Saturday, May 07, 2011

Two Movies Today

One category of movie I've been using as a romcom palate cleanser are movies that I always felt like I should have seen but never actually got around to.
Most of them are movies that I've avoided because I didn't think I like them -- I recently watched "Midnight Cowboy" for the first time; I hadn't watched it before because I thought it would be bleak and dark and depressing. It actually turned out to be even worse than I thought -- not only was it bleak and dark and depressing, but Jon Voight's character of Joe Buck was so broadly drawn that he could have fit right into a Snuffy Smith comic strip, I mean, just ridiculous. It was interesting to me cause I couldn't figure out how anybody stayed awake long enough to give this thing an X rating, and because it might be the original bromance, but other than that not much to recommend it.
And there are movies that just slip through the cracks. "The Last of Sheila" which I also saw recently. This originally came out at the one time in my life when I actually saw most movies that came out in the theaters, but somehow I missed this one. I really liked it even though Raquel Welch is in trying to act, one of those mysteries that once it's all explained you want to go back and watch it again just so can kick yourself for missing all those obvious clues.
But I digress. Today's first movie was "Shaft" which must be an important film because In 2000 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Maybe, but it was really just a typical detective story, and could have played out much the same with a white detective (minus all the "jive" and "soul brother" talk) In fact, it was originally conceived with a caucasian lead but after the success of "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" they darkened it up. ("Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song", BTW, had the record for most consecutive esses in a movie title word until 1973 when Sssssss, the story of a mad scientist who turns men into snakes was released. This was during the time when I saw most movies and I saw this one -- maybe this was what I was watching when I should have been watching "The Last of Sheila")
Anyway I thought Shaft was an ass. And I know he's a "sex machine" and all that, but he had the single gayest piece of art over his bed I have ever seen -- a white man in a colorful dress with padded shoulders and hoops at the hips. The only poster that might possibly be gayer would be one of Ratso and Joe Buck strolling New York together. The chicks are crazy about him anyway, and even the police lieutenant must have lusted after him. Why else would he keep supplying Shaft with information and getting nothing from him but attitude? I did enjoy the early 70's background stuff -- the reverse Coppertone poster with the dog pulling down a black girl's bathing suit to expose her white bottom, and the movie theater showing a double feature of "Patton" and "MASH".
Ah, the 70's.
I also watched "The Parking Lot Movie" which I enjoyed. It was great hearing from other people who realize what jerks most people who drive cars are.


Lisa Hale said...

You really should revisit "What's New Pussycat?" and "Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You". Two of the weirdest and craziest slip-through-the-cracks films from the Love Generation years.

Norrin2 said...

I saw "What's New, Pussycat?" recently. Like all of Woody Allen's movies it was hit and miss for me. It seemed like it started out as a bedroom farce and somewhere along the line veered off into Keystone Kops kinda chase and slapstick stuff. Peter Sellers was great, of course.