High Tide (1987), directed by Gillian Armstrong
Riveting maternal melodrama in the tradition of Mamoulian’s Applause or Sirk’s All I Desire. Judy Davis, stifling laughter, stifling sobs, plays a mess of a woman hanging from showbiz’s bottom rung. When she falls off, her car broken down, she’s stranded in a podunk coastal town. The slinking, bobbing camera surveys her inner and outer lives as she builds a relationship with a teenage girl, neither one initially aware that they’re mother and daughter. Establishing shots, mindful of lines and angles, gorgeously frame a shabby landscape of eateries, auto shops, and trailer parks. The grit of the town gets under High Tide’s fingernails. Emotions rise, as do ecstatic crane shots; the climax delivers a wallop. The plot wends around the vagaries of love.
Since Ashley insisted that I couldn’t choose kitty pictures anymore, the above image of Scar and the obnoxiously playful Simba is her pick. And a great pick it is! Scar is a deliciously, mincingly evil villain, probably more charismatic than Claudius, the Shakespearean usurper on whom he’s based. And of course that’s all because of Jeremy Irons, whose voice trumps any hackneyed dialogue or fickle hyenas. When cartoon Jeremy Irons says “Jump!”, you ask, “How high?” With that, I give you this week’s links.
- Courtesy of Mary Ray of The Bewitched, I found out about this awesome 4th Amendment apparel – for when you want to stick it to the (TSA) man in writing.
- Amanda Palmer’s vulva is NSFW art!
- Here’s another awesome Tumblr blog called Screen Goddesses.
- Apparently all (or at least most) of the planets have been featured in sci-fi literature. The more you know!
- Robert C. Cumbow wrote an essay about one of Hitchcock’s greatest, Vertigo (1958). Give it a read; it’s very sharp.
- From The Sheila Variations, here’s a piece about Ann Savage in Detour, easily one of the greatest femmes fatales ever.
- Imogen Smith wrote a long, fantastic essay about Pre-Code movies, complete with Joan Blondell in a bathtub.
- Dan Callahan attacked the “Rich Girl Cinema” of Sofia Coppola and Lena Dunham in Slant; then Cinetrix fired back by saying, “I enjoy being a girl.”
- An inventive YouTube user mashed up Edgar Wright’s first three films into one awesome trailer. How can one director pack in that much pure awesome?
- As part of the drive to raise Vincent Price awareness, a really cool blogger & graphic designer named Eric Slager made this snazzy poster of Price’s face adorned with the titles of his many films. (Via Classic-Horror.com.)
- Sight & Sound announces its critical favorites for 2010! Unsurprisingly, The Social Network and Uncle Boonmee top the list. (Pssst: I’ll have some 2010 film lists of my own in the near future.)
Alas, we’ve had no astoundingly bizarre search terms as of late (unless you count more requests for Simpsons porn). Someone searched for “tom waits poster,” for which Ashley recommends this. (Tom Waits is lovably grizzled and makes excellent poster fodder.) Another searched for “witch burning in movies,” for which I offer the spellbinding, terrifying witch-burning sequence in the middle of Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1958). And finally, “hanged cat film.” That’s no good. In keeping with our feline blog name, we’re launching a campaign against cat violence here. Seriously, people: end the kitty bloodshed. Meow.