It’s cold and foggy here. It doesn’t feel like spring, but rather the downward creep of fall. I’ve been playing catch up with some responsibilities, and reliving some of the high points of IMsL through other people’s recaps.
I’ve been looking for my copy of “Watchmen” around my house for months and have been unable to find it. So I bought another one in the SF airport to read on the way home. Getting through it made me even less interested in seeing the movie. For one thing, it’s not at all an action story: violent things happen, but the guts of it all is reflection, memory and discussion. The narrative moves forward very slightly compared to how much it moves backwards or sideways and it’s not propelled by people doing superhero type things. When I try to think of the directors who could do it justice I think of Tarkovsky or maybe War Wong Kai. If Fassbinder wasn’t dead he could do a great version, with everyone sitting around some broken down warehouse some where.
In other pop culture news, last night’s South Park was one of their tortured analogy episodes, where a goofy incident is made to stand in for a social issue. I laughed harder at a picture of a jar in The Onion with the caption “Heroic Pickles Holding Lid Shut From Inside”.
Speaking of beloved book adaptations, on Tuesday night TCM showed “The Phantom TollBooth”, Chuck Jones’ take on one of my favorite books from my childhood. I’ve seen it before but really forgotten how dreary it was. The backgrounds are mainly recycled from “What’s Opera Doc” and the character design is shabby. Jules Pfeiffer did a great job illustrating the book, but Jones utterly jettisoned his line and balance for the movie. The songs are lackluster and forgettable, and the end is a rushed knockoff of the “All Too Much” sequence from “Yellow Submarine”.