March 2022: Read & Viewed, with feeling

‘Twas March when the Russo-Ukrainian war broke out. Therefore appropriate that I watch a movie about Belorussian partisans fighting against the Nazis during the second World War. It was called Come and See (1986) and left a quite an impression on me.

Continued reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, although by all signs the reading group has been reduced to a quorum of one. Namely, me. Ah well, good intentions.

— James Joyce, Ulysses, 60 pp.
— Stuart Gilbert, James Joyce’s Ulysses, 30 pp.
— Homer, Odyssey, 20 pp.

I Know Where I’m Going (1945). Powell and Pressburger/Archer Films film. Starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey. It’s not a bad film, and there are scenes that are genuinely interesting. But it is not in the same arena as other Archer Films. Also, Wendy Hiller’s cheekbones could dislodge an eye.
Howard’s End (1992). Had never before seen this film. Helena Bonham Carter … Poor Mr. Bast. But really, what kind of name is that!?

The characters Mr. Bast and Helen Schlegel while they are listening to a lecture in a still from the film "Howard's End"
Mr. Bast and Helen Schlegel (whose relation to the Schlegels is left unclear): accidentally seated beside one another before all of the drama that is to befall them.

Despicable Me (2010). I understand there are cultures where children are not yielded to the power of televisual media so as to pacify them.
With that said, this is a delightful film, I think. Steve Carell was born for roles like this, although there is a lot to be said about how actors act an animated character.
This film traffics in some of the intentions of Edward Gorey, insofar as they can be expressed in colorized images. In other words, since the Gru is a villain he keeps objects around his home that could take the life of a less than careful individual. Of course, all of these are tamed by the children.
Even a villain may have a heart of gold.
C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, “Capitulation to Racism”

Silverado (1985). If you read the Wikipedia article for this film, you’ll see that it was generally given favorable reviews. This is shocking. Perhaps the distance of nearly 40 years makes it apparent, but with the exception of what is interesting about the beginning, this is an awful film.
Silverado is not merely bad, it’s awful.
The title of the film is drawn from the town where the bulk of the film’s action takes place. The primary character, Paden, is played by Kevin Kline. He is the primary character because nearly everything involves him to a greater or lesser degree. He is also the moral paragon. He’s found, accidentally, by Emmett (Scott Glenn) in the desert in an absurdist scene. He’s asleep with his head on a rock, dressed in only his unionsuit. He’d been robbed and left for dead.
From this point the film quickly devolves.
Mostly this film has been forgotten and only appears in these pages because it was available on Netflix and despite everything I watched it (boredom …).

Promotional materials for the film Silverado

JJ’s Ulysses, 20 pp.

— Joyce, Dubliners, “Grace”
Ulysses, 5 pp.

Image from the 1985 film Come and See in which the main character Flyora is asleep on a dead cow in a field.
Come and See (1985): Flyora falls asleep in a field with a cow also cut down by machine gun fire (like Flyora’s fellow partisans.

Come and See (1985) Directed by Elem Klimov, who is, by the way, the husband of Larisa Shepitko (the filmmaker responsible for The Ascent [1977]). The film tells the story of a young boy, Flyora, who leaves his mother and sisters (against his mother’s passionate cries) to join the Belorussian partisans taking up arms against the invading Germans. The film is set in Belorussia in 1943.
It’s hard to know all of the things to say about this film, which is terribly powerful, and not fall silent because of the inadequacy of words. One repeated feature is a close-up on each of the character’s faces. These clips extend in time to sometimes show the transformations when a character makes a realization. They are at moments beautiful in the beginning of the film but mostly horrifying through most of the film.
Ulysses, 5 pp.
Odyssey, Bks. IX-X

Still from Come and See of a closeup of a  young girl's face after she had been repeatedly raped by SS officers.
Come and See (1985): Glasha after she had been repeatedly raped and left for dead by the Einsatzkommanden

Odyssey, Bk. X
Ulysses, 5 pp.

Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Tord and Tord (2010)
Introducing Larisa Shepitko (2019) Short film interview with Barbora Bartunkova about Russian filmmaker.

A closeup of Flyora from the 1985 film Come and See
Flyora, in one of his many moments of dramatic facial expression

— Joyce, Dubliners, “Two Gallants”
JJ’s Ulysses, 30 pp.
— Joyce, The Critical Writings, “Ireland, Isle of Saints and Sages”
Ulysses, 10 pp.

JJ’s Ulysses, 16 pp.
Ulysses, 9 pp.
Narcos: Mexico, #2.5-6

Ulysses, 35 pp.
Odyssey, Bk.XI

Narcos: Mexico, #2.7-10. The powers of boredom. It was a dark day and nothing soothes the soul like binging a bad show.
JJ’s Ulysses, 20 pp.
Odyssey, Bk. XII

Cold War (2018) An excellent film by Polish filmmaker Paweł Pawlikowski about a musician and the dancer/singer that he falls in love with, during the early days of the Cold War in Poland. Ill-fated souls: him by his love for her and her by her love for him as much as by her realization of their love’s impossibility of realization.
Ulysses, 10 pp.

Ulysses, 20 pp.

Odyssey, Bks. XIII-XIV

Strange Career, 20 pp.

Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
Persepolis, 50 pp.
Night Hunter (2018)
— Joyce, Dubliners, “The Sisters”

Actress Alexandra Daddario and Brendan Fletcher in a still from the film "Night Hunter"
Actress Alexandra Daddario and Brendan Fletcher in a still from the film Night Hunter

Narcos: Mexico, #3.1-2
Ulysses, 10 pp.
JJ’s Ulysses, 5 pp

Narcos: Mexico, #3.3-4
Persepolis, 30 pp.

Narcos: Mexico, #3.5
Persepolis, 40 pp.

Narcos: Mexico, #3.6-7