|02.19.14||Marchesa|| Seeing Fuller's film in a theater with a receptive crowd and listening to Lars and Rick Linklater talk about it really elevated this movie for me from a late Fuller oddity to something I really enjoyed. In bullet format:|
-Still loved that dinner scene. "Sour cream, love it - fattening" is one of the oddest most bizarre pieces of dialogue ever and I cherish it.
-The dog really acted well. I assume most of this was creative shooting and editing but the damn thing gets a death scene at the end where it gets its tongue all dirty and looks at the camera and gives a death sigh. What the fuck, dog!? That was better than every line reading out of Kristy McNichols' mouth! Well, except the part where she calls the old racist a "son of a bitch" eight times in a row.
-Love all the extreme close-ups. Especially Paul Winfield's sweaty eyes.
-Loved the Corman crew creeping in a bit. Paul Bartel complaining about flicker due to the rear projection playing in an incorrect framerate something like 60 seconds before Fully starts using slow motion and puts the flickering RP screen behind McNichols was a master touch.
-Spotting Hitchcock/Truffaut and the Hitch poster and the Truffaut mention was cool.
-The dog attacks still felt pretty movie-ish. I had no real clear indication of the severity of any of them.
All in all I had a great time revisiting this film and this series is proving to be an essential part of my week. They just announced the next wave which includes some movies I'm really really excited to see theatrically so I guess this will be my Wednesday for the forseeable future. Can Not Wait For Star 80. Jesus.
|11.08.09||DVD||This Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2009|
Driving through the hollywood hills late one night, an actress accidentally hits a dog. She takes him to a vet who patches him up, puts posters up around the neighborhood, and falls in love with him when he protects her from a rapist. ("This is the same rapist I popped last year! Come on, buddy...") Since no one's claimed him, she takes him on as her own, not realizing that the calm protective animal hates black people. That's right. HATES BLACK PEOPLE.
This is the story of White Dog, a very late entry in Sam Fuller's ouevre and probably his most controversial. It's a good thing that Criterion has such a hard on for the guy because this would probably be pretty hard to see were it not for their release. Actually, were it not for their release of The Naked Kiss, I probably never would've become such a fan (although I like Pickup on South Street and Underworld USA more, but whatever). His films were as direct as his personality. No frills, no tweaks or masturbation. Just straight-forward story.
This one is a bit of a mix because his style and the story are so serious but that weird b-movie insanity creeps in along the edges whenever it can. Burl Ives is insane in this movie. Aside from his amazing opening speech (completely shut down by Kristy McNichol ("I really do need help")) and his general frantic energy through the whole movie, there's a dinner scene where Paul Winfield inexplicably has Romanian caviar where Ives is all like "sour cream! I love it..." followed by McNichols: "Fattening though" and they have this super quick conversation about how his diet allows it before a cop comes to the door and changes the mood of the evening. I've never seen anyone eat sour cream like cottage cheese. It's pretty weird. I'm kind of not opposed to it though.
Dick Miller and Paul Bartel also both make appearances. So at certain times I think "so I'm watching a movie about a racist dog, this is so Corman, right?" but others, when the Ennio Morricone music kicks in and Bruce Surtees is filming this white german shephard running at the camera with its tongue hanging out its mouth, it's much more of a "real movie" vibe and the two competing sensibilities sometimes clash but often times work very well together. Paul Winfield baring his black chest to the dog as a final test is pretty hilarious, but the scene where the grandfather with his kids shows up to reclaim his dog ("Best of the lot!") is genuinely chilling. It makes for a pretty awesome effect.
This is a much more fitting "Closing Night Film" i must say. The first movie of the weekend that I really liked a lot.
So that wraps up another year. Stat dump! 9 in the past week, 13 in the past month, 126 in the past year (ouch), 1876 movies seen 2051 times total. With seeing the new Universal Soldier, I have now seen almost a hundred years of film (Safety Last in 1923 - 2010). It's actually kinda cool to think that this is the fifth one. How long did Bogdanovich do his? 17 years? I'm about a third of the way there! Here's hoping the next third is just as easy and rewarding as the first. Who knows, maybe one year I'll actually invite people over.