Sunday, 7 August 2011

Flu Movies - what I've watched while ill this week

Shock Corridor (1963, Sam Fuller)

A Pulitzer-prize obsessed journalist Johnny (who uncannily resembles Charlie Sheen) gets himself commited to a mental hospital so he can solve a murder. He befriends the 3 mental patient witnesses, who all miraculously have moments of lucidity and he unsubtly asks who the murderer is. During his time there he goes a little nutso himself (as to be expected). His internal dialogue is a treat to hear and the film points out the social fears of society at that time. It's B-Grade, and I really enjoyed it.

Score (1974, Radley Metzger)

Considered saucy in its day, Score is tame by alot of M rated movies of now. It is still racey though and probably not one to watch with your Grandmother. It loosely reminds me of a happy version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, where an older couple play with a young, innocent pair and entice them in to a swinging good time. Again B-Grade and enjoyable.

(1974, Sandy Harbutt)

I started this film assuming I wouldn't like it as my motorbike interest is rather low, but this film is now up there as one of my Aussie favourites. The reason being the film isn't all about bike races and motorbikes. It's more the story of the relationship between undercover cop Stone and the the Gravedigger motorbike gang, and the freedom that comes with being a biker. Stone assimilates himself with the Gravediggers to learn who's killing their members. The acting is either over the top, weak or rather stilted which adds to the movie's charm. Stone shows a 70's Australian landscape and liberal attitude. Top notch ending I really do love B-Grade.

Interiors (1978, Woody Allen)
Written and directed by Woody Allen, Interiors tells of an overbearing mother of 3 adult daughters, whose world becomes unhinged when her husband decides to leave her. The separation also brings to surface the tension, jealousy, resentment and fears of the sisters. There is next to no music; the set designs are predominantly cool and stark; all signifying the controlled environment that the mother kept. Not a movie to watch if you want a laugh but well written.

Storytelling (2001, Todd Solondz)
Having watched Solondz's Happiness (1998) and Palindromes (2004), I knew I was in for a pretty dark viewing with this film. True to his style, Storytelling comprises of two stories "fiction" and non fiction" and both are rather disturbing. Set in a college and a High School. it pries in to the lives of dysfunctional people. It's funny and twisted - I often laughed out loud and then thought "oops actually that's really horrible...but still funny"
As with Happiness, Storytelling is not a film to make you like people.

A Mighty Heart (2007, Michael Winterbottom)
I did initially pause this movie and take a deep breath when I heard Angelina do a French accent. I knew nothing of the movie ( I don't read the backs of them - I pretty much choose them randomly off the dvd shelf), but I thought I would give it 5 more minutes. I got completely absorbed by this true story of a journalist kidnapped in Pakistan. Angelina's performance as the journalist's wife was convincing she gave great dignity to her character. The documentary style directing heightened the frantic search for clues to the kidnappers whereabouts.


  1. Great reviews Jo! Looks like you had quite an assortment of films there. I've got Woody's Interiors at home waiting to be watched, so will check that out soon.