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Movie Reviews: 3/21/2022 to 3/27/2022

Movies reviewed this week: The Parallax View and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.

3/21/2022: The Parallax View (1974): ****

Criterion Challenge 2022
Progress: 13/52
Prompt: Watch a movie from the 1970s

I didn’t think anything would be more 1970s than this, and I love conspiracy movies, so it was an easy choice for this prompt. I got what I wanted. I did not actually know about that spectacular sequence in the middle, so I also got to be completely surprised and — is delighted the right word?

The brutalist sets are spectacular, particularly when combined with the ant-like humans who populate them. It’s all either tight closeups or distance, not a lot of midrange.

Kind of a flat movie in some ways, but the dampened emotional tone seems like it’s the point.

3/24/2022: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019): ****

Criterion Challenge 2022
Progress: 14/52
Prompt; Watch a musical/music themed movie

Embracing the surreality of Dylan’s world, Scorsese decides that the only way to properly capture the layered game of masks and metaphors is to participate in it. Thus, this movie blends in completely fabricated encounters with Sharon Stone, entirely fictional characters, and dubious claims from Dylan himself.

Mick Ronson came to fame by playing guitar with Ziggy Stardust, and he was on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Dylan and Bowie: the two chameleons of popular music? I think so. This movie is about crafting myths, as was the tour.

Then there’s the powerful heart of the movie, the performances. Dylan sweating through whiteface and kohl eyeliner to push his emotions from his heart into your soul; Joan Baez, Scarlet Rivera, Mick Ronson again. The masquerade isn’t interesting if there isn’t something real at the heart of it.

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