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October 11, 2004

The kindness of strangers worked in second degree circles and gained me entrance tonight to the Sam Phillips show, which Curtis, having already seen her open for David Byrne last night, told me would be the best live show since we went to see Nick Cave in New Orleans. And it was one of those performances that cuts you to the quick and is so perfect you can't help but smile with excitement, despite the sadness of the songs. The instrumental accompaniment was stunning, but one of the best moments was when Sam sang along to a song on a tape recorder held up to the microphone. Hope will kill you. I don't know if it was the best since Nick Cave -- I can't discount the transcendance of Sigur Ros -- but then I go see shows so infrequently that I don't have much to hold it to.

It's hard to believe Superman is dead. I never had a huge attachement to that series, but I still have very fond memories of it; more importantly, I was really convinced Christopher Reeve would pull through and walk again. I wonder if Kerry will make a reference to him again in the next debate.

I watched Dreyer's The Passion Of Joan Of Arc yesterday and was left rather devastated. What a film -- it's right up there with Battleship Potemkin as a masterwork of the silent era. A testament to the power of montage, and moreso to the transifgurative qualities of the human face. To think that it was almost completely lost is terrifying; that it was recovered seems, appropriately, like proof of the devine.

I then moved onto a picture that has a similarly suspenseful backstory of lost and miraculously found prints: Shadows, my introduction to Cassavetes. At its best, it seemed ripped straight from the pages of Kerouac and alive with counterculture electricity; but at the same time, I kept thinking about how Godard did the same thing a little bit better. Of course, Godard wasn't paying for his films out of his own pocket, and I certainly don't hold the film's roughness against it. The improvisational nature of it made for many inspired scenes, but just when it was really getting great the credits started to roll. I think a second viewing is in order.

However, I decided to cancel my Netflix subscription until I've got a more steady income. It was a fairly good run -- in the past four months I've watched Duel In The Sun, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Persona, The Godfather Trilogy, Ikiru, My Life To Live, Band Of Outsiders, Contempt, Shoot The Piano Player, The Bicycle Thief, Paths Of Glory, Black Narcissus, Stranger Than Paradise, Spellbound, L'Aaventura, Blowup, Days Of Heaven, Walkabout, Last Tango In Paris, Happy Together, Videodrome, The King Of Comedy, Schizopolis, The Underneath, Lady Snowblood, Two Lane Blacktop, Crimson Gold, Songs From The Second Floor, The Claim, Wonderland, Butterfly Kiss, Tokyo Story, Floating Weeds, Tie Me Up Tie Me Down!, Live Flesh, Shock Corridor, Being There, Funny Games, Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, Once Upon A Time In The West, Slacker, and, lastly, the two I've written about above -- but I probably could have done better.

Posted by David Lowery at October 11, 2004 02:25 AM