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Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

An evening after bemoaning the idiocy of the dumb chick* who refused an invite to a Sonny Chiba marathon, I cheerily attended a Buster Keaton double bill at our local hall.
*True Romance. She made something of an impression on me...

Wowie! Screw the actual films, the atmosphere alone made my evening. They had costumed extras wandering about with tashes, massive 20s cameras and megaphones. My favourite character was the projectionist – slumped and snoozing against his machine with a half empty cider bottle. In fact, only my insanely incongruous outfit jolted me back to the 21st century (being female and under 18 does NOT necessarily mean I worship the ground Hugh Grant walks on. Hence, not only did I make my appearance at _the_ serious-film-fan local event of the century a point of considerable pride, I also paid more attention to my couture then I ever have or will again – dressing accordingly in my shortest skirt and highest heels. Just to make the point.) They even had that fake film-noise as the films were starting up. They truly lost a bundle by not selling popcorn – I don’t really believe in eating at the cinema, but the atmosphere was so fantastic I felt I deserved a bucket.

Now seeing a couple of “criticise=crucify” classics on a big screen is one thing, but having them accompanied by a live pianist was quite another. You see, children, to cover for the lack of sound in silent movies, they’d have a pianist improvise along to the images. This is the birth of the tradition-cum-bad habit of movie music (which when you think about it, actually makes little logical sense – smothering the characters with tunes they can’t hear – but as it provides such effortless emotion-letting, you can see why they kept it) Our guy was just great – he didn’t improvise entirely, but even succeeding in playing along was impressive. I was particularly fond of the civil war medly he turned out for The General – all the ole favourites, AND some of the obscurer ones like Bonnie Blue Flag and Lorena which at times I think only I’ve ever heard.

Oh yeh, the actual films. They was great too. We sat through the obvious candidates - Sherlock Jr. and The General. Perhaps I just got fed up in the second half of the evening, but I didn’t think The General quite deserves it’s almighty reputation over the former. It was something of a let down after the sheer hilarity of Sherlock Jr.

As a good, pretentious film fan, black and white films are obviously the equal – if not the superior – to anything in colour. That’s the doctrine, but somehow it is hard to believe. Perhaps it’s because in my mental balance of colour vs. B&W, colour will always win because I’ve seen so many. If out of the 4 B&W films you’ve seen, 2 happen to be bad (and bad happened as often back then as now…), that produces a whacked out average compared to 30,000 colour films, 2 of which are bad. So while I hadn’t judged Buster Keaton in advance, I was wary. A nice comparison would be my archaeology teacher who described the British Museum’s collection of Mycenaean relics as “amazing”. We quickly got distracted by the whopping great statues and mummies and gates and carved things, and when we eventually ended up in the Mycenaean room after witnessing all the marvels and marbles of the ancients, we were disappointed to see a few scabby vases with scribbles on the side. Lesson learnt: “amazing” is relative. Especially where archaeology is concerned.

The same applies to serious movie buffs. While I earlier protested there is more to movies than Hugh Grant, I start to become suspicious when people keep running back to hide behind Citizen Kane and yet cannot rouse any more passion for it than reminding me it was made in X, cost X and was His debut film.

Thankfully I can report that in this case, the “Great Buster Keaton” actually is great for normal people as well as movie nerds (though of course, as I may also classify for that description, perhaps in this case my opinion is unreliable…) Perhaps it was just the atmosphere, but Sherlock Jr was hilarious. Particularly to be mentioned – him in the cinema screen frantic as the background keeps changing around him, and him on a bike traveling across a broken bridge which then collapses. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know when I mean. If you haven’t, then that’s really your loss. It must be hosted-in-the-public-domain somewhere. Go find! After that, the General was something of a let down, especially in light of it being “The Big Famous One”. It had some funny moments, but was much more what I had expected to spend my evening watching: a worthy, occasionally amusing film, but nothing on Dodgeball in laughter stakes.


So finally, and just for fun, I've decided to start a new quiz for me blog. It's easier for all involved than doing screenshots. All you have to do is think of five films which fit the random criteria (with a reminder of the scene if it's not too spoiler free)

Five films where a telephone is destroyed
(I can think of three off the top of my head...)

5 comments:

Mike said...

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Rob said...

I've only seen The General and a few Keaton shorts, but I saw I liked. Over the past few months, I've been getting my Chaplin action on and I have to say he's going to be hard to top.

Phones were destroyed in:
GoodFellas
Funny Games
The Matrix
Casino (well, Joe Pesci beats a man over the head with one for a bit, so it's kind of destroying it)
The Shining

Will said...

I saw the General first so I have a little different perspective on it then you do. It was cool to watch and was amazing in it's technical feats, but I agree, Sherlock, Jr. was the funnier film, especially the jumping into the movie screeen scene.

I will have to think about movies where telephones are destroyed.

Catherine said...

The Telephone Conundrum has been haunting me since 8am this morning and shows no sign of letting up. Damn you.

lovable_dorkus said...

the BlogInterviewer thing is pretty much harmless- just advertisement for your blog. if you want your blog/s to be advertised, then i guess it should be worth it! :)

 
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