I know it’s late getting this up (I know that’s what she said), but it’s time for the 15th entry into our little film club. This pick has been made by popular consensus and I’ve set a watch date of May 23rd, so you have until then to watch it! Feel free to ask questions and remark that you watched it here/are having trouble tracking it down, but please, no spoilers or questions that may give away plot points in this thread; that’s what the ‘message’ tab is for. ;p
For anyone curious, you should be able to find this on the Criterion Channel/Kanopy, and it’s available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and I think Hulu and Vudu have it as well. You could even check TCM’s movies on demand and see if they have it as well.
🐱Andrew Chrzanowski🐱’s review published on Letterboxd: ☆"Fidelis eternis."☆
The next Daily Mosh Film Club pick is one film I've wanted to see for a while, but like so many others it just never came to the forefront of my mind. Thanks to my friends who recommended it, it's our first pick for May that we're getting to a little late, followed quickly by another next weekend.
Director John Frankenheimer's paranoia-inducing science-fiction thriller Seconds is purposefully disorienting and challenging, a huge risk-taking genre film of the 1960s when it's doubtful most audiences were prepared for anything like this. Subversive and puzzling, and featuring Rock Hudson in a very against-type role, despite critically divisive initial receipts its prestige has grown through time. Any lover of twisty thrillers would do well to find this groundbreaking work, made years ahead of its time, highlighted by legendary cinematography from James Wong Howe.
It's something of a crisis of middle age for Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph), whose suburban New York life he feels has lost purpose and direction. He has a good job, loving wife Emily (Frances Reid), and is relatively well off, but nothing satisfies him at this stage. A friend approaches him, one he assumed was dead, and secretly provides him with a contact for "The Company," with directions and hope for something different. "Use the name 'Wilson,'" his friend says. This meeting takes place at a meat-packing plant, and he's asked to experience a miraculous body transformation after a ride to an undisclosed place: to that of the younger handsome Antiochus "Tony" Wilson (Hudson), and told his former self will be killed. Bewildered by the rapid pace of this shocking body switch, Hamilton nonetheless is propelled by the Company into this "rebirth."
A summary cannot accurately or completely describe what's really going on in Seconds, which feels like a feature-length episode of "The Twilight Zone" in many ways. A Kafkaesque dreamscape once we follow Rock Hudson's character, the film shows what Everyman can be if whisked off the face of the earth and turned into exactly what he wanted to be, in medias res.
What's now known as Frankenheimer's "paranoia trilogy" along with The Manchurian Candidate and Seven Days in May, this picture based on the novel of the same name by David Ely is a stark turn from much of Hollywood's output of the mid- to late-60s. Contemplative and confronting America's demons in the midst of the Cold War and a rapidly changing society dependent on technology, Seconds takes on the American Dream and asks profound questions about identity and self.
At the same time, darkly comic tones pervade the film in the midst of the perplexing story, as we wonder whether Hamilton/Wilson will accept this new life or wish to return to normal. Something about that "crispy chicken" scene gave me a laugh. It was a story with such obtuse angles that viewers in the 60s didn't know what to make of it, especially the dystopian views of technology. Most of all, the cinematography and several scenes literally caused nausea among the first audiences. Vincent LoBrutto writes in a deeply-researched essay for American Cinematographer about its lasting legacy:
Regardless, the camera is not merely a recording device in Seconds, but an expressive tool. By pushing conventional technique aside and working with a visual grammar of exaggeration and extreme graphic amplification, Howe and Frankenheimer revealed the mind of a man struggling to break free of his emotional bonds 14 years before Martin Scorsese and director of photography Michael Chapman would similarly attempt to capture the black-and-white torment of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull.
Raging Bull is one of the best movies ever made, and though I loved the look of Seconds I can't quite say it roused me nearly like that masterpiece did. A tricky and oddly-paced second act takes this story down a notch, despite its probably perfect opening and closing. A magnificent Rock Hudson in this non-conformist tale of meaning and fate is a thought-provoking story with an unforgettable conclusion.
Post by chocollama on May 25, 2020 18:27:02 GMT -5
Been busy and depressed and sick, etc. But I actually watched it on time! Actually came to love this! I felt it started off strong, kinda lost interest in the middle, but hot damn it won me with that ending. I absolutely loved the camera work. I was fairly occupied most of the film with trying to identify why each angle or method of filming had been used. Picked it mainly on the fact it was the earliest sci-fi film I could find in my watchlist, but I'm thrilled with the suggestion.
if you've bought some movies and you got any digital film codes you don't want hmu I'll probably Venmo you for a good one