Long weekend online viewing, and new blogs of note
August 1, 2010 1 Comment
It’s the August long weekend, which is pretty much the trough of the current affairs low season. It’s a good time, therefore, to put in a plug for some online movies worth checking out and for a couple of new entrants in the Winnipeg blogosphere.
If you’re interested in a good old-fashioned horror movie, be sure to check out the 1967 classic Wait Until Dark. A blind woman unwittingly finds herself in possession of a children’s doll stuffed with drugs, and has to outwit the three thugs trying to get it back. Audrey Hepburn was subsequently nominated for Best Actress for her role as Suzy Hendrix.
Another rather chilling movie from about the same era is The War Game. Produced in 1965 as a BBC docudrama about the calamity that would result from a nuclear war — based on research on what happened in Japan following the 1945 attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in European cities engulfed in firestorms caused by WWII carpet-bombing campaigns — The War Game was deemed “too horrifying” to be aired until the mid-’80s. Though now tame by modern TV standards, it’s still a riveting drama.
In 1976, director Sidney Lumet’s new motion picture, Network, seemed like a far-fetched fantasy. After all, what network would be desperate enough to turn its evening newscast over to a ranting, delusional man in need of psychiatric care and give political extremists their own weekly prime-time network show? All these years later, Lumet and writer Paddy Chayefsky’s absurd movie about a TV network’s ruthless pursuit of ratings doesn’t seem so far-fetched after all. It won four Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Before (or after) seeing Dinner for Schmucks, currently one of the most heavily promoted summer comedies, be sure to check out the French movie on which it was based — Le Dîner de cons (English title: The Dinner Game). A Chinese web site has thoughtfully posted the entire movie with English subtitles. As is usually the case, the Hollywood remake (given a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) is considered inferior to the French original (with a 73% rating).
Finally, if you have a soft spot for black comedy, check out 1981′s S.O.B., Blake Edwards’ satire of the motion picture industry. Though it falls a bit flat in parts, other parts are laugh-out-loud funny — which is more than can be said for many Hollywood comedies.
Now, on to a couple of recent entrants to the blogosphere worth checking out. The first is from CBC reporter James Turner, who writes about local crime and justice issues in The Crime Scene. And if you’re interested in local history, check out Robert Galston’s The Common, which focuses on the people and streets of Point Douglas that played a major role in Winnipeg’s rise from a mere village to Canada’s eighth-largest metropolitan area.