Friday, June 24, 2011

What's In the Netflix Queue #32

1. The Prowler (1981)- Cheapie 80's horror film newly released to DVD, featured in one of Tarantino's film fest events, and starring Lawrence Tierney whom Tarantino would later use to gruff excellence in his own film.
2. The Lost Honor of Katarina Blum (1975)- Volker Schlondorff's tale of a woman whose love affair with a suspected terrorist sends her life into chaos. This is one of those movies I'm sure I saw back in the day, yet can't remember.
3. A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop (2009)- Zhang Yimou's remake or re-imagining of the Coen Brothers deliciously great debut "Blood Simple" has been floating in my queue for about a year now so I moved it closer to the top. The word of mouth has been mixed and Yimou is a director I used to ardently admire, but kinda cooled on lately through his mediocre efforts ("Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles, "Happy Times" etc). We'll see on this one.
4. The Great Gatsby (1974)- Robert Redford in the great novels adaptation to the screen.
5. A Call Girl (2010)- "This insightful, allegorical drama follows Aleksandra (Nina Ivanisin), a student, as she travels from a small town to the big city. A cynical and callous young woman, Aleksandra uses the move to transform herself into a well-paid call girl. Her self-imposed isolation and guilt-free life end, however, when a politician client dies. As the police pursue her, Aleksandra must figure out how to finish growing up without losing her soul." From the Neflix description.
6. A Summer In Genoa (2009)- Pretty sad when a Michael Winterbottom film is relegated to the the DTV pile, but apparently this one was. One of my very favorite directors working today. And starring Colin FIrth, Katherine Keener and Hope Davis!
7. How To Kill a Judge (1972)- More Euro crime, this time about a film director (Franco Nero) inciting violence from the mob to, well, kill a local judge.
8. The Illustrated Man (1969)- Curious title that I came across while surfing selections. "Rod Steiger plays the titular character -- a man covered with tattoos -- in this adaptation of Ray Bradbury's tale. When a young drifter (Robert Drivas) encounters "the illustrated man," he can't take his eyes off the pictures on the man's torso. But staring at the designs takes the drifter smack-dab into the middle of the pictures -- in one instance, stranded on Venus, in another, on an African veldt and in the third, on the eve of Armageddon."
9. Breaking Bad Season 3 (2010)- Yet another reason television has become one of the best creative outlets.
10. Harakari (1962)- "Winner of the Cannes Special Jury Prize, Masaki Kobayashi's drama centers on samurai Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai), who arrives at a lavish manor and asks to commit hara-kiri on the grounds. But the vengeful warrior is harboring a secret. A new political climate finds the once-powerful samurais wandering the country begging estate owners to allow them to commit suicide on their properties, when what they really want is a handout."

1 comment:

Bob Turnbull said...

Wow, I've actually seen half of your list!

The Prowler is, if not great by any stretch, a pretty decent early 80s slasher type film. Had some good build up, a couple of great shots, etc. I doubt it'll blow you away, but if you don't expect Halloween, you may do fine.

It's funny you say that you can't remember much of Katarina Blum - my same reaction...Though I do know I liked it a great deal at the time and have often thought that I need to explore Schlondorff's films a bit more.

I'm a big fan of Yimou's (except perhaps for Curse Of The Golden Flower which just seemed to lay there - even with some spiffy visuals), but wasn't really keen on him tackling a Coen brothers film and adding in a different culture's sense of humour. But I have to say, I enjoyed it a great deal more than I expected to...Not my favourite of his ("To Live", "The Road Home" and "Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles" would be at the top along with, obviously, "Raise The Red Lantern"), but he uses the main story in a new context and doesn't go too absurd with the comedic parts.

Bradbury's short stories are wonderful and there are some great ideas within the fractured stories in "The Illustrated Man", but the film is so dry it labours through each story and really grinds to a halt whenever it returns to the main linking section. Should have been so much better...

"Harakiri" is one of my favourite films from the 60s and in all of Japanese film. Hell, it's not far from my Top 20 all time...I've fallen in deep love with everything I've seen from Kobayashi so far. i haven't yet started "The Human Condition", but bought it sight unseen. I just need to block off 9 hours now...B-)