It was the pictures that got small
Saving Private Ryan 1998
When I first watched this movie, age ten, I remember having to look up the word “disconcerting” after the skirmish scene where a German announcement proclaims, “The statue of liberty is kaput!” and Tom Hanks mumbles in reply, “That’s disconcerting.”
It’s an odd choice of words in a battle, almost awkward. Why not “frustrating,” “troubling,” or some other more common phrase?
I was today years old when I realized this is Cpt. Miller hearkening back to the vocab of his former life as an English teacher — a nice little easter egg from the usually heavy-handed Rodat.
Before Sunrise 1995
I’ll be excommunicated for this, but I think it’s just alright, nothing more.
Linklater’s Sun movies are admirably naturalistic — filmed diaries or travelogues rather than the novel-as-cinema. Their improvised dialogue and subtle direction work to suspend our disbelief, and Hawke and Delpy’s journey feels totally real.
It also feels totally tedious. That’s the problem with art imitating life: life is — let’s face it — kind of boring. As someone brilliant once said, “Life isn’t long or short, it…
The Banshees of Inisherin 2022
Watched it as a double header with Bones & All. The two films (made by directors I love) frustrated me for a similar reason: the movies are so preoccupied with plot metaphor that there’s no room for real characters to live. The story shapes the protagonists, rather than the other way around.
Here, the plot is a metaphor for the Irish Civil War. Farrell and Gleeson represent the sides of that conflict, doling out and absorbing its attendant violence and hatred.…
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
This has aged backwards: it’s still a film from the future.