Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some great films seen lately and other ephemera

I've been really busy during the last two weeks, hence no posts. I'll try to get some done in the near future.

But, em, you know, I get a feeling that everyone thinks I see only bad movies, like the recent Silent Trigger. I've seen quite a many great films lately, but for some reason or another I haven't written about them here. They include John Huston's James Joyce film The Dead, which is simply marvellous, Georges Franju's great, but slightly obscure Les yeux sans visage (AKA The Horror Chamber of Doctor Faustus), and, just late last night, Terrence Malick's war epic The Thin Red Line.

There was also the Festival of Finnish Cinema, during which I managed to see only some movies, but they included Seppo Huunonen's Karvat, about which I've written before (see here; I'll add the link later, there's some trouble with this computer), and Visa Mäkinen's exploitation flick Yön saalistajat/Hunters of the Night from 1984. Visa Mäkinen is an independent movie maker from Pori, where I used to live, and this is his only action film, from a script by Kari Levola, a writer who's now living in Raisio near Turku, where I now live. I know him, and he's a very nice guy, and I can see what he tried to do with the script for this film, but for some reason the delivery fails at all accounts: the direction, the actors, the editing. But the film is more fun for it. I'd like to see this remade. Maybe I'll have to start producing films on my own...

Have I been reading anything? Yeah, I've read two novels by Tracy Chevalier, The Girl with a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels, which I recommend heartily; I read them, because we are doing a sequel to the reference book on historical novelists with Jukka Halme and Sari Polvinen. I'll start one of Robert Harris's novels on Rome any day now.

I've also been reading Spade & Archer by Joe Gores (the Finnish translation just came out as Sam Spaden etsivätoimisto), but I'm not really getting into it. Spade seems a bit too stale. Was he this boring in Hammett's books? I don't think so. But I'll write more about the book once I finish it.

As for the family matters... Sigh. I just heard my daughter and her mother will be spending three more years in the Central Europe. These will be hard years. And I don't know what Kauto will think of this - he hasn't been told yet.


Todd Mason said...

I keep meaning to get to the Gores, among so much else.

Although it was released first under the other title in the US, at least, the film is better known here by the original title now, translated literally as EYES WITHOUT A FACE. Hence the pop hit for Billy Idol all those years ago.

I liked THE DEAD, too, though I was disappointed by THE THIN RED LINE, particularly after BADLANDS and to a lesser extent DAYS OF HEAVEN. THE NEW WORLD likewise.

Sorry to read the trying family news.

Juri said...

Haven't seen THE NEW WORLD myself, but some of the comments haven't been particularly encouraging.

EYES WITHOUT A FACE makes much more sense than the lurid - albeit fascinating - THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DOCTOR FAUSTUS. I was going to write more about it and the writer whose book it's based on, but we'll have to see about that.