Cinemarch Madness: Herman Division Poll
The inevitable division in which I haven't seen much, alas. A very few words about the films I know, then, starting with Double Indemnity. I watched it for the first time recently (…I know, I know), and what I don't know about noir is a lot, but I can't call it depressing or bleak, even though everyone's fucked as befits the genre — partly because it's so much goddamn fun, especially Edward G. Robinson. I'd vote for another Stanwyck picture, Sorry, Wrong Number, before I'd vote for this one.
I haven't seen Drugstore Cowboy in ages, and the end is in the neighborhood, but I also recall pinwheeling cows? In the sky? More weird and "Platonic ideal of '90s indie" than hopeless, in my opinion.
Eternal Sunshine…I think maybe it does well here. BSD is my witness: I was drenched watching this in the theater, but there are good arguments to be made on both sides that it's either optimistic or very very sad. I'd go the former, but at the same time I have difficulty watching it.
I also sobbed at A Single Man, and that one I could watch again, but it gets more heartbreaking the more you think about it, so I'll stand behind that one.
And that brings us to Star 80, a movie that only gets harder to watch on re-viewings. The physical picture, the film stock, is grimy-looking, and because Bob Fosse starts at the end and then jumps back, the narrative is under a cloud the entire time. (Fosse's film work generally is…gleefully grim. I love All That Jazz, but it is basically a study of a man avoiding eye contact with his own dead self. Not super-cheery.) Any knowledge of the real story only adds to the skin-crawling compulsion to pause the film and do something wholesome like butter-churning ASAP. Eric Roberts is fucking brilliant; you will be unable to look at him or his little sister for weeks afterwards.
Now it's for y'all to argue in the comments. The Road and Brief Encounter got enough play in the nominations that I think they proceed; what are you voting for? (And which of these should I Netflix? Murder on a Sunday Morning, by the same filmmaker who brought us the brilliant The Staircase, is already at the head of the queue.)
Herman Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.
- The Road (21%, 101 Votes)
- A Single Man (17%, 80 Votes)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (15%, 74 Votes)
- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (13%, 61 Votes)
- Star 80 (12%, 60 Votes)
- Drugstore Cowboy (7%, 33 Votes)
- Double Indemnity (3%, 16 Votes)
- Walkabout (3%, 13 Votes)
- Threads (2%, 11 Votes)
- The Power of One (2%, 9 Votes)
- Brief Encounter (2%, 8 Votes)
- Murder on a Sunday Morning (1%, 5 Votes)
- Japanese Story (1%, 5 Votes)
- Closet Land (1%, 4 Votes)
- London River (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 193
Tags: A Single Man All That Jazz Barbara Stanwyck Bob Fosse Brief Encounter BSD Cinemarch Madness Double Indemnity Drugstore Cowboy Edward G. Robinson Eric Roberts Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Mark Herman movies Murder on a Sunday Morning Sorry Wrong Number Star 80 The Road The Staircase