- MOVIES WITH A VIEW
- Last week, I was introduced to this program that presents films on a large inflatable screen in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Viewers can bring blankets or towels (no chairs) and can picnic on the green; a short is presented and a feature presentation. The movie was The Big Lebowski, so it was a very odd experience seeing what is a quintessential Los Angeles movies right in front of the iconic Promenade view of Manhattan!
This week the film was Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. This is, of course, one of the films I consider the pinnacle of what the filmmaker could achieve. Not only is this movie sprightly fun, but it actually does tackle serious questions about voyeurism and privacy. Hitch even goes so far as to turn the lens around and implicate the audience; it is impossible to watch the film and not get involved in the little stories of varying tawdriness playing out in Jeffries' courtyard (and may have been a loose influence on the sprawling multi-melodramas of Robert Altman). You may say you want to be edified, he seems to be saying, but you want to see the dirt too, don't you? Indeed, it is this aspect of the film that is part of why it becomes so involving, especially when it breaks the "fourth wall" (Thorwald's making of Jeffries was a banner moment last night).
I don't care how many years you've owned the DVD for, Rear Window, with its myriad of little universes being peeked into, is a film that needs to be seen projected to be fully appreciated on a visual and narrative level. It also features a lot of humor and tension, two elements that are most intensified when watching a movie with an audience. The only thing better than seeing one of your favorite movies again is seeing it with a whole park full of people on a beautiful night who feel the same way about it.
Grace Kelly has never been more beautiful.
- As I mentioned earlier, a few weeks ago my iPod started acting a little wonky. It would reset itself often when I restarted it. In addition to losing whatever I'd been playing, any personal settings on the iPod itself would be lost (though not the music). The problem escalated, prompting me to attempt a restoration on the device. This did not work, and this week the iPod started failing completely. I was not even making it through an entire record, and it wouldn't charge either.
I brought the iPod to the Apple store today, where one of the service personnel looked it over. He said he'd seen this before, it wasn't the battery (although the problems with accurately displaying the charge weren't helping matters) there was nothing for it but a new unit. My iPod has been replaced with a new one.
- There have been a lot of notable film music releases lately, and while I mentioned Intrada's disc of Henry Mancini's 99 and 44/100% Dead! before in relation to its format (I was mistaken in assuming that this had been the "album version + everything else" experiment that Roger Fiegelson was talking about; while this was an Intrada disc that did conform to that idea, the "album" was assembled by Nick Redman, not them), what I didn't really have a chance to mention was that this album really has "legs." I listen to it all the time, it's witty and slinky through and through. The title sequence has a great finale; now this is how a main title is supposed to end!¹
¹ — There is a letterboxed clip of better picture and sound quality, but it inexplicably cuts out at the conclusion of the main title!