Movie Diary 11/9/2009

Catching up on a weekend of movie watching.

The Box (Richard Kelly, 2009). That’s a whole lot of sinister portents for one movie, especially when so many portents aren’t even portending anything – they’re just weird details waiting to be deciphered. (full review here).

A Bucket of Blood (Roger Corman, 1959). Time has not withered the delights of this hep and funny horror-spoof of the beatnik scene. Even if certain moments didn’t bring back the thrill of “Nightmare Theatre,” circa 1970, I would still dig this movie’s vibe.

The Beatniks (Paul Frees, 1960). Lousy juvie delinquent picture, given its title to cash in on the current fad. Peter Breck, pre-Shock Corridor, pre-Big Valley, plays the most energetic of the punks. This is the only movie directed by Frees, the greatest voiceover guy ever.

High School Confidential (Jack Arnold, 1960). Uninterrupted barrage of hepcat slang, with a lot of bold talk about “Mary Jane” and “horse” and the problems facing kids in today’s America. Extremely bizarre cast includes a lot of second-generation Hollywood actors, most prominently John Drew Barrymore.

Towers Open Fire (Antony Balch/William S. Burroughs, 1963) and The Cut Ups (Antony Balch, 1966); Aleph (Wallace Berman, 1959-66). Some experimental numbers to talk about at the Beat event. The first two are assemblage goofs with Burroughs; the latter a hypnotic montage from the same cut-up era.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009). Totally typical Wes Anderson movie. You say it’s animated, too? (full review 11/13)

Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso, 2008). Quiet series of non-events leading up to one of those endings that snaps everything into immediate, pay-attention focus. Alonso is in Seattle this week for a tribute at the Northwest Film Forum. (full review 11/13)