Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Guest Oeuvres are back!

True to my word, I'm finding gradual ways to spruce up this blog, starting with the sidebars. Much as we love Apichatpong Weerasethakul, he'd been sitting there far too long, mainly reminding me of my failure to see Syndromes and a Century on at least two occasions. So for the gala re-opening of my "guest oeuvre" slot (look right, and scroll right down) I'm going for a biggie: Alfred Hitchcock. My gaps in the silent period are frankly embarrassing, so I've telescoped it to deal with only the years from 1934 onwards, which is not to say I wouldn't like people to weigh in on the earlier stuff they may have seen and would particularly recommend, or recommend avoiding. This feature has always been my favourite way to start conversations on this blog, so get down there in the comments and tell me I'm wrong. Tell me Shadow of a Doubt, Hitchcock's own personal favourite among his films, deserves better than the B I've given it. Tell me Marnie is a mess, of fascination only to pretentious film students. Or that Vertigo is waaay overrated. Berate me loudly for not having seen I Confess yet (Father forgive me, I've seen about half of it). As politely as possible, I may attempt to argue back, but let's get this party started, and celebrate the greatest dead Englishman ever to make movies. With due apologies to Charlie Chaplin...

Yuletide hostilities

Because I like to supply a personal touch now and then, here is my cat Eartha, wearing a scarf. Volumes could be written on the Cold War this Christmas between Eartha (whose namesake of course died on Christmas Day) and my family's three springer spaniels (one pictured at the top right of this blog). There was attempted sniffing, there was hissing, there was retreat and bafflement. There was a truly bizarre, hitherto unknown warbling growl coming from somewhere deep in this cat's oesophagus. It said "What the holy fuck are you?", and the sentiment was mutual. There was a repeat of all that, several times a day. No olive branches were extended; the Iron Curtain did not come down; and the standoff continues, albeit at the greater distance of about 30 miles. Hackles have settled, at least for now, and a wary truce presides.

A whole ocean of unfinished business

This entire blog sometimes feels like unfinished business. It's my main New Year's Resolution to revive it properly, but before revving up with any 2008 post mortems, here's what I should have posted about a year ago -- my finalised best and worst of 2007.

The best...

10. Funny Ha Ha
9. Les petites vacances
8. Into the Wild
7. Yella
6. Conversations with Other Women
5. The Night of the Sunflowers
4. Lady Chatterley
3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
2. I'm Not There
1. There Will Be Blood

and the worst.

10. Hannibal Rising
9. Good Luck Chuck
8. The Nanny Diaries
7. Pathfinder
6. The Reef
5. Material Girls
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
3. Outlaw
2. License to Wed
1. Captivity

Expect similar lists for 2008 in the next few days, along with the whole Oscar category run-down. Like it or not, it's list season!