A busy week left me without a ton of time to work through my DVDs, but I managed to squeeze in a few good ones. Here's what I watched:
October 20: Far From Heaven (2002) - Todd Haynes's beautiful homage to the work of Douglas Sirk, anchored by Julianne Moore in one of her absolute best performances. It works brilliantly as both a throwback to a distant style of filmmaking, and as a film in its own right.
October 21: Fitzcarraldo (1982) - Werner Herzog's crazily ambitious film centering on a crazily ambitious protagonist (played by crazy man Klaus Kinski), whose goal to is drag a steamship from one Peruvian river over to another - by taking it over a mountain. It's a long movie, but worth the trip.
October 22: Flesh and the Devil (1926) - a classic silent film starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. It's a great movie and though it is ostensibly about Gilbert and Lars Hanson fighting over Garbo, the film also features what is quite possibly film's first same-sex marriage ceremony - albeit a subtextual one (though just barely).
October 24: The French Connection (1971) - the Oscar-winning police thriller is perhaps most notable for its amazing chase sequence, but it's also one of the key films in the transition from studio dominance to auteur ascendancy. Gene Hackman is fantastic as complicated cop Popeye Doyle.
October 26: The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) - Karel Reisz's film is not a straight adaptation of John Fowles' book, but it perfectly captures the self-referential, postmodern spirit of the source. Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons star as two actors in a production of The French Lieutenant's Woman, whose relationship begins to mirror that of their tragic characters.
On Tap For Next Week: An epic from George Stevens, a well-meaning (but somewhat shallow) Oscar winner, a brutal mob movie, and more!