burn

One of the things I really believe in where rep screenings are concerned, is that they allow you a chance to sink far deeper into a film than you likely would if you were watching them at home. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; alone in the dark, with that giant screen dwarfing you…there is nowhere to run. There’s nothing to distract you. You’re zeroed-in on the movie and in it for the long haul.

I really felt that sensation this week at a screening of Robert Altman’s SHORT CUTS.

The film is is sharp, comes with great impact, is quite funny at times, and feels immensely sprawling. It’s the predecessor to MAGNOLIA in about a million different ways, so if you love that movie and have never seen this movie, you should track it down.

Thing is, just like MAGNOLIA, SHORT CUTS is lengthy – over three hours of “lengthy”. All of its runtime is dedicated to various human stories of lust, distrust, luck, death, family, and connection. While all of those themes and ideas are amazing in the way they are executed by Robert Altman, I fear that if one dropped in this blu-ray at home, they might find their brain wandering. One might find onesself sending Tweets, or shuffling back-and-forth to the kitchen refilling their beverage, or zoning out in all manner of ways. I know it can happen to me, especially if a film isn’t grabbing me right out of the gate.

In SHORT CUTS however, that would be short-changing the film’s subtle impact…much the same way it would in MAGNOLIA, if you zoned-out around the time Donnie Smith went to Solomon to ask for braces money.

So getting to see SHORT CUTS in a theatre more than 20 years after its release denied me that wandering eye, and instead ordered me to sit…ordered me to heel. And by doing what I was told, I got the most out of the Altman epic that I ever possibly could have got. Every subplot landed for me, every subtle connection, every sick joke.

It’s funny; last week I read a friend write about how he was eschewing physical media because gifted with rep screenings like we are in Toronto, watching films on dvd and blu-ray wasn’t going to have the same impact. After SHORT CUTS, I really get what he’s saying…but in this case, I still want the physical media…the same way I walk out of a great concert and want to buy a record.

 

Here’s Week at Hand…

 

Screenings
3 WOMEN – I don’t know what I expected this movie to be, but this wasn’t it.
FRANK – It’s stuck with me through most of this week. Should have more thoughts on it for Monday
SHORT CUTS – Somehow I feel like my life won’t be the same after this screening. such and epic film!

Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
VAL LEWTON: THE MAN IN THE SHADOWS – Great doc from TCM
THE AFRICAN QUEEN – Despite the rumours, I did quite enjoy this movie.

Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
50/50 – Funny story: Sometimes when you can’t decide on what blu-ray to watch, you end up going with the first one on your alphabetized shelf
LARS AND THE REAL GIRL – For podcasting purposes
127 HOURS – Like I said…alphabetized

Boxscore for The Year
175 First-Timers, 133 Re-Watched
50 Screenings
308 Movies in Total
How’s about you – seen anything good?