We here at Lost in Criterion have a complicated relationship with famed producer David O. Selznick. On the one hand there's the greatest movie ever made, The Third Man, on the other hand there's nearly anything else he's been involved with in the Collection. Vittorio De Sica may have felt similarly after Selznick partnered with him as producer of his 1953 film Terminal Station. After butting heads repeatedly in a production that ended with a widely-panned film, Selznick recut it without De Sica's permission and released Indiscretion of an American Wife. However bad Terminal Station may have been in a vacuum in 1953, it's a masterpiece compared to Selznick's version.
Umberto D., Vittorio De Sica's 1952 Italian neorealist drama, is essentially the same sort of depressing coming-of-age film we have an established love of -- 400 Blows, George Washington, Ratcatcher, etc -- but about an old man and his dog.
Also, as it turns out, the dog is played by one of the few professional actors in the film. And he's so good a lot of people think he ruins the feel of the movie.
I will never complain about a dog like that.
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Sure Criterion is releasing movies faster than we're consuming them, but hey, 200 is still a great milestone, right? Besides, someday either the Criterion Collection will die, or we will, and then the disparity won't matter! Hurrah!
Unfortunately, this film isn't quite the joy that our last C-note was, but how could it be? Criterion can't always reward us, especially since I just established that we're in some sort of fatalist competition with the Collection itself.
Leonard Kastle's ripped-from-the-headlines The Honeymoon Killers (1970) isn't a great film. It does have some great scenes, all of which seem to have been shot by Martin Scorsese before he was unceremoniously fired for taking too much time. That's the sort of production we're dealing with here. Beware!
A couple weekends ago while Pat and his family were here in the US I ended up at his parent's place to visit with them, as well as dear friends Jonathan Hape, and Andy Heney. Jonathan started poking around in boxes of old burnt cds and discovered on labeled "Adam Glass Rantings of a Mad Man" which of course we had investigate.
In the spirit of sharing embarrassing old art, I present to you the cd's contents: an "experimental" ep I recorded after being awake for 24 hours and having just finished a 10 hour shift in a school supply warehouse putting glue sticks in boxes sometime in the summer of 2004.
To the best of my knowledge I lifted the backing track to this from something Jonathan created digitally. I have no idea to what end he may have used it, but of all the things I've forgotten in my life I'm certain that producing a competent track whole-clothe in MusicMaker is not one of them. As evident from what is coming up next, I never knew how to do this.
What I could do was add distortion, narration, and 4 minutes of silence.
In your left ear you'll be hearing a loudly playing Spanish-language newscast. In your right ear you'll be hearing a different loudly playing Spanish-language newscast. Somewhere buried in there is some Beethoven.
I used to own a small plaster bust of Abraham Lincoln which was painted to look like a small pewter bust of Abraham Lincoln. He shows up in a lot of my creative work from the time. In this instance I miked Abe in one room, while I went down the hall and made a sandwich. Upon my return I tell Abe that while I liked it others may not. For some reason I then pretend that this has made Abe violently angry.
In this track I left the mic sit between a pair of headphones playing Nickleback's How You Remind Me. Then I reversed it.
I don't have to explain my art.