What I Watched, What You Watched: Installment #41

Only one movie to talk about this week, but I did finally finish reading Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” for the first time and it’s frustrating I hadn’t read it prior to seeing The Book of Eli as it would have given me another angle to evaluate the movie as it most definitely drew inspiration from this classic even though it’s not even mentioned in the production notes.

I had, however, seen Francois Truffaut’s adaptation, which I watched about two years ago and wasn’t particularly all that impressed with, but now have a much greater interest in revisiting and am happy to see it’s still available on Netflix Instant Play. I don’t necessarily want to revisit it for a comparison as much as I’m interested in having a greater understanding. I’m not sure I gave it my full attention the first time around and after enjoying the book so much I feel I owe it to myself to give it a second chance.

I know Frank Darabont has talked forever about making another big screen adaptation and you’d think it would’ve already been greenlit considering the wealth of films set in a dystopian future, though “dystopian” in this case almost seems to be the wrong word, maybe an “unwittingly self-imposed dystopia” or “destructive utopia”? Perhaps it’s a bit too thought provoking for today’s blockbuster-driven general audience, but it would at least make for an interesting low budget feature. I can’t imagine it would cost that much.

I now have to decide what to read next as I must pack a book or two for my trip to Cannes. I am currently taking a trip through the mind of Russell Brand with his autobiography “My Booky Wook” (which is an enjoyable diversion) and have a couple titles on my shelf such as McCarthy’s “All the Pretty Horses” and Chuck Palahniuk’s “Survivor” not to mention a stack of other classics I’ve never read before. Of course, the problem is making time to read while watching so many movies as well as trying to actually, you know, have a life.

To give you an idea of how long it took me to read the just-over-160-page “Fahrenheit 451,” I started it on March 1 and finished it on April 30, and even worse, it probably only took me a little less than three hours to read… if that. It becomes a compromise of how much time do I spend reading and how much time do I spend watching the movies I’ve never seen. A balance is certainly necessary and I need to find a better one as both are very important to me.

As such, I did watch a couple of movies this week, one a Criterion Blu-ray I will be reviewing in the weeks to come, and the other is directly below…

A Woman is a Woman (1961)
QUICK THOUGHTS: Check another Jean-Luc Godard feature off the list of must sees, though I have now only seen eight of the director’s several films and can’t say I was particularly moved by A Woman is a Woman. Watching Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo is certainly entertaining and I’m not sure if I remember Jean-Claude Brialy from The 400 Blows or somewhere else, but I liked him here and feel I have seen him elsewhere, and his filmography is so long there’s no way for me to pinpoint where exactly. I’ll have to remember to keep an eye out for him the next time I watch Blows.

The one thing I will say, a Godard film is almost instantly recognizable and this one is no different. I enjoyed the breaking of the fourth wall and the questioning nature of whether it was a comedy or a tragedy, which in its questioning provides the answer. Like his films or not, there is always something I seem to take away, whether it be a new idea or just a different way of looking at movies. However, I feel once I move into the late ’60s work of Godard, which I began exploring with my review of Criterion’s 2 or 3 Things I Know about Her I may begin to lose myself in his visual essays as his desire for narratives became secondary. I’ll find out soon enough, of course, with his latest film, Socialisme debuting at Cannes, which looks to test my mettle.

Now, before you tell me about your week, can any of you tell me what film the following DVD screen capture is from? No hints, just the picture… If you’ve got a guess answer in the comments below. First one to get it right gets a virtual pat on the back. Who knows, perhaps I’ll turn this into a weekly thing…

Can you guess the movie?

There you have it. Now share your weekly recaps and weigh in with any thoughts you may have on the films I saw. And remember to connect with my Netflix queue by clicking here, I have already added several titles from those that have already linked up.


Marvel and DC