ON BILLIONS AND FILMS AND OUR HEARTBEATS

NOTE: This is an archived site. EVERYTHING here is very dated. Articles — all — are written now and then for highly select readers, for particular purposes. Not knowing proper context can be puzzling or misleading, even off-putting. So… please not read anything here which has not been recommended to you. What’s below is TRULY UNEDITED. This is written for citizens in my new community… where I would like to show the films listed below for free… and open up some space for discussion of them… and other matters. My collection has been put together over four decades as a Professor of Cinema History. And my experience in “other matters” goes back to when I was seven-years-old… in 1949.

ON BILLIONS AND FILMS AND OUR HEARTBEATS
Dedicated to Al Pacino’s two preferences
by Ox

http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers50states/CorporateTaxDodgers50St atesPR.pdf is a link to the latest report by Citizens for Tax Justice (www.ctj.org). The primary revelations make it clear that there IS money for whatever is dear to your heart locally… whatever is essential to others nationwide. For it would be easy as pie for representatives with heart, head and soul in a healthy place to replace our status quo with a go-go-go in the direction of providing heating for frozen citizens in the Northeast and elsewhere… where fuel prices are rising and governmental subsidies for energy use are being rolled back, AND… to provide — at a bare minimum — 50 BILLION DOLLARS for medical care and related matters.

It would be a slam dunk… except for one reason. That is the general public has no clue as to what a billion is. If citizens knew how much that was, they would never permit the unconscionable tax breaks which — for starters, mind you — allow thirty companies to pay a negative effective tax rate. Meaning, they would not permit such companies — through clever, manipulative accounting and unnecessary (overly generous) subsidies to receive money from the government while raking in $160.3 BILLION in profits. Which is what they did between 2008-2010… while the vast majority of citizens in this country did without many basics, and many of those froze to death one way or another from the absence of our humanity.

A BILLION IS… well, if you laid out single dollar bills… end to end… starting New York City… and headed toward San Francisco… it would take 16 trips, back and forth (RTs)… with enough bucks left over for a round-trip from NYC to Mexico City… before you could use up your BILLION DOLLARS!

IF people knew that, I firmly believe — regardless of their political affiliation — they’d make sure that that abomination vis-a-vis our tax nonsense would cease. It could virtually overnight, and I’d be glad to elaborate on HOW — legally and nonviolently — if anyone is interested.

In the meantime, I’d like to focus on films here. For while everything is going over-the-top and we pass our horrific deadlines for survival, there’s every reason for lovers of cinema (like me) to enjoy themselves (maybe creating an excuse for gathering together for fun too?) — whether or not one is involved in trying to do something about our collective momentum — to celebrate what is beautiful.

Too much is made of films which cost millions of dollars to make, formulaic cinematic products which garner close to a billion dollars at times. You know what I mean.

Below is — in alphabetical order — a tentative list of some relatively low-budget favorites from A to Z. I’ll tinker with the list, contingent upon feedback from readers, etc. What you’ll encounter at any given moment — please note — is not a definitive list, not comprehensive in any sense of the word.

1. Jean Vigo’s 1934 L’Atlante (Atlante, ‘L, if you’re going alphabetically here).

2. The first half of Black Stallion (which contains one of the very great segments in all of film history), parts of 1958’s Black Orpheus in Portuguese, Claire Denis’ Beau Travail (perhaps) in French, Germany’s The Bridge. Maybe parts of The Battle of Algiers. If I can get a version of Black Narcissus which has the original cuts by censors restored… well, you’d be in for quite a treat. For a purely silly time, in the realm of what’s uneven with a kind of cult following (capturing a distinct angle on a period)… the 1968 original Bedazzled… with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook.

3. Majid Majidi’s heartbreaking The Color of Paradise (Iran). Rosi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli.

Down by Law and Double Indemnity. The former the best of Jarmusch and the latter, arguably, the best example of Film Noir. Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder… for certain. Death in Venice? The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Hey, I told ‘ya this is — for the moment — unedited, yes?

Enchanted April

Forbidden Games
? The Dardenne Brothers’ Le Fils.

TWO FLICKS titled The General: The 1998 biopic of Martin Cahill AND the Buster Keaton classic from 1926… if you can view only one silent film… perhaps. If you can view only one film from Japan: 1954’s Gate of Hell.

UK’s Steve McQueen’s first feature, Hunger. And 1995’s La Haine.

The Insider by Mann. 1992’s Into the West.

Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs. In that order.

Miller’s Crossing is a much greater work of art than The Big Lebowski, and not because one has serious overtones and the other has a soul of comedy. The soundtrack itself is worth the heartbeats. Sweden’s My Life as a Dog.

Charles Officer’s Nurse Fighter Boy.

Andy Goldsworthy’s and Thomas Reidelsheimer’s Rivers and Tides.

Rosi’s Salvatore Giuliani. Singin’ in the Rain, of course. Snatch or some Guy Ritchie film or someone else’s film with Tom Hardy in it.

One of the Toy Story flicks. The Talented Mr. Ripley. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Tree of the Wooden Clogs by Ermanno Olmi. Jacques Becker’s Le Trou… without any question whatsoever.

Winged Migrations. When the Cat’s Away (Chacun Cherche Son Chat).

Lord, it would be supercalafragalisticexpialacocious (sp?) to set up a Lake County Select DVD Hall of Fame. I’ve got some singular ideas about how to go about that too. Will continue with this list — adding, taking away and tweaking — as time permits. Trying to stay away from big budget fare as much as possible.