Funny moment this week:

I sat down to watch SOME CAME RUNNING after recording it on TCM a few weeks back. Things started out well enough (glorious Technicolor, splendid cinema-scope, Frank and Shirley looking suitably damaged)…but five minutes in the film seemed to skip ahead. I hadn’t touched my remote, and the time track said I was very early on in my video so I thought I might have just missed a moment or two.

Nope – the film had skipped ahead to its final fifteen minutes on TCM, and my PVR just recorded the mayhem.

So I’d never sit here and claim to have seen SOME CAME RUNNING, but I can say I know how it begins and I know how it ends.

#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with Gia Coppola’s PALO ALTO.


The plot plants us in the middle of a circle of high school students for a week or so, and they all seem to have a lot going-on. There are soccer games to play, parties to go to, college futures to plan (or not plan), alcohol to be drunk, drugs to be taken, sex to be had, choices to regret, gossip to be spread, and realizations to come to. Usual teenage stuff, but all captured with a high level of empathy.

PALO ALTO also marks the second film in the series where the cinematographer was female too, and the if anyone was ever curious about the difference between the male gaze and the female gaze, I’d probably point them towards this movie. It could be the fact that I’m drawn to the visuals of a film (and therefore, tend to examine it a little more closely), but when I think about every other film about this sort of subject matter, I feel as though all of the others had a very different visual tone. What we see and how we see it seemed unique in this movie, and that really could come down to the product of two women putting their heads together to tell the tale on a visual level.

A little while ago, I had a conversation with Jess Rogers about FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and the way it encapsulated sex in the early 80’s. Watching PALO ALTO, I can’t help but see similarities – especially in the story of Fred and Emily. Strip away the some of RIDGEMONT’s goofiness and fast forward it thirty years. The awkwardness remains, likewise the emotional misgivings and the damage done.

I’m usually wary when I see the name Coppola in a film’s credits since Gia’s uncle hasn’t made a good movie in so long (and a great movie in even longer), and Gia’s cousin has proved very love-it-or-hate-it for me. That said, based on her first feature, I’d say there is at least one Coppola that fills me with excitement and optimism.

Can’t wait to see what she does next!



Here’s the week at hand…



Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN – Considering how much I adore Mary Shelley’s classic novel, I’m a pretty easy mark for any spins on the story. This was stylish and entertaining enough, but nothing anyone needs to rush to see.
PALO ALTO – Pretty sure I’m going to need this soundtrack.
THE STRANGER – Orson Welles as a former Nazi; Edward G. Robinson looking to expose him. Lots and lots of clocks. What more could you want?


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHTAnyone doing the #52 Project who has never seen this movie needs to move it to the top of the pile.
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADREAt the end of this TCM showing, I learned that John Huston originally wanted to have Bogey die by decapitation in this film. Because…y’know…as it stands it’s way too cheery.
NINOTCHKAThere are few things in the world as wonderful as Lubitsch and Wilder working together


Boxscore for The Year
28 First-Timers, 28 Re-Watched
10 Screenings
56 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?