Monday, July 31, 2023

Le Samourai

Le Samourai is a 1967 neo-noir crime thriller film starring Alain Delon. I watched it on Max, as I steadily work my way through my watchlist on that service.


Criterion calls Alain Delon's performance "career-defining" and calls the film "An elegantly stylized masterpiece of cool". Roger Ebert has it on his list of Great Movies. 100% of the Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a positive review.


I planted some seed labeled as "butterfly mix" back in the spring. So far this is all I have to show for it:


We finished our re-watch of Good Omens season 1 and have now finished season 2. I'm delighted with this, though heartbroken (cries tears), and am looking forward to a third season. I'm re-watching the X Files late at night in an attempt at fighting the persistent insomnia, but I swear X Files is not as filled with conspiracy theories as the House Hearing on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena. I weep for America. You can watch it here:

or read a transcript at the C-SPAN web site.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Orpheus (1950)

Orpheus is a 1950 French re-working of the myth.It is directed by Jean Cocteau and stars Jean Marais. This is fascinating. I watched it on Max, but it's also available free online via YouTube (embedded below) and Internet Archive.

via YouTube here:

Senses of Cinema has an interesting article. 97% of Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a positive review. Roger Ebert has it on his list of Great Movies.


I remember how attractive abelia was to butterflies when I was child, and it serves to attract hummingbirds and some butterflies now. I have it planted along part of the fence on both sides of my patio.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Monsieur Hulot's Holiday

Monsieur Hulot's Holiday is a 1954 French comedy film directed by and starring Jacques Tati.


Deep Focus Review has a lovely consideration. Criterion calls it "one of the most original—and hilarious—comedies ever made". Empire calls it "one of the best and most important films ever made.". Roger Ebert placed it on his list of Great Movies. 100% of Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a positive review.


My black-eyed susans are holding up well.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Beau Travail

Beau Travail is a 1999 French film directed by Claire Denis (a director well worth looking for) that is loosely based on Herman Melville's 1888 novella Billy Budd. It must've been too long since I last read Billy Budd, because I didn't see it. The story is set in Djibouti, where the protagonists are soldiers in the French Foreign Legion. Parts of the soundtrack of the movie are from Benjamin Britten's 1951 opera based on the novella. It's also been a long time since I last looked at the French Foreign Legion, but in case you were wondering... I don't qualify on a number of the requirements.


The Guardian says,
Claire Denis’s film is a mesmeric, masculine ballet whose beauty and confident power, manifested in lugubrious scenes which suspend the normal rules of narrative procedure, simply go beyond conventional ideas of transgression or homoeroticism. She choreographs various exercises and drills for Galoup and his comrades to act out; some of these are normal workouts, but in a kind of hallucination or noonday mirage, they seem to become dance sequences and exotic tableaux. These happen either communally, or in a kind of one-on-one confrontation between Sentain and Galoup. They are juxtaposed with real dance sequences, at the Djibouti discotheques, where Galoup - though he actually has a girlfriend - makes it bitterly clear that it is only his connection to the Legion which has any emotional meaning for him.

But the “men” themselves are really just boys.
Criterion opens with this:
When Claire Denis’s Beau travail (1999) first appeared on American screens, the critic Stephen Holden used a striking phrase to capture its embracing of bold opposites: “voluptuous austerity.” His characterization, widely quoted since, illuminates the film on many levels, and also forecasts something important about its reception to come. Quickly, Beau travail acquired a passionate following in film culture, was voted best film of the year in the Village Voice critics’ poll in 2000, when it had its U.S. theatrical run—only the first of many surveys on which it has featured prominently—and inspired an outpouring of writing in internet cinephile spaces, film magazines, and academic journals alike. This wide-ranging response, from disparate corners, perfectly suits this work that holds in balance a rich and resonant set of tensions and contrasts. ...

The power of Denis’s cinema flows from the fact that it fully addresses both mind and body: the whole spectator.
The British Film Institute closes by calling it "one of cinema’s most compelling and original meditations on the need for, and simultaneous resistance to, intimacy." 86% of Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a positive review.


I planted aster seed in the Spring, and here's the first bloom:

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once is an award-winning 2022 film starring Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., and James Hong. What fun!


Roger Ebert's site gave it 3.5 out of 4 stars. 93% of Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it positive reviews. The BBC has a post making all kinds of interesting connections.


I tend to treat movies and television like some people treat music, which is to say I keep it on much of the time without sitting still in front of it for long periods. In addition to the movies I watch, I watch a lot of series shows. Lately I'm watching the new seasons of What We Do in the Shadows, Futurama, and Strange New Worlds. We just finished a re-watch of Good Omens season one in preparation for the release of the second season.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Dead for a Dollar (2022)

Dead for a Dollar is a 2022 western film starring Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe, and Rachel Brosnahan. I'm glad to see they're still making traditional westerns. This is definitely worth watching if you like westerns, but it won't go in my re-watch queue.


Home Sweet Home still needs some work -for example, I thought it would be easier and much less expensive to make this twin bed look like a couch- but all in all we're settling into a pleasant routine. Hoorah!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The Anniversary Swap

Thanks, first of all, to my swap partner Nicole, who emailed me to let me know that Today Is The Day to post our treats and treasures from the swap. I'd not have realized otherwise, as my blogging has taken a back seat to getting The Husband moved back in on a permanent basis. Combining two kitchens is a challenge, and he had gotten a few peices of furniture which there was absolutely no room for but which we absolutely wanted to keep. I had thought I had figured out where to put everything, but nothing fits that way. At any rate, most of the boxes are unpacked now, so that's progress.

If I had ever decided to blog from my phone keeping up would've been much easier -I'm keeping up with Facebook and email just fine, after all- but I've always blogged from my laptop which has a stand it stays on over in a corner...

I do hope to get back in the swing of things soon. In the meantime, thanks again to Nicole. She's been a saint through all of this!

I'm not sure I can do this, but I'm hoping I can add a photo of the post card and teas Nicole sent me by uploading them directly from my phone. We shall see...

Hoorah! It looks like it worked!

I'm going to go drink that peach tea she sent. Please join me over at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering. I want to express my gratitude here for Elizabeth's willingness to do the work required to keep such an endeavor enjoyable and ongoing for so long. It has meant a lot to me over the years, and I appreciate it more than words can say.

Oh, dear! I forgot the 10! Nicole says we're supposed to include a 10 for the 10th Anniversary... Here's mine:

Saturday, July 15, 2023

The Escape Artist 42

This is a screenshot from the first episode of the TV series The Escape Artist. We did not like this, not at all, and did not watch more than that first episode.

Monday, July 03, 2023