Movie Diary 6/24/2010

Haxan (Benjamin Christensen, 1921). Kicking around some ideas for Frye Museum presentations in the fall. Haven’t seen this since a campus screening many years ago, which was undoubtedly with the William S. Burroughs narration – something the purer version of course lacks. (Though you miss Burroughs, somehow.) Plenty of hot interest in depravity here.

Vampyr (Carl-Theodore Dreyer, 1932). Thanks to Criterion’s DVD, a movie that seems like you’re seeing it anew. One thing about Dreyer, he takes about 30 seconds at the beginning of his movies to establish that a real film director is in charge.

Grown Ups (Dennis Dugan, 2010). Adam Sandler’s niceness coming through as usual, Rob Schneider in an intentionally bad toupee, Kevin James demolishing a backyard pool. Not much else beyond that. (full review 6/25)

Daddy Longlegs (Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, 2009). An unusual act of empathy and imagination, as an irresponsible father is depicted without judgment. Amazing performance in the central role by Ronald Bronstein, the guy who directed the very fine Frownland, which had a similar kind of integrity as this film. (full review 6/25)