Thursday, August 7, 2008
Six Double Bills
Well over a week ago I was tagged by both DVD Panache and Moon in the Gutter to take part in the latest meme that was started over at Lazy Eye Theater. The idea is to program my very own festival at the New Beverly. Naturally, I spent way too much time overthinking the whole thing, as if I was doing it for real. Of course, there’s no way to squeeze elements of every single thing I love about films into six double bills, but I did my best.
Here are the rules:
1) Choose 12 Films to be featured. They could be random selections or part of a greater theme. Whatever you want.
2) Explain why you chose the films.
3) Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre so I can have hundreds of links and I can take those links and spread them all out on the bed and then roll around in them.
4) The people selected then have to turn around and select 5 more people.
It wasn’t easy and I came up with plenty of ideas that fell by the wayside. No Wilder. No Sturges. No Dante. No Argento. No THE UNTOUCHABLES. I also discarded a few gag ideas, including pairing Lars Von Trier’s THE IDIOTS with John Landis’s THE STUPIDS (Still, the New Beverly should do that one anyway).What I came up with probably won’t shock anyone who knows me or reads this blog but here it is. Would Diablo Cody show up? Would any of my friends? Would anybody at all? Anyway, here it is:
SHAMPOO (1975, Hal Ashby)
BULWORTH (1998, Warren Beatty)
Two of Warren Beatty’s best, funniest and most biting films, each focusing on sex & politics in the recent past (now, not so recent) of southern California. I wish we would get a third.
THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (1974, Joseph Sargent)
FREEBIE AND THE BEAN (1974, Richard Rush)
The 70s. Cops. Laughs. Violence. Profanity. All you’ll ever need.
THE BIG SLEEP (1946, Howard Hawks)
THE LONG GOODBYE (1973, Robert Altman)
A little obvious, maybe, but I can’t resist. Maybe putting these two disparate takes on Chandler together would shed some light on both of them. And maybe a fight would break out as people argue the merits of both. Plus it’s a way to squeeze both Hawks and Altman into this festival. Plus you get Elliott Gould. Plus you get Dorothy Malone in the bookstore.
THE NEW AGE (1994, Michael Tolkin)
FIVE DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON (1970, Mario Bava)
Ennui among the rich and those looking to be rich. Maybe the pairing will make sense if you see it, maybe not.
BAY OF ANGELS (1963, Jacques Demy)
MODEL SHOP (1969, Jacques Demy)
Yes, I’m stealing this one from the American Cinematheque which ran it in June. But the emotional effect it had on me, along with the nature of how the two films wind up tying into each other, was so potent that I genuinely want to share these two sadly underseen films with other people.
SECONDS (1966, John Frankenheimer)
“10” (1979, Blake Edwards)
A pair of films about men, terrified that the years are slipping away from them, yearning to achieve something which they can’t seem to put into words. They are very similar to each other.
And that about does it. I’m not going to tag others, but anyone reading this who wants to come up with what they would show at the New Beverly, please do. Now that I’ve done it, I’m looking forward to going there again and hopefully that’ll happen soon.