Feb. 28th, 2017

osprey_archer: (cheers)
Admittedly February is not quite over yet, buuuut there’s only one day left and tonight is spoken for by the anime series Gankutsuo (SUPER EMO COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO IN SPAAAAAAAACE, this anime is just like the novel except dialed up to eleven - WHO EVEN KNEW THE NOVEL COULD BE DIALED UP FURTHER? - I’ve only seen one episode so far but I adore it).

Uh, anyway, the point is that I’ve seen all the movies I'm going to see in February, so I’m going to go ahead and post this now.

The African Queen: I’ve seen this before, but they were showing it at the ArtCraft on the BIG SCREEN, and they had a particularly beautiful 35 mm print of it with lovely rich saturated colors, perfect for all the wonderful shots of the African landscape in the movie. Gosh, I love this movie. Katherine Hepburn is just amazing in it; she’s a missionary and she really is just as staid as that implies (there’s a scene where she dumps all the rum off the boat and it’s amazing), but as the rum-dumping suggests she also has a backbone OF STEEL and also is a total adrenaline junkie.

There’s a scene where they go over the first stretch of rapids, and Humphrey Bogart is certain that this brush with danger will convince her to abandon her mad plan to go down the river to the lake to blow up a German warboat (the story takes place during early World War I) - but actually she is so thrilled. She compares it to the breathless rush of uplift from a really excellent sermon and becomes even more determined in her chosen path as a saboteur. SO EXCELLENT. LOVE THIS MOVIE. DO RECOMMEND.

It was filmed in 1951 and it is one of those movies set in Africa where there are no Africans in speaking roles. You’ve just got to know that going in.

Ernest and Celestine: A cute if clunkily didactic French animated movie about a bear (Ernest) and a mouse (Celestine) who overcome prejudice to become friends. They then rob a store together, at which point the police (working in two separate investigations, because the mouse and bear police do not communicate with each other) hunt them down, ending in climactic courtroom scenes where Ernest & Celestine tell the police that they’re only pursuing the case because Ernest & Celestine’s friendship flies in the face of deeply ingrained prejudices.

Everyone, including the filmmakers, has forgotten about store robbery at this point. I really think it would have worked better if there had been no robbery and Ernest and Celestine really were being pursued purely for their friendship.

Leaving these quibbles aside - the animation is beautiful. I particularly enjoyed a sequence where Ernest plays his violin, and it’s accompanied by a series of wonderfully stylized drawings of the changing seasons, like a latter-day Fantasia.

The Adventures of Tintin: LOVE THIS MOVIE. It’s like a couple of kids making up an Indiana Jones-style search for treasure, using all their Legos and Playmobile sets and everything else on hand - I mean this in the best way possible - goofy and zany and full of fun if probably physically impossible visuals. There’s a scene where one of the heroes and the villain duel using the ship-loading cranes on a dock, because they’re both long and skinny kind of like swords, so why not?

The Princess Bride: LOVE THIS MOVIE. Gosh, this was a good month for movies, wasn’t it? I’m sure you’ve all seen it, and anything I could say would be superfluous.

The ArtCraft was showing this one too, and such is the power of The Princess Bride that I managed to round up three friends who had never been there before to make the mini-roadtrip. We had a wonderful time and I hope that now that they’ve seen the theater, they’ll want to come again - especially given that it’s practically at the midway point of the drive between me and them. A convenient and delightful place to meet!


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