Monday, June 05, 2006
A gorgeous bit of blasphemy by Luis Bunuel, in a crystal clear transfer from Criterion. Viridiana is a soon-to-be nun ordered to visit an ailing uncle before taking her vows. He manages to corrupt her completely in surprising ways. Love the lunatic bacchanal with its Last Supper overtones. Hilarious!
The only reason watching Soylent Green Saturday was worthwhile? The Simpsons aped it Sunday night, and I'd have missed the reference otherwise. Where Edward G. Robinson chooses lush nature scenes for his suicide room, Grampa Simpson decides he wants to see "cops beating hippies." The movie is much less interesting than my favorite post-apocalyptic Charlton Heston movies: Omega Man and the first two Planet of the Apes films. Of course, I saw those before the age of ten...Phil Hartmann's SNL take-off of Soylent Green made me long for an extended over-acted climax that never happened.
I think the '80s had a sub-genre of romantic comedies featuring the death of a major character. Terms of Endearment positively reeks of rotten cliché, but we liked it anyhow. I suppose the cast is what carries the day: Jeff Daniels, Shirley MacClaine, John Lithgow before he was a cloying sitcom celebrity, Jack Nicholson in the last film where his schtick was palatable--and Deborah Winger whose performance rises above the pathos. A bit sweet for my palate, but a good movie to watch with the wife. I shan't tell you how we killed time during a lightning storm intermission; let's just say the popcorn wasn't the only thing buttered!