Short takes 11/14/05

Those of you who don’t think contacting your members of Congress, the House approved a ‘motion to instruct’ House conferees to support the four-year sunsets in the Senate bill to reauthorize the USA PATRIOT Act (S. 1389) rather than the ten-year sunsets in the House bill (H.R. 3199). Tell your folks that “concerned Americans in your district, and throughout the country, are outraged about post-9/11 civil liberties abuses and have been calling for changes to the PATRIOT Act and other anti-terrorism laws and policies for the past four years. To date, seven state legislatures and nearly 400 local governments have passed resolutions expressing concern about these laws and policies, and calling on Congress to uphold civil liberties.” Find your members of Congress here.
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The new iPod.
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Carol and I saw the film Good Night, and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney. I won’t review it except to say it was very good and the cinematography was grand. Watch the Eisenhower speech about the protection of habeus corpus near the end of the film (and compare the current aedministration’s policy re: the same.
A question, though. There was a reference in the end credits to Technicolor. Does anyone know if it was filmed in color and processed in black and white?
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Somehow, I missed the death earlier this month of actress Sheree North. She’s probably best known as Cosmo Kramer’s mother on Seinfeld, but I remember her best as Lou Grant’s feisty, no-nonsense girlfriend on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. She’s one of those actresses with a LONG career, starting out as a substitute for Marilyn Monroe. If you saw her, you’d likely say, “Oh, yeah, HER.”

Meme Monday: Independent Films

First off:

HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY
My computer is fixed. More in due course. But what this means is that I won’t be posting and writing at the public library, with a one-hour maximum and usually a waiting list to use the public computers, something that I’ve been doing for the last three or four weeks. So, I can write longer pieces again.

From Empire via Tom the Dog.

I thought I saw a lot of indy films (most of the films I see are at the indy theater in town, but as you will see, massive gaps. Italics I saw.

1. Reservoir Dogs: This was one of those films that I thought I should see, but the descripton of the violence kept me away.
2. Donnie Darko: I heard nothing but good things, especially from the cinephile in my office, and yet…
3. The Terminator: Nope.
4. Clerks: Missed this one, too. Actually want to see this.
5. Monty Python’s Life of Brian: FINALLY, a film I’ve seen. And liked. If you grew up in a religious tradition, as I have, it’s either funnier (what I say), or abhorent. I laughed a LOT in this movie.
6. Night of the Living Dead. Nope.
7. Sex, Lies, and Videotape. From what I’ve read, this movie just about created the indy movie as a viable entity. Seeing James Spader on Boston Public, I see him as just a grown-up version of the character in this film.
8. The Usual Suspects. Loved it. Keyser Sose sees dead people.
9. Sideways. Very fond of this, although I agree with Tom that it may be “a little too recent to rank quite so high.”
10. Mean Streets. Was into not seeing violent films at the time.
11. Bad Taste. Don’t really know this film.
12. Eraserhead. Meant to see.
13. Memento. REALLY meant to see; life got in the way.
14. Stranger Than Paradise. Nope.
15. Blood Simple. Sometimes you see the trailer SO often you think you did.
16. She’s Gotta Have It. More important as what it led to in Spike Lee’s career, I think.
17. City of God. Got squeamish.
18. Withnail and I. Only recall vaguely.
19. Lone Star. Of COURSE, I saw this one. It’s a Sayles’ film, and possibly my favorite.
20. Slacker. This I should see.
21. Roger and Me. Any movie with my NAME in it is required viewing.
22. Nosferatu. Nope.
23. The Evil Dead. Wasn’t interested in seeing.
24. Happiness. My WIFE saw this film, and I was busy that night.
25. Drugstore Cowboy. Need to see.
26. Lost in Translation. Didn’t love it.
27. Dark Star. No.
28. In the Company of Men. I was very intrigued by ther trailer and the reviews.
29. Bad Lieutenant. Nein.
30. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song: My SISTER saw this when it was brand new.
31. Pink Flamingos. Saw LOTS of Waters films.
32. Two Lane Blacktop. Don’t remember it.
33. Shallow Grave. Don’t remember it.
34. The Blair Witch Project. Wasn’t that interested.
35. THX-1138. Falls in the category of “I SHOULD see it.”
36. Buffalo ’66. Only vaguely recall.
37. Being John Malkovich– I’m quite fond of this. First of several Keener films I’ve seen.
38. Grosse Point Blank Saw it on video, which I don’t know is the same as actually SEEING it.
39. The Passion of the Christ. Actually I didn’t feel like sitting through the agony, and didn’t feel like giving Mel more money to prove I was a Christian.
40. The Descent. This is a recent film. I see very few recent films.
41. Dead Man’s Shoes. Also too recent. (Too recent is any time after March 2003.)
42. Swingers. How did I manage to miss this film?
43. Shadows. I’ve seen John Cassavetes films, but I’ve never even heard of this one.
44. Amores Perros. Violence fear.
45. Mad Max. I may have seen parts on commercial TV.
46. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. No interest.
47. Blood Feast. Definitely no interest. I believe FantaCo may have publish a book about this.
48. Cube. I’m not remembering.
49. Run Lola Run. Saw trailer MANY times.
50. El Mariachi. Maybe someday.

10 out of 50? I must have spent my time seeing lower quality indy films. Lots of rental ideas for me here, at least.