Wednesday, September 30, 2015

604. O Thiassos

O Thiassos
The Travelling Players
Directed by Theodoros Angelopoulos

It took me about two hours to find this movie.  I have no idea how I finally stumbled across it (I think I sold my soul at some point).  Then it was another FOUR hours of one of the dullest films I have ever seen.  At this point, that is saying a lot.

What even happened in this film?  A group of Greek actors would start dancing and performing.  Then, a group of soldiers would hold them at gunpoint.  Somewhat would get shot and the cycle would continue, punctuated frequently by folk songs.  That, at least, was my understanding.  Of course, there was a lot more to it than that.  I told myself it would be better to watch this in one sitting, as that is how the director intended the film to be viewed.  I think this was a misstep, because at about hour two I couldn't have care less what was happening on the screen.  Actually, to be honest, by minute two I couldn't care less what was happening on screen, but I at least tried to understand until the second hour.

There were so many times that the characters broke into songs.  Maybe if I was Greek I would have felt a bit more of a connection to the music.  Personally, I felt like the interruptions were incredibly obnoxious and made it even harder to follow the plot.  Definitely not worth my time.  Do the Listmakers hate me or something?

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Done in 80 shots.  Pause for applause.

Monday, September 28, 2015

603. Cria Cuervos

Cria Cuervos
Raise Ravens
Directed by Carlos Saura

Once again, we have an absolutely brilliant film that is bound to crush even the most buoyant mood.  Here we go!

Ana is an eight year old girl who overhears her father in a somewhat compromising situation with the wife of a Fascist officer.  Her father has a heart attack and the woman flees.  Ana is convinced that she murdered her father by poison.  She carries this with her as she and her sisters are raised by their cold aunt.

This movie is a tad bit on the confusing side, since there are many flashbacks and it is sometimes unclear if characters are real or part of Ana's imagination.  However, I didn't find this off-putting.  I felt like it added to the atmosphere of the movie and really made me empathize with Ana.  I felt like this what the filmmakers that made Spirit of the Beehive were going for, but weren't able to pull off as well.

Definitely worth at least one watch.  Sorry for the short review, but there is frozen pizza to be had.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The title is derived from the Spanish proverb "Raise ravens and they'll pluck out your eyes."

602. Nashville

Directed by Robert Altman

Just the thought of writing this post makes me tired since there are so many different plot lines in this movie.  I'll take the lazy way out and only give the briefest statements.  It is Monday, after all.

Basically, the film follows the lives of several aspiring and actual country music stars in a five day period.  My favorite storyline involved the love triangle between Bill, Mary, and Tom.  Still, I prefer the television series "Nashville" that is currently in its fourth season.  With the movie, we miss out on Clare Bowen's beautiful singing voice and, of course, Connie Britton's hair.

I didn't particularly enjoy this film.  It's strange that there are 24 main characters, yet not one that I actually like.  It's also nearly three hours and there were definitely parts that seemed to drag, particularly in day one.  Still, I have to admit that this film is an impressive feat.  Unfortunately, just not a very entertaining one.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Every actor was required to write and perform their own songs.  The film was also heavily improvised.

Songs were recorded live.

601. Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom

Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini

First I had to read 120 Days of Sodom for the 1001 Book List, then I had to revisit it AGAIN with this list.  Will there be an album adaptation that I have to sit through next?

I am not even going to dignify this movie with a long entry.  It is disgusting, horrifying, and really shouldn't be given any special attention.  It almost ruins the List for me when a film like this is included in The Book, because no one should have to have these images in their brain.  It's something that you will never forget.  And for what?  So some Italian director who is fucked in the head can make some tired point about fascism?

Avoid at all costs.  Now I am upset that my sister is trying to tackle the List as well, because she will have to watch this.  Maybe I can persuade her to do it with a blindfold and ear plugs.  That will still count, right?

RATING: -----

Interesting Facts:

The director was murdered before the film was released.

600. Manila at the Claws of Light

Manila at the Claws of Light
Directed by Lino Brocka

600!  Wow, that is quite the chunk.  I just want to take a moment to thank all my followers and the people that take the time the comment.  I love feeling like I have people cheering me on while I complete this project.  Although my obsession with Lists is getting quite out of hand, so some might call you "enablers."

Julio Madiaga comes to Manila to look for his girlfriend, Ligaya.  Ligaya was recruited by a woman who promised her an education and a job in a factory in the city.  She then disappeared.  Man, I do not like where this is going.  As Julio points out, he can't search for her on an empty stomach, so he is forced to pick up some...unsavory jobs.

I had no idea what to expect with this film, since I have never watched a Filipino movie.  I feel weird about saying I enjoyed it, since it was obviously such a depressing story.  Still, I was completely hooked on the plot and the two hours flew by.  And no spoilers, but wow, what an ending!

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Only Filipino film on the List.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

599. Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock
Directed by Peter Weir

I thought the premise of this film sounded absolutely amazing.  Then I realized about forty five minutes had gone by and really nothing had happened.  Another forty-five minutes passed and still nothing.  Surely, there has to be some kind of climax?  Nope.  And apparently that's why people like it so much, because it is open to interpretation.  What kind of lazy ass writing is that?

A group of girls and their teachers travel to Hanging Rock to have a picnic.  Several of the girls inexplicably disappear.  The only witness is an Englishman named Michael, who isn't quite sure what he saw.  That makes two of us.

Once again, I am forced to admit that although a film bored me, it was rather beautiful to look at.  Still, frequent readers will know that I throw a hissy fit if the plot isn't satisfactory.  Maybe we didn't need a concrete solution, but couldn't the entire two hour build up have some sort of pay off?  Apparently not.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

A bridal veil was placed over the camera lens to create the film's ethereal look.

Many of the girls' voices were dubbed.

598. India Song

India Song
Directed by Marguerite Duras

Yikes.  I sat through an hour long ballet at the Royal Opera House last night and had absolutely no idea what was going on.  It was an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet so you would think I would be able to at least grasp part of the storyline.  I could not and haven't been that confused since my college statistic class.  Tonight, I was equally baffled from this film.  Am I stupid?  Should I just lean into this and start watching Adam Sandler films instead?  I shudder at the thought.

My understanding of the plot and the actual plot are two different things.  I believed that it was a love story between a man and a married woman, narrated by a gossiping crowd.  Apparently, it was actually about the many affairs of Anne-Marie, narrated by who the hell knows.

I suppose people will say it is a beautiful film, regardless of the confusing plot.  I guess there were a few landscape shots that were aesthetically pleasing, but what about all the dull scenes we had to endure?  For some reason,  Anne-Marie lies on the floor for five minutes and is joined by two shirtless men.  I wasn't stunned by the cinematography; I just felt mounting frustrating from not knowing what was going on.  I felt like a toddler that throws a tantrum because she can't button her coat by herself.

Definitely a miss but at least I made it through.  The couple next to me at the ballet had to leave halfway because they couldn't take it anymore.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Set in India, but shot outside of Paris.

Friday, September 25, 2015

597. Faustrecht der Freiheit

Faustrecht der Freiheit
Fox and his Friends
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Once again, Fassbinder gives me a movie that leaves me brooding for days.  I have been told that I have cynical views when it comes to romance, but I am nothing next to this director.  He is truly a buzzkill.  Maybe I will watch this again next Valentine's Day.

Franz works as a carnival attraction ("Fox the Talking Head") but loses his job when his boyfriend/boss is arrested.  Franz's troubles are seemingly at an end when he wins the lottery and is introduced to a posher world.  He falls for a pretentious factory owner, whose motives are questionable at best.  I guess I don't have to lay out too much more of the plot.  After all, is a fictional character ever happy after winning the lottery?  I don't think it is possible.

Fassbinder once said, "Every decent director has only one subject, and finally only makes the same film over and over again.  My subject is the exploitability of feelings, whoever might be the one exploiting them.  It never ends.  It's a permanent theme.  Whether the state exploits patriotism, or whether in a couple relationship, one partner destroys the other."  Well, that does sum it up rather succinctly.

Definitely a beautiful film worth watching.  But can we have something a bit more cheerful soon?

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Fox is played by the director himself, who lost a ton of weight in preparation for this role.

Anyone else spot the two leads of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

596. Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon
Directed by Stanley Kubrick

If you are a frequent reader of my book blog, you'll know that I delight in eighteenth and nineteenth century novels, particularly anything from Thackeray.  If you don't have a weird fascination with three hundred year old books, I can easily see you finding this film as dull as 2001.  Thankfully, I enjoyed this and it might go down as my favorite Kubrick.

This film is over three hours long and the action rarely slows down, so it is a bit hard to write a good plot summary.  The story follows Barry Lyndon, a rather selfish "rogue" who desires a noble title and money.  He employs about every strategy you can think of to obtain what he wants, from marrying into money to gambling to identity theft.  He is extremely unlikable but then again, Thackeray wasn't exactly known for his noble heroes.

This movie is beautifully done: the costumes, the sets, and the actors are all absolutely perfect.  Like I said, I can see some people getting bored just because of the sheer length.  However, something exciting is always happening and I didn't feel like there was any dead time.  Definitely worth its place in this Book.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Filming was moved to England after Stanley Kubrick learned that he had made the IRA's hit list by directing a film with English soldiers in Ireland.

Based upon the life of Andrew Robinson Stoney.

595. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

As I continue my quest to hate on films that are universally loved, we come across Monty Python.  All right, I will admit that I don't find Monty Python sketches particularly funny.  It's not Blazing Saddles level un-funny, but I can watch a whole Monty Python movie without cracking a smile.  I swear I can be fun sometimes.

The Knights of the Round Table are sent on a mission from God to find the Holy Grail.  Um...antics ensue.  The most famous scene is probably when King Arthur battles a black knight who keeps fighting even when his limbs are amputated and says "Tis just a scratch!"  Get it?  Because it's not!  GET IT?

I don't actually have a huge problem with this film, except that I didn't find it that funny.  I suppose this could be because comedy doesn't always age well, and this is nearly forty years old.  Or the stereotype that women don't find Monty Python that hilarious could be true.  I guess we will see when we get to Life of Brian!

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

The Monty Python crew considers this to be one of the lesser comedies they made.

Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Genesis contributed to the film's budget.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

594. Deewaar

The Wall
Directed by Yash Chopra

I don't have a whole lot of experience with Bollywood but I absolutely adore what I have seen so far.  Keep it coming (cannot wait for The Bravehearted Will Take Away The Bride)!

A train unionist is blackmailed by a corrupt business owner to stop his protest activities.  He is then persecuted by the laborers, who are unaware of the threats against his family.  He decides the best course of action to take is to abandon his young sons and their mother.  The two sons take completely different paths, but never stop loving each other.

Once again, we have a film that is almost absurdly long.  But that's Bollywood for you.  Sure it's a bit over the top, but I never felt like the emotion stopped being genuine.  Definitely worth watching, especially if you are interested in getting into Bollywood.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The dubbed English version is called "I'll Die for Mama."

593. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Directed by Jim Sharman

I am constantly told that I am too uptight, mostly by men.  I am sure the sentiment will be repeated when I report that I absolutely hate this film and if anyone ever made me go to a screening, my head would probably explode.

Janet and Brad are newly engaged and find themselves stranded with a flat tire in the middle of a storm.  They seek refuge in a nearby castle that is inhabited by a homicidal transvestite. There a few tolerable songs like "Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me" and "Dammit Janet."  There.  That's the nicest thing I will say about it.

I feel like everyone who praises this film has to get their digs in about people who don't like it.  Apparently, it means we don't like fun or anything out of the ordinary.  There are plenty of "wacky" movies that I enjoy, but I just found this almost unwatchable.  I hope you don't throw toast at me or whatever it is you're supposed to do.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Meat Loaf is in this film.  Oh this just keeps getting worse.

One of the good songs from YouTube:

592. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Directed by Chantal Akerman

Okay, I HAVE to bitch about the running time.  You knew this was coming!  How could I not?  It is three hours and forty five minutes.  I know this is because we are supposed to feel how mundane her life along with her.  But I was bored by the twenty minute mark!  The mission was accomplished fairly early; did I really have to sit there for four hours?

Jeanne Dielman has a very boring routine.  She runs errands and cooks meals for her son.  She also makes some money on the side by being a prostitute.  Belle de Jour anyone?  The film takes place over the course of three days.  But I assure you, it feels like one hundred years.

I don't mean to be too harsh.  I felt this movie, saw the beauty in it, and am glad that I watched it.  But four hours is a damn long time.  I have seen this praised as a feminist piece.  That confuses me a little.  I assume they are referring to the ending, which I won't reveal on here.  Is it because she finally took control?  I wouldn't exactly call her a role model...

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Jeanne Dielman's ritualistic routine was inspired by the director's own mother.

591. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Directed by Milos Forman

I might step on some toes when I say this (or possibly stomp on some feet) but I was never that impressed with this movie.  Perhaps it is because it has been hyped up so much, but I was actually a bit disappointed when I sat down and watched this.

Randle McMurphy is a criminal serving a sentence for the statutory rape of a 15 year old girl.  Yay, anti-establishment.  Anyway, he is sent to a mental hospital for evaluation.  It doesn't seem like he is crazy, but simply wants to avoid hard labor.  He predictably meets an eccentric cast of characters and quickly becomes their leader.  Most of the film centers on his battles with the cold Nurse Ratched.

I think the biggest problem that I have with this film is that I didn't understand what the audience's relationship was supposed to be with the main character.  Certainly, we can't be expected to like him.  He is a sexist bully who doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with sleeping with a child.  But I kept feeling like the film wanted us to root for him and cohorts.  I honestly felt bad for Nurse Ratched.  Of course, psychologists are always portrayed as inhumane and crazier than their patients.  And electric shock therapy is seen as basically torture.  But I still felt bad for her.  If she had gotten me out of watching the World Series, I would have thanked her.

Still an entertaining, if unsettling, movie that is worth a watch.  But I am not going to join the ranks saying this is the greatest film of all time.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

One of only three movies to win the Big Five (Best Actor, Actress, Screenplay, Director, and Picture).

The author of the book this movie is based on was so upset with how the director handled this that he refused to watch the film.

Audrey Hepburn turned down the role of Nurse Ratched.

590. Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon
Directed by Sidney Lumet

1975, everyone!  This is going to be a good year; I can feel it.

Sonny, Sal, and Stevie attempt to rob a bank.  Things quickly go awry when Stevie loses his nerve and the remaining duo realize that they have arrived after the daily cash pick up, meaning they would only get around $1,000.  The police are quickly alerted about the situation and it becomes a hostage negotiation.  The whole premise seems rather cliche now; I think just about every crime tv show has had a hostage negotiation episode.  Still, it was fresh then and it seems fresh now.

I am the first to point out when Al Pacino gets a little "carried away" with his acting, but I was actually quite pleased with his performance (excepting maybe the Attica line). It's fascinating how accurate this movie was to John Wojtowicz's story in real life.  Despite knowing how it was going to end, I still was engaged in this movie for almost its entire running time.  Almost.  Hey, it was over two hours of Al Pacino; I am not a saint.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Almost the entire film is improvised.

Al Pacino initially turned down the role, but when he heard it was going to be offered to Dustin Hoffman, decided to take it.  Meow!

589. Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia
Directed by Sam Peckinpah

Oh great, Sam Peckinpah again.  I wonder how long it will take for the sexual violence against women to hap-oh three minutes?  New record.

Obviously, I am not one of his biggest fans.  I found this movie even duller than the previous entries on our List.  Everybody just goes around shooting each other for two hours.  There is not exactly a lot to dig through here.

A character referred to only as "El Jefe" summons his pregnant daughter.  He questions her about who the father of her child is.  When she refuses to answer, his henchmen rip off her shirt (because of course) and break her arms.  She finally reveals that the father is Alfredo Garcia.  Her father then puts a bounty on his head.  Quite a few people try to find Garcia, including our unlikable hero Bennie and his even more unlikable prostitute girlfriend.

So like I said, this movie is exceptionally violent.  This doesn't upset me unless the violence is sexual, which it generally isn't in this film (although there is some attempted rape; hey, it wouldn't be Peckinpah without it).  It frankly just bored me.  A man pulling out a gun can only be excited so many times before it just gets repetitive.  Definitely skippable.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Sam Peckinpah had the final cut on this film, unlike in his previous movies.

Roger Ebert praised this film, but it was generally panned by critics.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

588. Angst essen Seele auf

Angst essen Seele auf
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

I haven't been able to stop thinking about this movie since I saw it a couple hours ago.  The characters in this film are absolutely fascinating, but the story behind the scenes is even more intriguing.  This is blossoming into a bit of an obsession for me.

Emmi is a sixty year old cleaning woman who falls in love with a Moroccan immigrant after he asks her to dance as a dare.  Isn't that charming?  Her children and the people around her are horrified by this relationship.  Not because of the age difference (get it, girl!) but because of his race and how he can barely speak German.  So it is basically Harold and Maude, but with much higher stakes.

Like I said, the characters in this movie are all extremely engrossing.  Emmi claims to be in love with this man, but why?  They can barely communicate.  I suppose he listens to her and is hot.  As someone who is in the dating arena right now, I can tell you that is not an easy find.  Still, she treats him like a prize.  And something is up with Ali, obviously.  Maybe he was searching for some form of acceptance in Germany.  And as for the bitchy women in her building, were they jealous?  If he was white, would that have been as nasty?

This is clearly a thought provoking movie, and I wished I had watched it with someone so I could discuss it more.  Although that's why I have internet commentators!

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Shot in a little over two weeks.

The title is a reference to Ali's poor German, as it translates to "Fear eats the soul up."

El Hedi ben Salem was Rainer Werner Fassbinder's lover at the time of filming.  Well, that explains a lot.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

587. The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

This is another masterpiece that I am pretty sure I am going to sound like an idiot talking about it.  It's like when a hot guy talks to me and I forget how to hold a normal human conversation.  Let's get started, shall we?

The film follows two narratives.  Michael Corleone is now the Don of his crime family.  He survives an assassination attempt, and still manages to find time to be a shitty husband, brother, and son.  We are also told Vito Corleone's story in a series of flashbacks.  That's about as basic as I can make the plot, which confused me at times.  The idiot alarm is already going off.

Just like with my Chinatown review, I don't have too much to say about a film that is almost perfect.  I actually enjoyed this more than the first Godfather.  It was great getting the background on Vito and we no longer have to pretend that Michael isn't a huge dick!

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

First sequel to win Best Picture.

Coppola originally wanted to use Marlon Brando again to play the young Vito, but ultimately decided to use Robert De Niro.  That's a relief.  We would have had a "Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" situation on our hands.

De Niro learned the Sicilian dialect specifically for this film.

586. Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles
Directed by Mel Brooks

I chose this film to bring to a friend's movie night a couple of years ago when I was being set up on a blind date.  At the time I was unaware of who Mel Brooks was so I was under the impression I was bringing a classic Western.  Apparently, a couple of years ago I was an idiot.  Anyway, this film was so painfully unfunny that it made the whole night awkward.  Wow.  It's fun having something else to blame for a date not going well.

Basically, a greedy railroad supervisor Hedley Lamarr (GET IT??? LIKE THE ACTRESS??  GET IT???) is trying to figure out how to empty the town of Rock Ridge so he can build his railroad.  Are the endless fart jokes or the racism jokes more uncomfortable? You decide!!

I can't even say the comedy simply didn't age well because I am pretty sure I would never find this type of humor funny.  So don't watch it this or risk ruining your love life.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

First time the fart sound was committed to film.  What brave pioneers these men were.

585. Celine and Julie Go Boating

Celine and Julie Go Boating
Directed by Jacques Rivette

I have been recovering from strep throat for the past week and it seems that my head and nose were feeling left out.  Yesterday, they decided to join the party and now it feels like my head is going to explode any minute.  Thankfully, today I can stay home, rest, and watch more inexcusably long films.

The movie starts with a girl named Julie reading a spell book in a park.  Fair enough.  A woman passes, dropping things as she goes.  Julie tries to catch up and follows the woman all over Paris.  Then I guess they become friends and move in together?  And keep visiting a house that may or may not exist?  Honestly, I was confused for the duration of this movie.  I suppose it is similar to Alice in Wonderland. But as frequent readers know, I am not fond of psychedelic stories, particularly those that last approximately a hundred hours.

Obviously, there is a lot to digest with this movie.  It seems like either these girls were on heavy amounts of drugs or Celine was a figment of Julie's imagination.  I don't find either theory particularly intriguing.  There were definitely moments of beauty in this film, but decidedly not my cup of tea.  I can say that now because I am in England!

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

References Alice in Wonderland, Remembrance of Things Past, and Les Vampires.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

584. Chinatown

Directed by Roman Polanski

Why do all of my favorite directors have to be such creeps in real life?  Should I feel guilty about enjoying this?  I guess I have adored too many Woody Allen films to turn back now.  Still, I will have a slight feeling of remorse praising this as one of my favorite movies.

Chinatown isn't nearly as complicated as some of our other noirs but it is still a bit hard to summarize.  A private dick named Jake Gittes, played by the always flawless Jack Nicholson, is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to do surveillance work on her husband.  Soon the husband ends up dead and the real Evelyn Mulwray reveals herself.  Oh no.  Jake is going to pay for his nosiness (sorry, I am a slave to the puns).

This film is absolutely perfect; I can't think of one negative thing to say about it.  Usually Faye Dunaway gets on my nerves by overacting, but she was made for this role.  I thought film noir was nearly dead after the disappointment that was The Long Goodbye.  I love that I was proven wrong.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Jack Nicholson had just entered into a relationship with Angelica Huston when filming began, making the scenes with John Huston rather uncomfortable.

Ali MacGraw was originally supposed to play Evelyn, but lost the role when she divorced the producer for Steve McQueen.  That's fair.

Roman Polanski has admitted that the darkness in the film was a result of his own despair at his wife's murder.

Friday, September 4, 2015

583. Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein
Directed by Mel Brooks

I am going to be particularly nice to Mel Brooks in this review, since when Blazing Saddles comes around I will get nasty.  This wasn't nearly as funny as The Producers but it wasn't a total cringe festival.

Basically, it's the story of Frankenstein again, but with more penis jokes.  Now, I wasn't exactly clutching my sides, but I found the whole thing comical.  I have seen so many painfully un-funny movies so maybe I have a higher tolerance.

The "Puttin' on the Ritz" number was included in a weird Muppet video that my siblings and I use to watch when we were very little.  It was strange seeing it now.  I don't know if Baby Amanda thought it was entertaining or not.  Adult Amanda thought it was a bit obnoxious but still worth watching.  Mel Brooks can do better and Mel Brooks can do a whole lot worse.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The "walk this way" joke inspired Aerosmith's song "Walk This Way".

Thursday, September 3, 2015

582. A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence
Directed by John Cassavetes

I am sorry I haven't posted in awhile! I will be living in London for a little while and have been settling in.  Maybe now that I am in England my opinions will match Ray's more!  Although I will never hate musicals, no matter what he says.

I don't even want to waste too much time with this movie.  A woman slowly (very, very slowly) descends into madness.  I had strep throat while I was watching this and I swear it raised my fever.  This was one of the most obnoxious films I have ever seen.  A husband and wife scream at each other for two and a half hours.  It makes the couple in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf look like two lovebirds.

Apparently Richard Dreyfuss found the experience of watching the film so "harrowing" that he vomited.  My illness took a different form but the moral is clear: avoid or risk your personal health.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes were married in real life.