Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Painter of the Agonies...

Still not anything to report on the writing side of things and probably won't be for a while so there are yet more film rants. Saw Changeling last night which I really enjoyed. It's too long and three films in one, but it's nice to see a properly made film these days and Clint Eastwood really does know how to make 'em proper. It looks amazing, the story is compelling, Angelina Jolie is great but the best thing in it for me was Jeffrey Donovan who plays Capt. Jones. If you do see it, it's also worth looking into the back story a bit afterwards - I don't want to talk in depth about the plot here but I get the impression the good Captain had a much more morally ambiguous and completely unfilmable role in real life. Anyway, Donovan is great, and though it's a little early for Oscar speculation, if this does end up being one of those Oscar films that dominates every category I'd be happy to see him get a Best Supporting nomination.

Speaking of Jeffrey Donovan, he's probably more familiar to Americans as he's been in loads of TV stuff but I only recognised him from Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, in which he is also very good. I recommend that anyone with any interest in films or film-making go out and buy (or preferably borrow) Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows immediately. Not because it's good - it's a terrible film. But it's terrible as a direct result of studio intervention and has one of the best and most honest commentaries you'll ever hear from director Joe Berlinger. Seriously, it's one of the most interesting and damning examples of how the film industry and art don't mix I've ever come across and it's great that someone actually tells you how it is. I've a feeling I've mentioned this before, but I've yet to meet anyone who's taken me up on the recommendation so until that day I'll keep going on about it.

Also this week I watched House of Laughing Windows, which was also overlong but at the same time amazing. It's actually a film I'd consider re-making as there is some very cool stuff in there but it's not quite a brilliant film overall. I recommend watching it, if only for the genuinely scary ending. Also, the scene that gives the film its title has now become one of my favourite scenes in horror film history. It evokes my favourite kind of horror - no jumps or scares, just a sense of creeping dread. Someone obviously felt the same way and put it on YouTube. Don't worry - it won't spoil anything, but it might make you want to see the film, and it may give you inexplicable nightmares:

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