Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend viewing

Brewster McCloud (Robert Altman, 1970)
Very odd and obscure Altman movie that he made right after M*A*S*H. A complete box office and critical failure, which isn't surprising if you've seen it. There are some interesting ideas here, I guess, but they're buried under dated parody, vague symbolism, a very, very long car chase and a weird obsession with bird shit. I did laugh at times, but overall I ended up baffled and mildly irritated rather than entertained or enlightened.

Carnal Knowledge (Mike Nichols, 1971)
I had no idea before watching this movie that a third or so of it takes place at my alma mater. It's sort of flattering to see Amherst portrayed as a hotbed of sexual debauchery in the 1950s, even though it's really just used as a signifier for "snooty New England liberal arts college" (a slightly less flattering distinction). As for the movie, I liked it better than Nichols' very similar Closer; I thought it did a much better job of creating real characters who might not have been likable but were at least relatable and real, and at times sympathetic. It's less explicit than Closer, but still pretty damn open about sexuality for its time. Plus you see a young Ann-Margret in the altogether, and that was probably enough for me right there.

No comments: