Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  .This section is about film criticism.  Topics include: .   ---  1/24/2006

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  American Graffiti is about summer, youth, cars, love (young love, new love), night, and music (50's rock and roll).  ---  7/7/1998

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  American Graffiti.  Name one thing that people do to relax.  Driving around in cars with the radio playing.  So why not make a movie about driving around in cars with the radio playing.  A movie with cars, scenery and plenty of music.  That's what the movie "American Graffiti" is about.  A relaxing drive with radio playing tunes.  ---  7/25/2002

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Annie Hall.  People struggle to connect, and then their relationships fall apart.  There is a brief intervening period of partial understanding and moderate happiness.  And there are jokes, gags, quips, laughs too.  ---  7/8/2006

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Apocalypse Now.  (1) Savage, primitive, low technology.  Dumb, animal, irrational, amoral, law of jungle.  Vs. high technology, civilized, rational, moral, civilization.  (2) Was Kurtz sane or insane, ethical or unethical, smart or dumb?  (3) What is good and bad, and gained and lost, in becoming civilized?  ---  07/10/1994

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Apocalypse Now.  There were no women in that movie to keep the men loved, satisfied and sane.  ---  7/18/1998

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Apocalypse Now.  Why I liked Kurtz.  I too felt and saw "the horror".  This is beyond the usual feeling of depression and anxiety.  It is more toward what Edgar Allan Poe felt.  Horror.  It just springs to mind for certain types of people.  ---  04/24/1997

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Caddyshack: Slobs vs. snobs.  Animal House: freedom (losers) vs. authority (system followers).  ---  06/01/1993

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Citizen Kane.  The character Charles Foster Kane was not such a bad guy.  So he had an affair, big deal.  And his life was not that bad.  No need to cry for him.  The movie had good cinematic direction but a poor story line.  The story was not powerful.  The story had to preach and lecture in order to spell it all out for the audience, because it could not convey its message convincingly on its own.  Rosebud was a gimmick.  The directing was good: shots from distances near and far.  Light and dark chiarusco.  Shot angles high and low.  ---  11/15/1998

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Coen Brothers.  "Big Lebowski" is like "Dude, Where's My Car" twenty years later.  Excellent.  ---  11/2/2001

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Cohen Brothers.  Fargo is their best work.  The winter adds emotional impact.  The snow and cold draws the community together even while it threatens to kill, just like the criminals.  Its the white picket fence vs. death and chaos.  The winter landscape in Fargo is like the ocean in Moby Dick.  The desperation of Jerry Lundgarden (Bill Macy) and the desperation of the guy who asks Francis McDermott for a date vs. the comfy coziness of Francis McDermott and her duck-drawing hubby.  The woman is the center of the movie, and in the movie the woman holds the center together.  ---  11/2/2001

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Deliverance.     (1) Deliverance is about the edge between civilization and wild nature.  Nature is represented by tractless swaths of primeval forests, raging rivers, savagery, violence, chaos, and animal drives.  Civilization is represented by the community, ethics, law, and emotions and thoughts.     (2) Deliverance is also about poverty, illiteracy, abandoned factories and small rural towns.     (3) Deliverance is also about the hillbillies, a mountain people who are similar to the Nepalese Sherpas in how they have been both helped and hurt by contact with modern civilization.     (4) Deliverance is a macho movie about men's issues.  There are few women in Deliverance, and I dare say the story would have been less grim had more women been present.     (5) Deliverance is an adventure movie that deals with issues such as risk, courage, death and triumph.     (6) Deliverance is also a movie about the wilderness next door in your heart.  ---  11/15/2000

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Diner is a good movie because life is not an action movie.  Most of life involves sitting around, for example, in a diner, trying to figure out what is going on and what to do.  See also, the movies "My Dinner with Andre" and "Coffee and Cigarettes".  There should be more women in those movies.  ---  12/11/2005

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Easy Rider.  Stunning landscapes.  Good music.  Constant pot smoking.  Obtuse, passive-aggressive, hippie dialogue.  ---  4/28/1998

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Favorite actors: Ellen Barkin, Roseanne Arquette, William Dafoe, Mickey Rourke.  Intelligent, sensitive, quirky.  Ethereal, wispy, transcendental, frail.  ---  02/01/1994

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Good movie about post grad academia: The Paper Chase.  (1) Deals with how to go through the school grinder without losing your humanity (ethical principles, emotional sensitivity, sociability).  (2) How to get over sycophantic worship of professors, which is really an immature worship of an authority figure (like rents, god, dictator, etc.).  (3) How to do the above two without caving into pressure and dropping out or going nuts.  ---  01/23/1997

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Good psychology movies.  What About Bob.  Good Will Hunting.  Ordinary People.  Prince of Tides.  ---  12/29/1997

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Groundhog Day.  A movie that is guaranteed a rerun every year.  A movie that, when aired on Groundhog's day eve, causes a deja vu the next day that is remarkably like that experienced by the movie's main character, played by Bill Murray.  A movie that gets better, more powerful in its effect, every time you see it.  A movie that reflects life, in that most of us spend our time doing the same thing over and over.  One day is much like the next at work.  And we repeat our mistakes until we learn and improve.  ---  02/15/1997

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Lost in Translation" is about two staples of modern civilization: hotel rooms and insomnia.  It is a subtle and mellow movie: I can recall only one car chase scene and one shooting scene.  A fair and balanced look at cheating.  ---  9/22/2003

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Metaphysical wierdness.  Groundhog Day.  Truman Show.  Both excellent movies.  ---  9/25/2000

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  On the Waterfront.  An excellent movie.  ---  10/1/2003

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Paul favorites.  Drama: Taxi Driver, Deliverance; Last Tango in Paris; Raging Bull; Apocalypse Now.  Comedy: Animal House; Caddy Shack; Pee Wee's Big Adventure.  ---  12/06/1993

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  Sidney Poitier's, "I don't owe you anything.", speech from "Guess Who's Coming for Dinner".  He says ideas similar to what I have figured out and written on my own.  ---  04/24/1997

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  The Big Chill is about people struggling to define themselves, their relationships, and their world.  ---  4/1/2005

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  The Matrix.  The movie "The Matrix" is a metaphor for the Internet.  Most people think the Internet is just surface.  Underneath and behind the Internet is another level where web people dwell.  ---  6/1/2003

Arts, movies, criticism.  ---  The Verdict.  You gather yourself together and do it again.  Even if you feel washed up.  Give it another try.  ---  7/8/2006

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.