Tom and Summer


If you’re a regular around these parts, you’ve probably noticed a bit of a slowdown in recent months. From a glance, it could seem like less content, but it actually goes a bit further and reflects less consumption. I’ll go into everything deeper with a post in a few days, but this whole phenomenon is just a reflection of the dog days of summer.

The last several weeks have inevitably turned into that grind that comes between vacation ending and school beginning. I’ve made the best of it, for sure…catching up with friends, reading, taking care of some nagging tasks, watching lots and lots of baseball…but the movie consumption has definitely tapered off.

I feel like we all go through this, don’t we? Those last few weeks of august when the temperature rises and our interest in things wanes? The things we love seem a little less shiny, and lethargy creeps in. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because it’s not just spring that’s a time of renewal, but also autumn…and before something can be rekindled it needs to be extinguished. So it is with all of life’s joys.

Happily, the week brought about some wonderful screenings to mark summer’s end. The Lightbox hosted a series where Guillermo del Toro presented Master Classes on Gothic films in anticipation of the release of CRIMSON PEAK later this fall. They’re the sort of thing that can renew one’s interest in film, and certainly the sort of thing that can give one a hankering for the meaty film conversation that comes about at year’s end.

So here’s to renewal…to the end of summer’s bounty and to the beginning of autumn’s harvest.


Here’s the two weeks at hand…


AMERICAN ULTRA – THE BOURNE IDENTITY meets burnout culture. Eisenberg and Stewart should work together more often.
REBECCA – Anytime one can hear del Toro speak about Hitchcock, one should run…not walk.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946) – It’s pretty cool to think about this story in the vein of a Gothic story, especially since it grafts the role of “the innocent” on to a male character instead of a female.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
TRACKS – It’s hard to explain why, but I actually wanted this film to be more handsome.
ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. – You have to love it when iguanas stand in for dinosaurs.
SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY – I really wish I could have attended one of those screenings with the floating skeletons and buzzing seats. Also, I think I now need to track down MATINEE.
BELLE ET LA BÊTESpeaking of tracking down, I need to find the Phillip Glass score for this.
LORD OF WAR – Something tells me that opening animation was more cutting edge on 2003.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
MANHATTANReading Kim Gordon’s book and watching BEAT STREET make me wonder why people from New York get so nostalgic for this era in the city’s history. Seemed like an exciting, beautiful dump…but nevertheless, a dump.
THE GREAT DICTATOR – Lindsay had never seen it, so I was able to finally expose her to that glorious dance with the globe.
THE AMERICANRebecca Ferguson in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE reminded me of Thekla Reuten in this movie.
A MOST WANTED MANOnce one starts with the Corbijn movies, it’s hard to stop.
TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! – I was actually given this Criterion blu-ray for Christmas, but never got to dropping it on until this week. I think I’m overdue for a proper Almodovar bender.


Boxscore for The Year
162 First-Timers, 105 Re-Watched
64 Screenings
267 Movies in Total
How’s about you – seen anything good?