Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm feeling ambitious today

Very slow day today, so I'll continue with the updating.

The next two movies on the list weren't my cup of tea. There were two movies where again I see the significance, but I wasn't entertained by them and I could've lived a happy and full life having never seen them. Strike was brought to me by Netflix, it's about a Russian factory going on strike and about the revolutions in Russia during the early 1900s, some interesting effects but just not my kind of movie. Next was Greed, which happened to be aired on the Fox Movie Channel, so I recorded it. I was surprised by it's length, but I guess when it comes to Erich Von Stroheim, you come to expect a lengthy picture. The story was fairly interesting and shows what happens when people become overcome with greed, but for some reason this film didn't resonate with me. It was slow and was easy to zone out during. Perhaps this is due to being from the MTV generation, but I think I have a high tolerance for movies that are any length, as long as it's interesting, and I guess this just wasn't for me.

The next two films on the list were infinitely more engaging to me, both from Netflix. The Last Laugh was kind of a ridiculous story of a very hard working doorman who was demoted, due to his age, to a washroom assistant and who's pride wouldn't let him tell his family and friends what had happened, he then comforts a wealthy man as he dies in the washroom and inherits his fortune. The filmmakers don't take themselves too seriously, with a title card saying how the story should end with the poor disenchanted old washroom assistant living out his days in embarrassment, but instead this is made-up so we allow him to inherit a fortune. And the film then concludes with him as a happy wealthy man, who is proud again. I was very impressed with the lead actor, who carried the film, Emil Jannings.

I also very much enjoyed the next movie, Seven Chances, this was another Buster Keaton film, as I've said before I really, really like Buster Keaton movies, and this one was no exception. The plot is a little silly, a struggling businessman stands to inherit his grandfather's fortune, but only if he's married by 7pm on his 27th birthday, and wouldn't you know it, the movie begins on his 27th birthday. As you can imagine hilarity ensues, from women rejecting his proposal, to a fleet of upset brides chasing Buster.

After these 2 lighter films comes the much darker 1925's The Phantom of the Opera, starring the magnificent Lon Chaney. I didn't know what to expect from this film, I have seen the 2004 version of the movie, as well as the Broadway show, so I definitely knew the story. And I had heard how scary Lon Chaney's make-up had been at the time. And I have to admit, it's still scary by today's standards. I was impressed by this film, mostly with Lon Chaney, but also because I was surprised that the emotions and the intrigue would be able to come across in a silent film. What's important to note is the ball scene which was filmed in color. I tried to read up about it, but I can't be certain that it was the first use of color film, and I couldn't find out why it was used for just that one scene.

That's enough for now, more to come.

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