Movies reviewed this week: Forbidden City, U.S.A., The Last Days of Disco, and A Bay of Blood.
3/7/2022: Forbidden City, U.S.A. (1989): ***1/2
The history of the nightclub is interesting, but the stories of the performers who stubbornly kept going until they found a way to sing and dance? That’s an awesome story. Dong also contextualizes the racism inherent to the subject without diminishing the successes.
3/12/2022: The Last Days of Disco (1998): **1/2
Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale are great and the dialogue sparkles but I’m not convinced that Stillman knows his characters are yuppie assholes. To wit:
It’s a problem, of course, because I think racism is not acceptable, but having class prejudice, people can pay themselves on the back for. It’s reverse class prejudice. Millions of people have been killed for being bourgeois. Should there be consciousness about that? How much of the hatred of anti-Semitism was a class thing, because the Jews of Germany were successful economically?
None, Whit. None of it.
3/13/2022: A Bay of Blood (1971): ***
Criterion Challenge 2022
Prompt: Ethan Hawke and Jonathan Marc Sherman’s Closet Picks
I watched this on Shudder and I kinda wish it’d been subtitled instead of dubbed, but so it goes. It’s always satisfying watching a genre master show off their craft.
The cinematography here is sumptuous, not only during the kill scenes, and the intricate nasty plot is more tightly constructed than one might expect. Not a great movie, but certainly satisfying.