|DVRfest 2006 (11.03.06 - 11.05.06, 19 movies)|
|11.03.06||Code 46||Michael Winterbottom||Since I'll be visiting the folks next weekend, the official celebration of two years of near-daily journal updates starts right now!|
I've got a full selection lined up and printed out right here next to me and I am excited! I've got nearly twice the number of films as I had last year, plus with the extra foresight I think I've planned some pretty interesting double features and overall themes throughout the weekend. While I'd only seen 2 of the 10 movies I watched last year, this year I've seen 5... but it's been a long time since I've seen any of them and I believe I've only seen each one once before so it's still a whole weekend of mostly-new movies for me. I have to say... this is about as close as I want to come to actually programming festivals, not having to put up with dealing with distributors, trying to get special guests, ticket sales, or any of that crap. I am still getting a rush though of picking out all these movies as they come on and thinking "this would be great for DVRfest." If you're bored or interested, feel free to follow along all weekend (updates should start around 6pm CST each night) as I make journal entries after each film! Here we go!
The opening film of the fest is Code 46. It's a movie I put off seeing because the trailers seemed to give the entire story away and I didn't need to see Samantha Morton playing a mildly less-annoying version of her Minority Report character. Since then though, I've kind of become converted to the church of Winterbottom so... call me curious.
This movie is gorgeous. They managed to create a futuristic city that's realistic and subtle but also believably advanced. I have a few irks with a lot of science fiction and this is what they are: I hate when the world they're presenting is more interesting than the story they're telling. I also hate when they spend all this time to set up a system of the way things work in the future just to break or change that system by the end. Both of these pitfalls are pretty common in what I see... I think this movie avoids both of them.
Although, it's pretty clear to me that I'd like this movie much more if I liked Samantha Morton. Just, for whatever reason... I don't like her. She looks like a teenage boy with boobs... something's just off there that tickles me the wrong way so, acting talent aside, I don't like looking at her (especially with her short short hair in this movie). Especially since everything else in this movie is so beautiful (ok, maybe not everything... but the architecture and lighting and location and scenery sure are), I feel like this movie REALLY wants me to think Morton's hot to buy the whole story and I just don't. The weakest link here is buying that Tim Robbins would fall so head over heels for her. The way the story develops however, proved different enough that I wasn't bored actively distracted by all the cool little this-is-the-future touches (like Minority Report).
Most importantly though... the ending. It's a total 1984 ending and I love it. It makes it an everyday story that just happens to be set in the future instead of some forced epic shoving some message down my throat. Really happily surprised by the ending. The music's great too.
So... great! Off to a good start. Next!
|11.03.06||Sunrise||F. W. Murnau||This is the one film on the schedule that I'm not really looking forward to. In some respects, this whole weekend is an excuse to force myself to sit down and watch this movie. It's one of those basic "classics" that I feel I should watch at least once to say that I've seen it, blah blah blah... but I'm really not that interested in it. So now that my gullet is wet down with Code 46, time to swallow the pill. Gotta do it or I'll never get to the next course, which is a real treat! Here I go...|
whew. well at least that's over. Some of the visual stuff going on, particularly in the beginning, is interesting when you think about what all it took to do that in the camera back in those days but mostly... it was sloooow. I must admit to entertaining myself by adding my own dialogue to what was on screen but even with that, by the end I was just saying "the end" over and over for like the last fifteen minutes. Great, though. Now I've seen this and know what it is and never have to watch it again. Moving on.
|11.03.06||The Naked City||Jules Dassin||Since I knew that Sunrise dealt, at least in some way, with "the city" I figured this would make a great refresher to rejuvinate my spirit. This is the movie that spawned the TV show and also stodd as one of the first "docu-noirs" that shades noirish crime tales with authoritarian near-documentary tone and process. TONS of NYC location shooting, all authentic look and feel, and a good ol' fashioned crime mystery. There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. This is one of them.|
I'd actually seen this a long time ago. Since then though, I've been turned on to Dassin's other works (Rififi, Night and the City), and I have to say his eye for location, wherever he is, is pretty sweet. This one has tons of late 40s New York scenery... I'd really love if someone did a shot for shot remake of this today just to see how much the city's changed and how much it's stayed the same.
Of course, seen with today's eyes this is your basic episode of CSI:NY... but you have to respect the change of pace for back in its day. The film's narrated by the producer, who introduces the movies and the stars at the beginning and throws in running commentary as the movie progresses. There's great use of a truly omniscient point of view here, occasionally even dipping into random people's heads to hear a line or two of their thoughts as voice-over. The camera goes all over the city, picking up our cops and shady characters and whatnot as they become worth watching, filling in backstory whenever we need it, and showing the passage of time and the story's context in the lives of everyone else.
For a prototype of today's police procedurals, you can't really do much better. I really like this movie. I've never seen any of the TV show though... I wonder if they're anywhere near as good.
So now that the sun's down it's time to move on to a movie I've found myself wanting to see over the past several months. It was on randomly last night and therefore became a late addition to the schedule... a movie starring Bill Pullman and Pill Paxton, having plenty to do with brains...
meandering coiveover people... random thoughts
|11.03.06||Brain Dead||Adam Simon||I keep confusing my incredibly hazy memory of this movie with another movie which I haven't seen called Brain Damage. Since this, the director did a fun Corman movie called Carnosaur and a couple really interesting docs (one on Sam Fuller, another on 70s horror movies).|
This is one of those movies where you're never quite sure if what you're watching is a dream or reality. Usually these movies end up boring me because at some point I stop caring. With this one though, since it flip flops so early on and there are so many flip flops, it's kind of like I never care so that frees me to enjoy it as more of a meditation on reality itself and not so much what's going on with these characters. In addition to Pullman and Paxton, there's a really great performance in here by Bud Cort as a crazy mathematician. With his big round head, seeing his exposed brain with his head in one of those big vices is pretty sweet. Also, George Kennedy shows up wearing thick 80s glasses. odd.
I think I still like this. It's pretty short, which is nice for a movie like this. But also just because of a few images which have proven to stick with me since whenever I saw this before, had to be like 14 or 15 years ago now. It's this constant sight of brains... brains in jars, plastic brains on desks, diagrams of brains, exposed brains in heads, brains brain brains! And the "climax" of the movie, which is a visual that's stuck with me vividly, is still pretty damn cool. (SPOILER: Bill Pullman pulls open his brain surgery stitches and there's butterflies inside his head).
whew. trippy. Now I'm perfectly primed for tonights midnight sci-fi double feature!
|11.03.06||The Thing from Another World||Christian Nyby||Watch the skies! Keep watching the skies!|
My favorite thing about this movie, aside from the monster being a big vegetable, is the main scientist dude. I haven't seen a more aggressive characterization of the public take on atomic-age science in any sci-fi of the 50s. This guy is SO pro-science it's just funny. Actually, a great sequel would've been that his little farm of thing-pods hooked up to the blood plasma somehow survives and a whole army of "thing"s rampage. But anyway, it's a really really great moment right at the end when they're about to zap the monster and the lights go out. Thanks, Mr. scientist. Asshole.
That scene, like every other in this movie, plays on fast forward. I think a major reason why this movie still works today is how quick it is. If you think about it while you're watching, nearly every scene has at least four people, all taking part in conversation. The result is barely any time spent without dialogue or action. It speeds right along from beginning to end, a real ride of a film that's still fun today.
So that makes three movies in a row that I've seen before. Time for a change. I know absolutely nothing about this next movie other than that the spelling of the title makes it sound like a sci-fi movie: The Quartermass Xperiment!
|11.03.06||The Quatermass Xperiment||Val Guest||Wow. I'm surprised at how similar this is to The Thing. Actually, this is pretty much The Thing from Another World meets The Astronaut's Wife with a smidge of The Blob thrown in for good measure, set in London rather than the north pole.|
Brian Donlevy plays a rocket scientist who's just sent a mission into unknown reaches of outer space. The rocket ship crash lands in a field and only one man is left alive... but he's weird. It becomes sort of obvious that he's been alien'd as he starts to suck blood out of people to thrive. Eventually, he becomes more of a blob-like creature, leaving giant snail trails all over London. In the end, just as they did last movie, we prove that electricity is badass but this time Science prevails as we see Donlevy walk away from the newly-slane beast to announce that he's trying again. "The End" splashes against a shot of another rocket ship taking off.
Donlevy actually gives the Thing scientist a run for his money on the crazed Science stuff. At one point he says "There's no room for personal feelings in Science!" which made me chuckle. I always think of Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye the science guy whenever I hear a line like that. I want to bring up my fist with my index finger pointed toward the sky any time someone talks about advances, uses, merits, or importance of Science. That's a big part of what makes these movies enjoyable for me.
So... movie-wise, this is not as good as The Thing. It's got a perhaps-typical british thing about it where it's a tad slower pace, the talking seems much more radio-play-y with people just standing there delivering their lines, and the gore or shocks or whatever should be in there to really deliver to the crowds are never quite as effective as they should be. Eh, whatever. It made a pretty cool double feature with The Thing and filled my first night out nicely.
So one night of movies down, two to go! Tomorrow brings another wide array of movies to my eyes, all just 13 hours away. I can't wait!
|11.04.06||The Desperadoes||Charles Vidor||Welcome back! Day Two of DVRfest 2006 starts with a Randolph Scott western that's really more of a Glenn Ford western. Scott still got top billing but it's pretty clear that Ford is the rising star here and he's pretty good as a good-hearted bad man who comes into town for a bank robbery that went ahead without him. Scott plays the town sheriff. I thought it'd be a good idea to start the night with one of these old-hollywood technicolor westerns. I didn't particularly love this movie but didn't really hate it either. Most of all I just got the sense of watching a saturday afternoon matinee with stampedes and gunfights and sappy romance and saloon brawls and whatnot. Plus I'll see Ford in a movie I remember liking a lot a bit later on tonight. For now though, this is a good hors d'oeuvre.|
There was a pretty cool shot of a herd of horse all reacting to an explosion at the same time and starting a stampede. Never see that nowadays.
|11.04.06||The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years||Penelope Spheeris||I guess the message of this movie is it's ok to laugh at hair metal. I openly admit I was into both Guns n' Roses and Poison when I was a kid... but the biggest thing I wonder while watching this movie is... what about the guys old enough to know better? What about all these groupies? Are they all soccer moms now like Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon? What about all these failed musicians? I'm thinking this is partly a document of its time but also that of LA. Weirdos, man... weirdos.|
Anyway, this was funny. I'm not quite sure it was as definitive a portrait as the first one was but whatever... I don't really NEED a definitive portrait of 80s rock... although preceeding this with Heavy Metal Parking Lot would've been perfect...
(15 minutes later)
ahh... well, brief foray into 80s metal over, time for more Glenn Ford!
|11.04.06||Gilda||Charles Vidor||Man oh man... Rita Hayworth in this movie... makes me fall in love with all women and all of cinema. Love it. She's so messed up, but so perfect too. Glenn Ford is also great in this but he's a dude and not nearly as hot.|
This is one of those movies where I don't think I can say anything new about it. I love it. Tons of other people love it. They are right to love it. that's about it. man oh man. I could go on for a few more paragraphs but what the hell... let's keep going.
Up next is a nice change of pace. It's deep into saturday night now... time for a horror movie!
|11.04.06||Grave of the Vampire||John Hayes||AKA Seed of Terror, this movie is about a half-breed vampire who's on a quest to kill his pappy. No, it's not a Blade prequel, it's a Weird Wednesday-worthy drive-in movie from the heart of the 70s starring WIlliam Smith as the seed. Actually, As a Weird Wednesday I think it'd be pretty slow. I don't know of too many 90-minute movies with a 30-minute prologue... but there are maybe 3 or 4 moments here (including the end when it flashes "FIN" up on the screen along with a phrase in french (i chose to believe it translated to "...or is it???") that made watching it worthwhile. This is actually a pretty quiet performance by Smith... for the most part at least. At the climax when the father vampire (who's now a college professor) asks who he is, Smith screams "I'm your son! Conceived in a grave! And Now I'm here to vanquish you!" about as over the top as you're thinking now. It's great.|
Mostly though, this movie is pretty tame. You'd think if they were gonna spend a half hour on the setup to the story, the least they could do is show a baby sucking on a bloody boob, right? Wrong. We get a decidedly PG-rated version of it here. Just a shot of fake blood like on the center of her chest then a close-up of blood dripping on lips that I'd give 50/50 odds of actually belonging to a baby. I think I saw some stubble in there.
Still, it makes you think about how cool the Blade series would've been with William Smith instead of Wesley Snipes. I know, right!?
That got me in the right mood though because up next is a Russ Meyer double feature!
|11.04.06||Mudhoney||Russ Meyer||MUDHONEY ...leaves a taste of evil!|
Confession time. Aside from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls I haven't seen any Russ Meyer movies. And even that one I saw before I knew who Meyer was. Oh, wait. I saw Fanny Hill too but it was on Cinemax Friday After Dark when I was like 12. So I don't really count either of those. Point being: I really don't know what a Russ Meyer movie is except women with big boobs. Well tonight that all changes. I guess.
Mudhoney is a depression-era tale about a stranger who walks into a small dustbowl town looking for work and finds it on a farm populated with a nice old man, his lovely niece and her drunk bastard of a husband. The hubby spends all day guzzling home brew corn whiskey and rabble-rousing at the town cathouse run by a toothless woman (played by Princess Livingston) and her two blonde incredibly well-built daughters. It's pretty clear that meyer values a woman's aesthetic more than her acting ability - I guess i'm not saying anything particularly surprising there - but I got a big kick out of how one of these prostie daughters was a deaf mute. The actress was clearly the hottest woman in the entire movie (for me at least, none of them were really ugly... except for Princess) but man she must've really sucked as an actress for her character to be a deaf mute. Gee whiz she's hot though and luckily we get to see every hot woman's boobs at least once. Thanks, Russ!
What's more surprising to me here though is that the movie's a workable drama. In fact, if the boobs weren't so big you might mistake the first 75 minutes of this movie as some Warner Brothers socially-conscious movie written by John Steinbeck or Tennessee Williams or someone. Well, maybe. The last 15 minutes though turn real dark, managing to make me feel pretty dirty and happy at the same time, which is a weird sensation that brings back memories of how Tarantino defined exploitation cinema one night before showing The House on the Edge of the Park. It's very anti-religion, darker side of human nature type mob justice human ugliness type stuff but at the same time the angry townsfolk are finally getting around to taking care of the guy who's been an incredible asshole for the whole movie. So part of me is on the side of the lawful protagonists but the other part of me wants the crazy preacher to hang the son of a bitch. It's very conflicting and the movie gets really crazy and chaotic. Awesome.
So it wasn't all boobs and fun. Pretty good black and white photography, lots of cackling hick-looking people (especially one kid with a lazy eye. those are always fun), and really not that much nudity at all (but thankfully there is some, answering a little question I've had about TCM for a while now)... good movie!
So to finish off the night and my little Russ Meyer Midnight double feature is the title he's perhaps best known for. A movie that I've had to kind of shamefully play along whenever it came up in conversation... not wanting to admit to people that I'd never seen it before. Well, in 95 minutes I will have no more shame! It's time for Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
|11.04.06||Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!||Russ Meyer||Violence!!! Cleavage!!! I guess this really isn't so much a sexploitation movie as a cleavesploitation movie. No nudity is the low point for me here, but that's alright.|
I knew this girl in college. She was one of these types who played women's rugby and would always have her refillable water bottle stocked with wine or vodka because she was so hardcore. She was big but not fat or ugly or anything... Anyway, I have no problems believing she is now spending her time killing random people out in the desert somewhere.
College aquaintances aside, this movie was pretty fun. I really loved the music and the quick cutting, never mind the bizarrely aggro nihilist attitude of these go go dancers. Goes without saying that their figures are out of this world, but their looks are also very unique... I guess my honky comes out when I say that Boom Boom Billie was my fav... Rosie was too exotic and Varla was too psychopathic for my tastes. Give me a nice drunk sexpot any day! I do think it's unfair that TCm had little interview bits with modern-day Tura Satana to completely ruin whatever I thought of her massive notable breasts back then. Luckily, Lori WIlliams looks to have held up quite nicely. allllright.
So this was a good time. I should do Russ Meyer double features more often! And now it's time to sleep and hopefully dream of wonderful pussycats kicking my ass. Tune in tomorrow for a jam-packed last day! Another show was just added to the schedule tonight! It's DVR mayhem over here!
|11.05.06||Something to Scream About||Jason Paul Collum||Ahh, glorious day three of DVRfest 2006. Tonight's lineup is one more cinematic orgy of fun to hold me over until the next DVRfest. I've got all kinds of stuff on deck, all culminating in a midnight horror triple feature to keep me going all night! Will I make it? Shit yeah! Let's get going!|
Continuing from last night's Russ Meyer bill, I thought it would be good to start today off with a doc about the old b-movie scream queens. Well that's not really right. Most of the women interviewed in this TV doc are not old; most are still working in crappy new b-movies instead of the cult-favorited old b-movies. A few of the icons show up (the girl from Night of the living Dead, a few girls from Slumber Party Massacre, the girl from Sleepaway Camp), but earned their pedigrees from Troma or Full Moon movies... And then there's Julie Strain, who gives the best interview but is also probably the least qualified to be there. I would've thought this documentary would have at least one clip of one person screaming but I guess not.
Still, it goes into the different issues of being a hot actress working in low-budget horror movies... nudity, money, conventions, stalkers, etc. Some are pretty cynical, some are still enthusiastic. All of them swear they do it for the art. All of them are still attractive in some way or another. I think it's such a huge difference between low budget horror nowadays (digital video, bad lighting in some guy's crappy hollywood apartment) and low-budget horror 10, 20, or 30 years ago.
Anyway, moving on... time for a noir.
|11.05.06||Force of Evil||Abraham Polonsky||Force of Evil originally came to my attention in Martin Scorsese's big "My Journey through American Film" doc, where he said he identified with it because it wasn't about hitmen or the top bosses or any of that but the street guy running a numbers racket out of an apartment on the third floor of some building.|
John Garfield plays a mob lawyer with a numbers bank older brother. He's on the eve of fixing the day's lucky number so all the local numbers banks go bust paying everyone out in order for a bigger gangster figure to come in with a combine corporation. Marie Windsor plays the gangster's moll wife. This is the kind of movie made specifically for stand-out performances. Both Garfield and the guy playing his brother have several scenes where they give it all they got. It's great though... the movie walks the line between noir style and realism. Plenty of location stuff but also tons of really elegant low-key lighting and camera setups. It's surprising that this was a first-time directing effort by soon-to-be-blacklisted Abraham Polonsky.
So my memory of this movie has not been tinted in rose at all. It's still really good. I'm a fan of noir in general but this is really one of the movies that stand out for me. Particularly because it's not super well-known like Maltese Falcon or Double Indemnity. It's really great.
Got me all pumped up for a three hour racing epic! yes!
|11.05.06||Grand Prix||John Frankenheimer||Whew. Long movie. This follows a season of Grand Prix formula one racing with an international cast of people like James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune, and Antonio Sabata (Sr.).|
I first learned about this movie when Ronin came out and Frankenheimer said he learned all the chase photography stuff on Grand Prix. And he had to deal with a freakin super panavision cinerama camera too! So, as expected, there's some really great race photography here. I'm not sure how they get a few of these shots... must be some sort of gyroscope rig or something. Or some remote motor control or something because some shots pan from the oncoming road to the driver. Really cool stuff. There's also lots of use of split screen (credited to Saul Bass), sometimes seeming excessive but others proving pretty effecting (such as showing flashbacks on half the screen while the race is on the other). So, technically... this movie is great.
The story's pretty boring though. One guy gets hurt, blah blah blah, the guy that used to win is now losing, the guy that used to lose is now winning, blah blah blah... with a predictable ending and because this is a three hour movie rather than a two hour movie, there is twice the forced romance with the racers and various women. I kind of liked how there was no clear star here and three or four of the main racers each had their own stories going, but it felt like I'd seen it all before. The biggest surprise I got out of this movie was seeing that the mother from Arrested Development used to be pretty damn hot.
I'm glad I saw this though, because it's hopefully set up the next movie perfectly!
|11.05.06||French Connection II||John Frankenheimer||Following with another Frankenheimer. My big regret this weekend is that The Seven-Ups hasn't been on TV lately. I really wanted a French Connection pseudo-sequels double feature, but oh well.|
This time, Popeye Doyle travels to Marseilles to track down Fernando Rey and take his ass down. What's funny is that I don't get that Hackman has any sort of plan. He gets no help from the French Police so he just walks around the city, calling all the cops assholes and saying "I came here to get that frog son of a bitch and I'm gonna get him!" over and over again. Eventually we learn the real reason why he's in town. Unfortunately, instead of an exciting chase sequence, there's a good half hour of Hackman being addicted to heroin against his will then writhing around and crying while the French cops force him to go cold turkey. It's like Trainspotting without the dead baby. Kind of really slowed the movie down for me. But after that, the action picks up in typical gritty 70s cop movie fashion, so that was highly satisfying.
Overall, it's not a bad movie at all. I can see why it's not really talked about like The Seven Ups though, even though that's not an official sequel. It's got a great ending though. oh man.
So now that it's like 1:30am, it's time to start the midnight programming! I've decided to end the fest/weekend with a heady triple feature of horror movies! I'll be up till dawn, baby... let's do this!
|11.05.06||Scarecrows||William Wesley||A group of paramilitary army base robbers (yeah, it's the 80s) parachute into a random field when one of them backstabs the others and jumps out of their hijacked plane with the money. Little do they know that they've jumped right into a field populated with creepy scarecrows, some of which are magically alive and don't like trespassers.|
There are maybe four scarecrows that stay put on their crosses. Any time the movie needs to transition between scenes or cover a flubbed line or fill time or anything like that it just cuts to one of these scarecrows. I think it's even the same shot. I know for a fact that they use this one shot of a harmonica like four times... But the thing of it is that these close-ups on the creepy non-moving scarecrows are actually pretty creepy. One in particular has this wrinkle-grin that really freaks me out. Why, then, do they make the animated murderous scarecrow faces not nearly as creepy? they are like bad Skeletor molds in old papier-mache. I don't get it. Probably a solid 10 minutes (scattered throughout the movie) of looking at these stationary burlap sack masks that are awesome then the ones that actually move and pitchfork and whatnot are lame!? gah.
Whatever. This movie actually uses a pretty good workaround for it's scene after scene of people walking through light forest at night. Since they're paramilitary types, they all have little radio headsets so pretty much all of the pertinent information is conveyed through that. You might think it's corny until the scene where one guy acts like he's going insane and then you wish he was doing it via walkie talkie instead of having to watch him "act."
I saw this such a long time ago. I rented it because it was at Blockbuster and it had an "unrated" sticker on it. This is the R-rated cut though (Showtime pansies) so I'm not sure how much gore was cut out for this version. There's really not much here though to be honest... although the idea of killer scarecrows stuffing dead people with straw and money, then seeing the paramilitary army base robbers pulling out handfulls of bloody cash is pretty amusing. This isn't what I'd call a good movie, but as a nice dark flick with killer scarecrows at 2am as the 17th movie in 60 hours, it does alright.
|11.05.06||Chopping Mall||Jim Wynorski||So I knew nothing about this movie. From the title and the release year I figured it was a typical slasher movie set in a mall. As those that do know about it or have seen it can attest, it's a little bit more than that. And by a little bit more I mean... it's a freakin killer robot movie! So much so that the credits call them "killbots"! They are like a cross between Johnny 5 and ED-209... stalking this mall at night and killing any sex-crazed teen in their path. Awesome.|
After that though... it IS sort of a typical slasher movie set in a mall (is that the same mall as Fast Times at Ridgemont High??), only difference being it's the killer robots doing the slashing with their lasers and sleep darts and mechanoid crushing claws and taser cannons. They are bullet proof and they are tank-tread'd and they are pissed! Except after they kill someone they say "thank you. Have a nice day." hahahahaha.
I guess I now know what cyberdyne does before moving on to global defense systems...
So that was a fun time. Gotta love killer robots. It's not 4:15am. I'm tired. I should be going to sleep. Not Yet. One More. One More movie to end this weekend of one-man film festival celebration and journal-entering. I wonder what I saved for last...
|11.05.06||Vampyr||Carl Theodor Dreyer||My plan was to put this at the very very end. Hopefully I'd be so blitzed on movie-watching and it'd be so late that I would enter this film in a near-hypnotic state. I read about this being genuinely scary and from what I remember of Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc with all the crazy close-ups and whatnot I have high hopes.|
The combination of the movie's deliberate pacing, near-complete lack of dialogue, haunting strings, and my heavy eyelids had a nice effect, eliciting a near dreamstate experience of this film. I think the story's about a guy who goes... to a place and finds that there's a vampyr there. At one point he takes a little double-exposed dream journey and maybe helps someone kill the vampyr and a spirit chases a doctor who may have helped the vampyr until he ends up buried alive in a grain silo... or something. Yeah, I know. but I don't really care too much about what happens in this movie. The mood and atmosphere are so strong and the primitive sound mix so impressionistic that it all seems like a dream anyway. Plus Dreyer plays around a lot with shadows... lots of neat little tricks and treats. Even though the closest we come to any sort of conventional vampire mythology is a skull with elongated canines and a shot of the vampyr sucking blood, it's all very fitting. Kind of like the B-side to Nosferatu.
The print was in pretty tough shape though, and whoever put the english subtitles on REALLY liked this one particular gothic font. The print was so big that two lines covered half the screen. Luckily, there's really not that much dialogue at all.. it's mostly a silent movie with a soundtrack.
It made a very fitting end to my weekend. Now it's all over: my DVR's wiped clean, my eyes are shot, and my bed is calling. DVRfest is officially over. Until next year, that is! Who knows, maybe someone else will sit in for a few movies next year. Here's to another year of keeping my journal even when I don't feel like writing any inane notes. Two years down, 15 to go! I'm gunning for you, Bogdanovich! You're in my sights!