsatisfied with the structure - I don't like just getting into a story only for it to end. Most of these stories are between 10-30 pages long, and I just need a novel.

Things to Click OnLink* M. Hufstader also dug some Hanna, and perhaps even more so than I did. But then she had to go and write a kickass review for it, done in the style of Mythbusting. Breaks down a number of genre tropes and where and why Hanna avoided them. (The Smoking Pen)

* ®@©#Σ£ has a bit of an issue with some movie titles. See if you can guess what it is. (Rachel's Reel Reviews)

* CS wants to know which you think is better: Sam Jackson, or the recently arrested Nicolas Cage? (Big Thoughts From a Small Mind)

* Um...the freak-a-frickin' LAMMYs are here, folks!!! I'm seeing more and more FYC posters up around the interwebs (which is awesome)...looking forward to seeing more (and more votes, too!). Thanks again to Rachel for doing a proper job running the show. (The LAMB)

* Tom Clift left us standing at the alter for the recording of the last LAMBcast. Don't worry...I'll forgive him eventually. Anyway, he was probably busy watching and/or writing his review for I Love You, Phillip Morris, which he dug quite a bit. (Reviews by Tom Clift)

9 people have chosen wisely: on "The State of the Cabins (4/20/11)"

CS said...

Thank you for the linkage, Fletch! This week's edition will feature two character actors...though I am pretty sure I know who most will choose.

As for Rashomon, I still need to see that film. To date I have only watch three Kurosawa flicks. Shameful, I know.

David Bishop said...

Rashomon came across as a film about truth to me. In particular, about the subjective nature of truth as the human experience inevitably skews everything.

Jack L said...

I don't really think Rashomon is Kurosawa's best either, it's great but not as great as Ran, Yojimbo, Sanjuro or The Seven Samurai...

I'm pretty excited about the LAMMYS, I doubt I will even get nominated, but it's fun to participate!

Time Lord said...

Fuckin' A, mate. Couldn't say it better myself about RASHOMON. Sometimes a establishing shot is just a damn establishing shot.

Univarn said...

You know, while it may be sacrilege by most Kurosawa fanatics, Rashomon isn't even in my top 5 of his films. I love the style and morality tale, but it felt a bit flat to me - if not a bit sexist. I'd honestly say Yojimbo would be much more of your cup o' tea Fletch :)

Castor said...

Yea I really liked Rashomon but I don't consider it to be the best of Kurosawa at all. It's more of a movie where you realize some of cinema's tricks were used for the first time there and you are amazed by those facts.

M. Hufstader said...

Thanks for linking me, homie! Always appreciate the shoutout! And nice song! I'm digging the weird head pieces.

Fletch said...

@ CS - No worries, mate. Yeah, after having seen the choices, I'm pretty sure I know who will win, too...

Well, you're still up by two on me for Kurosawa viewings...

@ David - There's definitely something else going on though, aside from the subjective nature of truth. This wasn't the game you play in school as a kid where the teacher tells one kid something, then it gets passed along to everyone one by one only to end up as something totally different. The four interpretations we see are VASTLY different. It's much more about saving face and painting yourself in a noble light than anything else.

@ Jack - I don't know...you've got yourself a nice following over there - you're making friends fast with your passion and diversity in film watching.

Sounds like - according to Univarn - I need to catch Yojimbo next. The film my wife thinks should be about a redneck. "Yo, Jimbo!" LOL

@ Time Lord - Did you seriously drop the "Andy the" from your alias based on my suggestion? If so, that fucking rocks, as does (of course) the moniker of "Time Lord."

Anyway, glad I spoke for ya in regards to Rash. Idn't it, though? At least sometimes?

Univarn - Alright, brother - you're the biggest Kuronut I know, so I'll take your word and do Jimbo next. Thank god...it can't be longer than the 3h 23m Seven Sams, can it?

@ Castor - "It's more of a movie where you realize some of cinema's tricks were used for the first time there and you are amazed by those facts."

Hmmm...sounds like me after watching just about every classic flick. Sadly, appreciate ≠ love.

@ M. - My pleasure! Perhaps, one day, I'll be a BAMF... ;)

Time Lord said...

The drop was, indeed, inspired by your suggestion.

Besides, 'Time Lord' sounds way more kickass than 'Andy the Time Lord', which sorta, to me, has a weirdy childrens/BARNEY-esque vibe. Don't ask me how that comparison came about...Thanks for the suggestion, mate.