Thursday, May 5, 2016

Miscellaneous Movie Musings

Last night I went to a movie premiere--no red carpet nor bright lights here. The film was a documentary, Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA. I'm interested because of my work as a WPA mural docent. I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed the film and learned new things, but it felt a little disjointed. I also got the feeling that the author/narrator/director loved the sound of his own voice--he was a bit too pompous and pretentious.

We watched The Man from UNCLE last weekend. I watched out of nostalgia. I loved the TV show. My cousin Cindy and I played our version of "UNCLE." I was Honey West and she played Jill Ireland. That's the actress's name; she played several roles on UNCLE. The film did nothing for me; most film versions of TV shows don't.

I found some notes--aborted posts--about films we watched a month or so ago.  I was psyched to see Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings again. I had originally seen it the theater back in 1978. I liked it, but it wasn't as good as I remembered. Many scenes contained a jarring mix of animation and colored film of live actors. It took me out of the story.

We also watched Days of Heaven--directed by Terence Malick--one Sunday night. Jeff was not impressed. I've seen this film a few times. I loved the cinematography and Linda Manz' narration.

That got me thinking about narration I liked and disliked in films.

Liked: Linda Manz in Days of Heaven
Sissy Spacek in Badlands (another Malick film)
William Holden in Sunset Boulevard
Woody Allen in Annie Hall
Kevin Spacey in Usual Suspects
Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption
Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild
Disliked: Jean Shepard in A Christmas Story 

I'm not sure why I disliked narration in A Christmas Story. I wonder how I would have reacted if the narration were in the young character's voice. Something in the narration bugged me.

I thought Woody Allen's Manhattan also had narration, but I think it was just Woody narrating the first few lines of his novel.

I found this article on voice-overs helped me with my list.

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