Monday, January 12, 2009

The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia

Today's film (vs. movie, I'm all serious now) is the first film to be discussed by The Oldest Established Really Important Film Club or TOERIFC. I watched the film earlier today and then went to Ferdy on Films to read Marilyn's review and join in the discussion. The film is a documentary about photographer Shelby Lee Adams and his take on life in the Appalachians. The discussion so far is centered on whether Adams is manipulative, exploitative, poetic, documentarian or what. For me, Adams' work and the film raised a lot more questions than they answered and I'm actually not sure how I'm supposed to feel about either.

Photo of Berthie as featured in The True Meaning Of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia. Click on the photo to go to Adams' blog.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sisters, 1973 Brian DePalma

Starring Margot Kidder as formerly conjoined twins Danielle and Dominique one of whom may or may not have committed murder. William Lisle is the doctor who separated the twins and who happens to be Danielle's ex-husband. Jennifer Salt is the nosy reporter with a thing for spying on her neighbors, and Charles Durning is the private eye.

The movie is one of the most blatant Hitchcock "homages" I have ever seen, complete with score by Bernard Hermann (Psycho and Vertigo). That being said it is acted well and edited fantastically and kept me entertained through the whole thing. The plot is a mish-mash of Psycho and Rear Window; Jennifer Salt watching out her apartment window witnesses a murder in Margot Kidder's apartment, but by the time she convinces the cops to show up and they go to Margot's apartment there is no body and no traces of murder. Jennifer Salt spends the rest of the movie trying to prove that a murder did occur and that Margot Kidder committed it.

The movie is gorier than your typical Hitchcock; why does blood have to look like strawberry sauce?? But I really dug the 70's interiors, Margot Kidder's French-Canadian accent is amazing; she didn't sound like her normal self at all, Charles Durning rocks every scene he's in, the Doctor creeped me out, a very young Olympia Dukakis was a treat to see, and I loved the cow!! If there had never been a Hitchcock I would have given this movie two huge baby bottoms up, but even still I can heartily recommend it.