Some households have vast libraries of movies on VHS or DVD. I don't own any
DVDs (except for the one in the Nirvana box set) and
when I was a kid we didn't own any movies... except for two Betamax tapes that
were just recordings off Showtime or something. Those two movies were Rocky
IV and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. I would guess that I've seen each
of those movies a dozen times. But I hadn't seen either since the 1980s. So
when Pee-Wee's Big Adventure showed up as part of Jennifer's mystery
Netflix thing, I figured it'd be a good chance to see if it held up at all.
And it did, quite a bit. The bits in which Pee-Wee is in his element showing
off his usual routines are generally quite lame, but once he starts interacting
with the outside world the movie becomes genuinely funny, and not just to
eleven-year-olds. There are some really good edits in this movie — the
cuts come at exactly the right time for maximum comic effect.
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure came in response to a suggestion I'd left on
Jennifer's livejournal; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring came
because Jennifer has another account and asked if I wanted anything.
Spring is a Korean movie I'd read about on
Mike D'Angelo's site. It turns out
to be about five moments involving a floating temple on a lake in the
wilderness. Though they form a story arc, each could conceivably stand
alone as a short story... one of those "decisive moment" short stories that
come in, observe a turning point in someone's life, and leave. I don't have
much to say about this one. It was okay but not incredibly memorable.
Finally, I saw the first half hour of Waking Life before giving up.
I'd heard that it was full of philosophy-major rambling but I didn't know
that it'd be a plotless string of anonymous talking heads declaiming on
existentialism and free will vs. determinism and so forth. It was weird
because I kept thinking, as I normally do when I'm taking in a story, "What
does the stuff this character is saying tell me about him?"... but in this
movie that was totally pointless because the "characters" were just random
animated jabbering melons. Apparently I was supposed to find their abstract
musings intrinsically fascinating. But I already hear too much from people
I don't care about, living in this world where we're all bombarded with
chatter. If you want me to listen to this sort of thing you'll have to
first make me care about the people doing the talking. Instead, I kind of
have to side with Vern when
he says, "You know what would be my idea of hell would be if this movie
could follow you around and keep talking to you."
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