Classic film binge

Sometimes I like to escape into the future. Sometimes I like to escape into the past. One thing’s for sure, though: I’m sick and tired of the here and now. It just so happens, then, that I’m currently on a classic movie kick, especially noir. Most of these are available for free on YouTube, incidentally.

The Man With My Face(1951)

This was a fun little flick about a guy who… well, the poster says it all.

I got curious about filming locations, particular this old Spanish-looking castle by the sea.

Turns out it’s called Castillo San Cristoball, and is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Constructed In 1783! How ’bout that? See, Idk about you, but this is the kind of stuff that gets my imagination all fired up.

Funny story: as my wife and I watched this, I got up to move a stand fan and got my finger caught as it oscillated. I couldn’t get it out, and started yelling.

My old kitty Gracie gets all jazzed up when someone gets hurt, be it me, my wife or another animal, and she comes stalking after me with the intention of attacking. It’s so weird. Anyway, I’m scared of her, so I rolled over the back of the couch, naked, to escape. She came around after me, tip-toeing precisely in time with the chase music onscreen. We had a good laugh about it.

Chicago Syndicate (1955)

Dark and gritty classic gangster movie, right here. Deliciously shadowy noire goodness throughout. There’s all kinds of tough, old-timey gangsta talk and misogyny. And check out that artwork from the Belgian poster!

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Well, now I know where that” I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille” line came from.

I had no idea what this movie was about before I watched it, and I expected something crimey and gangstery, but it took me someplace else.

Great-looking film. I mean this shot alone, I’ve seen it in hundreds of other movies later on.

Overall, it’s just a well-crafted piece of art. That’s how I view movies, music, books, etc–it’s all the same thing. Exactly the same thing. And it’s non-linear, to me. A good movie is a good movie–I don’t believe in “good for its time.” I don’t like that phrase. I can certainly look at this film in the context of the time it was made, though, and appreciate how groundbreaking it was.

The Hitchhiker (1953)

This one’s pretty good. It’ll draw you in and keep your attention to the end. A solid thriller with some unintentional laughs.

Blue Velvet(1986)

This movie’s bonkers. I’d never seen it before, but I can definitely see some elements that were carried over into Twin Peaks.

Also, I now know what the Anthrax song “Now It’s Dark” is about. It’s about Dennis Hopper’s character in this movie. Cool.

I’ve never been a huge fan of David Lynch, besides Twin Peaks, but He’s rightfully regarded as a genius. I can see that even in his films that don’t really jibe with my tastes–he’s still brilliant, even if I can’t get into it.

I liked Blue Velvet, and it’s a beautifully shot film, but I doubt I’d ever watch it again. I’m the same way with Tarantino. Again, they’re great, and geniuses, but I typically prefer more straightforward narratives that don’t have to be deciphered through little symbolic cues. And I know some people love that, but I tend to prefer movies that have deep subtext but can also be enjoyed on a surface level by just about anyone. It’s just personal taste, again. They’re two brilliant artists.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve watched recently. Have you seen any of the films I listed? What’s your take on them?

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