Thursday, September 14, 2006

Watch and be happy like me

Last night I cheated and watched a movie and a music video compilation, rather than fulfilling a promise to myself to write daily in this blog. To be truthful, I'm glad I did. The movie was a 1948 Film noir gem called Naked City. It had everything a great detective movie needs-stark black and white cinematography, Hard boiled cops and killers, grotesque caricatures of people seemingly out of Charles Burns' comics, or Weegie's forensics photos, and a slightly fetishistic feel that seemed to be a precursor to the sweaty, and lusty films of the same genre made in the 50's. There was an obvious attempt to set this film apart from all other detective films made at the time and the most evident examples of this were 1. The fact that the ENTIRE film was made on location in New York, and 2. They wanted to express the "8 million stories" concept by giving the audience glimpses of the multicultural makeup of the city. Unfortunately, the ethnic characters shown were overtly stereotypical. (Thank God they didn't go to Harlem) This didn't hinder the movie, but it was certainly noticeable.
Another thing I thought was cool about the film was the interconnectedness of virtually all of the characters. Each situation bled into another-creating seamless and fluid detective work, and each tidbit revealed left me with an "aha!" sort of feeling. By the way, the film featured a young Baron Von Zipper from all those Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello Beach Blanket movies!
As I watched, it was TOTALLY evident that Frank Miller's Sin City stories were HEAVILY influenced by elements of this film, and being such a big fan of Miller's work, it made me appreciate the film as much as Miller obviously did.
The film's climax takes place at the Williamsburg Bridge and there are lots of decent gratuitous cityscape views to accompany the crazy gun battle between the cops and bad guys. Worth checking out.
Oh yeah, the ONLY drawback was the cheesy narrator who was incredibly annoying. His presence made it seem like a glorified Ed Wood directed film. But it was definitely not enough to ruin the movie as a whole.
I also watched Fatboy Slim's "Why Make Videos" greatest hits dvd. There were a plethora of good music videos included, but the standouts were 1. (again with the numbers?) Weapon Of Choice, with Christopher Walken wearily sitting on a hotel chair one minute, and breaking into a pretty highly choreographed dance number the next. Don't sleep on it, Mr. Walken can seriously cut a rug, as well as FLY apparently. 2. Don't Let The Man Get You Down which tells the story about a racist man, and the fate that befalls him for being so. 3. Slash Dot Dash is a video that features a man and woman defacing a bathroom and then each other with graffiti while running, jumping, rolling around, and smashing into each other on the floor, ceiling, and the walls. Very sexy video indeed. and finally, 4.Ya Mama, which happens to be one of the funniest and original music videos I have seen in a long time. In a nutshell, three guys try to make a buck off something they randomly receive in the mail, and end up in jail because of it. But not before the inhabitants of the small village in which they live are affected by their entrepreneurial venture. Two words, Total Hilarity. See this video at all cost. Unless you happen to be a huge Slim fan, downloading it from the web or renting the dvd will probably be your best bet, but I definitely recommend seeing it if you are a fan of creative and imaginative films.
Well, there you have it. Two dvds for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

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