Perhaps I began the month of December inauspiciously, insofar as I read/viewed/consumed nothing on the first day of the month (see below). In fact, I did read two different Harry Potter books, in about a week’s time, which to me is a kind of mysterious thing. I meant to write about this but was not able to find the time.
Finished Anna Seghers’ Transit
She Done Him Wrong (1933): You know who Mae West is, indubitably, but have you seen one of her films? This film reminds you how much so many of our cultural values have been radically transformed over the past century.
Barnes, 15 pp.
Darth Vader (2017-18), #1-12
Marauders (2016): See my review of this awful, awful movie, which actually gained me more traffic than probably any other post … unsurprisingly.
GBBS 8.8 (final)
Darth Vader #13-17
Rogue One (2016): I contend, contrary to popular opinion, that Rogue One is the best of the Star Wars movies. The reason for this is simple. At a certain point Star Wars began to fall prey to its own success. In other words, the series of films was so popular that it was unable to see the ideas it invented outside of its own context. In principal, this refers to “the Force,” which has remarkably different meanings in the three ages of Star Wars. Rogue One rethinks the Force.
Darth Vader #18-24
Roberto Unger, “Illusions of Necessity in the Economic Order”
Uncut Gems (2019): Had been curious about this movie since I heard about it, but I’d been a little dubious about the Safdie brothers since reading about the praise of them in the pages of Film Comment. I watched their previous film, Good Time (2017), a few months ago and liked it more than I had suspected I would.
Adam Sandler is very good in this role, although I have a sinking suspicion that this is in many a respects a film that was made for his unique talents. Lakeith Stanfield is arguably more impressive.
Lovecraft, “The Lurking Fear”: Reference to this story in the awful film Marauders. Read the story, which has nothing to do with the film, instead of watching the film.
Lovecraft, “The Moon Bog”
Lovecraft, “The Music of Erich Zann”
Mamdani, “Historicizing Power”
The Bodyguard (2019), 1.1
Pride and Prejudice (2005): How many times have I seen this movie. I always find myself trying to figure out who the pride and prejudice refer to. It seems that they switch in the course of the drama. I have not read the novel, I’m afraid to admit.
NYRB on Bryan Washington, Teton County WY, algae, and Machado de Assis
NYRB on statelessness, Charlotte Mew
Diane (2018): Viewed this because it was on a list of recommendations that I’d read somewhere. Not sure what I think of it. Read a good review here and here.
The Twilight Zone, 1.1
Signs (2002), first 30 minutes: Still have not seen the whole of this movie. This was actually the closest I’ve come to a synoptic viewing
Mamdani, “Historicizing …”
HP6, 40 pp.
Destroyer (2018): Mostly, this film is gunplay and turpitude, and a famously beautiful Hollywood actress transformed into an old woman. Watch the film for Toby Kebbell, a British actor who plays the role of the Silas.
Hp6, 100 pp.
Hp6, 60 pp.
Handmaid’s Tale, 3.1
HP6, 100 pp.
HP6, 100 pp.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): Paid more attention to Lionel Barrymore who is more impressive in light of this performance in light of his performance in You Can’t Take It With You (1938), which also stars Jimmy Stewart.
The Outpost (2020), 1 hour: … cliche, cliche, cliche. Watched during trainer time.
HP7, 285 pp.
The Outpost, 40 minutes
HP7, 370 pp.
Home Alone (1990): Part of the Xmas season film viewing expectations.
A Christmas Story (1983): Ditto above.
Holiday (1939): Another Cary Grant film that I’d never seen before. Or at least not all of it.
Elf (2003): Hadn’t seen this before. Man, James Caan, just quit if you hate it.
Macauley, Towers of Trebizond, 15 pp.: Reference to in an article in NYRB.
Benjamin, “The Artist as Producer”, “The Destructive Character”
The Day After Tomorrow (2004), last hour: Wondered, idly, if that kind of event could actually inaugurate an ice age. I have a fondness for Dennis Quaid after seeing him in the 1998 remake of D.O.A. with him and Meg Ryan. I haven’t seen D.O.A. in probably twenty years and certainly since I saw the 1949 original, which I have to admit didn’t impress me much. In my emotion-addled memory, D.O.A. a compelling film.
This film is neither Quaid’s worst nor his best performance. The star is undoubtedly the special effects.
Macaulay, 15 pp.
A League of Their Own (1992), last hour: Lucian really liked this. Yeah, okay. Geena Davis really went nowhere. Watching this movie reminds me of this. Surprising, I thought. But maybe not.
The Force Awakens (2013): The tyranny of the ten-year-old continues.
Macauley, 5 pp.