I love movies. Few art forms have the power to move like film does, in my opinion. My tastes tend to be a little eclectic – for example, I loved MEMENTO, CUBE, and Pi, but also have a soft spot and appreciate the visual verve of Brian De Palma’s earlier stuff, like SISTERS, THE FURY, and DRESSED TO KILL. My partner in crime, Josh Mars, also both a movie buff and a Louisiana maritime attorney, shares my taste in movies and we often discuss them before committing reviews to posts. His lawyerly instincts keep us in check and from going too overboard with crazy, but we both really enjoy the non-rational when presented believably. Since there aren’t many movies on the theme of maritime law, he has conceded his preferences to mainstream attorneys, so we have plenty of stories where his expertise becomes useful in plot and reality discussions. But once I begin my posts, the opinions become completely mine, although they may have been influenced somewhat by a wise maritime lawyer movie aficionado.
Here on this page, I’ll discuss some of my favorite movies.
DRESSED TO KILL
Angie Dickinson is one of the US’ most underrated actresses. Hard to believe, since she’s most known for her television career. But see this film, De Palma’s direct homage to PSYCHO, and check out Dickinson’s star turn. A protracted, wordless 22-minute sequence (starting with Dickinson’s visit to an art musuem, her attraction to and ultimate seduction by a handsome stranger, and all of its ugly aftermath) is amazing in the amount of information that’s purely visually telegraphed. It’s brilliant, and Dickinson is brilliant in her role as a dissatisfied housewife. The film itself is a guilty pleasure loaded with visual fireworks, more than a few director flourishes, enough sleaze to keep things interesting, and Michael Caine (an amazing actor – see below in CHILDREN OF MEN review). What made this movie even more enjoyable for me was the scene in which the main character’s dog entered the house using an automatic dog door – it happens in the background, but I noticed it immediately. Also loved the scene with the artisan’s fair where amazing artwork is displayed in the background as Caine walks through.
The scene takes place during the very well known NW crafts festival – and if you’re paying attention, expect to see the very best in Fine Arts, including photography, painting, and sculpture, as well as some of the region’s finest craftspeople working in media such as ceramics, jewelry, glass, leather, dolls, princess dresses (as a crafts maven, I recognized 2 of the most well known childrens dress makers who both feature amazing princess dress designs), basketry, furniture and home decor, and countless others.
CHILDREN OF MEN
It’s all about the detail. This film’s narrative is set in the near future (2027, specifically), in the middle of a chaotic world where humans can no longer procreate. Clive Owens plays a former activist who’s recruited by his ex (a fantastic-as-usual Julianne Moore) to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary, where the birth of her child might help scientists save the future. The trick is getting there.
Here’s an example of the amazing attention to detail that I mentioned in a haunting scene that details an act of terrorist which takes place early in the film: Clive Owen’s character, Theo, goes into a pub/cafe, where he along with the bar’s soon – to – be – grief – stricken denizens learns that the world’s youngest man, has died. Finding his place at the head of the bar, Theo nudges past a women in front.