Movie Diary 9/21/2009

McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971) and Little Big Man (Arthur Penn, 1970). There are various ways of revising a genre, and here are two disparate approaches. Altman’s way creates a new kind of beauty while picking apart the conventions and mapping out the social anthill of a community and country; Penn’s film attacks with scathing slapstick. Both revisions re-visited for an upcoming lecture (see details here).

The Killers (Robert Siodmak, 1946). Siodmak not only brought all his Germanic eyesight over, but a lot of people had seen Citizen Kane before doing this one. Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner were both new models.

No Impact Man (Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein, 2009). Writer decides on a yearlong stunt, blogs about it and gets a book deal. Admirable goal: to be as green as possible and reduce his footprint on the earth. Like Julie & Julia, but with less butter.