Thursday, May 16, 2013

Odds and Ends: You Don't Belong Here Edition

375) Katie Tippel (1975) Dir: Paul Verhoeven Date Released: September 25, 1976 Date Seen: November 21, 2012 Rating: 4.25/5

RV!: Rollerball (1975) Dir: Norman Jewison Date Released: June 25, 1975 Date Seen: November 22, 2012 Rating: 3.5/5

377) Face (1997) Dir: Antonia Bird Date Released: ???? Date Seen: November 23, 2012 Rating: 3.25/5

Katie Tippel: This is easily my favorite of the handful of Verhoeven's Dutch films I've seen so far, though I still have a number still to go, including Soldier of Orange, and Turkish Delight. Katie Tippel has all of the ghoulish venom, and delightful cattiness that I've come to associate with its director. Here, Verhoeven giddily mocks the evils of capitalism by following a voraciously hungry, and totally nubile(!!) young waif's rapid ascent up the social ladder. Monique van de ven's titular Tippel magically transforms from a slave laborer, burning and bleeding all over hot laundry, into an immodest socialite, eating oysters, and riding in carriages with a young Rutger Hauer(!!!!!). I like this movie most when it's a black comic precursor to Masterpiece Theater (I don't really care about the film's relatively sober finale, though it's fairly negligible). Come for the sexy stuff, stay for the Dickensian squalor.*

Rollerball: This is my comfort food. I used to be nuts about this movie; showed it to the science fiction club I was head of, and really thought it was the apogee of American existential '70s scifi movies for a while. Then I saw Soylent Green and Silent Running, and boy, does this not look so special anymore. I've written before about why I think Jonathan, and Jewison's other rebels are interesting. But this time around, I found Rollerball to be sometimes unproductively slow. I do think Jewison's pacing is right on more often than not though, and I do appreciate that he seems invested in the idea of Jonathan's world as a slow-to-destruct city on the edge of nowhere. The rollerball scenes are still fleet and brutal, and I love to watch James Caan mope around. I am still smitten with Rollerball, even if it doesn't hold up very well.

Face: After seeing Ravenous, I thought Antonia Bird could do no wrong. So when I bought Face sight unseen, I expected more than just a competent Danny Boyle knockoff. Face is fine enough, so I was never that bored watching Robert Carlyle try to finger the crook that stole his gang's money. Face has got a good ensemble cast (including Ray Winstone and Lena Headey), and Bird's direction is OK. But I can't really see myself revisiting this anytime soon. *shrugga*

*I just realized that I technically didn't need to write about this one again since I already recommended it here. But well, whatever.

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