Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Movie poll: What are you watching?

Having pointed out that Thanksgiving weekend is a traditional movie-watching holiday, Dr. B has a great post about bad movies, in which she asks readers to share the "difficult and . . . revealing category" of "movies that everyone else thinks are awful, but which you actually really like." I pitched my vote in with the "Starship Troopers" camp, which is apparently so gratifyingly large that I wonder if that film actually can count as one that "everyone else thinks is awful."

I'd like to propose a different poll: What are you watching this Thanksgiving, and how do you like it? Should the rest of us watch it, too?

Here's what I've seen so far:

1) Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari (1920, silent)--Although the story isn't all that engrossing, the art direction is fantastic. The sets were amazingly trippy, the costuming and makeup were inspiring (I'm thinking of taking some tips from Lil Dagover's outfitting next Halloween), and Tim Burton's debt to Robert Wiene for much of his best work is pretty clear.

2) Abre los ojos (1997)--I really liked this. In fact, I think I'm becoming a fan of Alejandro Amenabar, having ordered this movie from Netflix after seeing Boy Roomie's copy of "The Others" a while back.

The story of what happens to a wealthy, vain, shallow playboy as he starts to realize what a non-person he is after his handsome face is mutilated in an accident, this film also features a complex plot having to do with cryogenics and dream-states. Very Philip K. Dick, but maybe even better--Dick's character development is rarely so complex or compelling.

Apparently inspired by Hitchcock's "Vertigo," the movie got re-made by Cameron Crowe as "Vanilla Sky," but I'm not inclined to watch the revision, since most reviews indicate that the Hollywood version attempts to make the main character more likeable (which would defeat the entire purpose of the film, in my opinion).