02 September 2003

Since it's been about two months since I started using Netflix, I feel like doing a roundup of what I've been watching recently. As of this weekend, I've rented Bonnie and Clyde, Grand Illusion, Sunset Boulevard, The Fury, L'Atalante, L'Avventura, Frenzy, Taste of Cherry, Strangers on a Train, The Wages of Fear, Marathon Man, El Mariachi, Desperado, The Rules of the Game, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Blood Guts Bullets and Octane. Of the above, a few were rentals of old favorites, but mostly I've been trying to fill in the gaps of my cinematic education. Many were wonderful (Sunset Boulevard, River Kwai), and only a few were disappointing (The Fury, L'Avventura). Taste of Cherry was inexplicable, but the metafictional ending comes closer to my idea of what death must be like than any other movie I've seen (the camera stops rolling, the crew appears, a character's life is revealed as a fiction). The best of the bunch was Grand Illusion, which everyone who loves movies needs to see as soon as possible. Next in my queue: The Deer Hunter; Oliver Twist; Network. No patterns that I can see, except that of the first five movies I rented, two (Grand Illusion and Sunset Boulevard) starred Erich von Stroheim, and two (Grand Illusion and L'Atalante) starred Dita Parlo, and I have no explanation for that.

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