Movie Diary 8/24/2010

Cult of the Cobra (Francis D. Lyon, 1955). Cheap Universal exploitation, or prescient parable about Western superpowers invading Middle Eastern nations and suffering the consequences? There is too much lovey-dovey here to qualify this as a classic “Nightmare Theatre” entry, but much of it is acceptable – someone involved had a passing acquaintance with the Val Lewton classics – and you get to watch a bunch of future 1960s TV leading men.

Island (Fiona Tan, 2008). A 12-minute offering from Tan’s exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, this “quiet” black and white study of the island where Tarkovsky shot The Sacrifice is an island itself. The quotation marks are because the soundtrack is anything but quiet, full of seething insects and birds and wind, plus a curious voice-over.

Going the Distance (Nanette Burstein, 2010). Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, at opposite ends of the continent. I don’t know what else there is to say. (full review 9/3)

Jack Goes Boating (Philip Seymour Hoffman, 2010). PSH also stars in this adaptation of a stage play, an attempt at a sort of offbeat Seventies vibe that has the actor even schlubbier than usual. (full review 9/24)

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