With my countdown of nineteen-eighties films approaching the end, I’ve been trying to both watch and rewatch important movies from the prior decade in preparation for the next naturally step backwards in my tops of the decade project. As for the latter endeavor, there are simply some movies that I haven’t seen in approaching thirty years (and perhaps never saw properly, given that my exposure to them was dictated by the way I watched the material on cable, not always the most ideal manner to take them in) and in order to figure out their placement on the pending list, I feel the need to sit down for a fresh start-to-finish viewing. That was the inspiration for the plainly wonderful experience of watching Hal Ashby’s Being There again and the subsequent review as part of Spectrum Culture’s Revisit series.
Already writing on an ambitious film, I also got the chance to review Lars von Trier’s latest this week. I’ll admit that I went into it with a certain amount of trepidation, but the film is excellent, led by a justly lauded Kirsten Dunst performance. I’m also pleased that I decided to avoid altogether the controversial press conference nonsense from Cannes. It’s not that I think von Trier deserves a pass on his doltish, insensitive comments, but the incident isn’t at all relevant to the film.
I also finally delivered an errant review of a box set reissue of soul and rock music from the early nineteen-seventies. Like the other releases I’ve reviewed from the same label, the backstory is arguably more interesting than the actual music. That’s indeed a compliment, because the music is quite good.