Bonnie and Clyde
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Bonnie and Clyde 1967

A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang...

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Imdb rating: 8

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I saw this recently on TCM and I have to say it's a great movie. I've always had an admiration with Warren Beatty and of course Faye Dunaway. This is also one of those movies that inspired alot of crime movies. Tarantino pays homage to it alot in films like Pulp Fiction and True Romance. I think the Coen brothers also referenced one of the bank robbing scenes in Raising Arizona.

Gene Hackman is also in this film which plays Warren's brother and delivers a great performance. I'm definetly going to recommend this film to my brothers.
In the jury selection for some Scott Peterson trial (should I care that I don't care about who this nobody is?), the potential jurors were asked what bumper stickers they have on their cars. The legal system makes me feel safe from killers.

In other news, Journey has recently been featured, and by featured I mean casually mentioned, on Scrubs and The O.C. Do I smell a worldwide conquest? I think so.

Oh, and NBC fuzzed out the bare bosoms of women in works of art (paintings) that were featured on The Apprentice tonight. Forget the Cold War or 9/11, we live in a post-Janet world.
The tough part of the semester is over, finally. I still have a paper due and two finals, but I won't have to work too hard in order to finish them. It's nice to finally be able to relax a little bit after a hectic last couple of weeks.

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This week looks to be pretty interesting and busy as far as film goes. All of the following events are taking place at the same theater.

Wednesday: Screening for Rhinoceros Eyes. It looks to be a surreal, almost experimental film starring Michael Pitt. I have liked films of this sort in the past, as long as the experimentation doesn't intrude too much on the audience experience.

Thursday: Probably the event I'm most looking forward to. There will be a screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, accompanied by a live orchestra.

Friday: A screening of Games People Play: New York & meet and greet with the director. It looks like a spoof on the reality television craze. Could be good.

I'm really excited about this theater. I purchased a membership around Christmas of last year, but they had a disappointing first quarter as far as events are concerned, but it looks to be an exciting Spring and Summer. They are doing a TCM series where they will screen several classic films. The ones I know of are 2001, A Clockwork Orange and Lolita, but I'm sure they'll show a lot more than just Kubrick. I'm hoping for a Lawrence of Arabia screening.

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Shaolin Soccer opened at the aforementioned theater this week, so I'll try to squeeze in a little screening, but I doubt I'll have the time.

Wilbur wants to Kill Himself and The Return, two films that are very high on my must see list, opened at the downtown theater this week. I'm afraid I will miss them both, and will not have a chance to revisit Wilbur until the video release, since it is a one-week only release.

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I bought three DVDs this week:

Big Fish: This was an impulse buy, but I couldn't help it after seeing the special features list. The commentary with Tim Burton should be all kinds of :fresh:.

On the Waterfront: This is the subject of my final paper for film class, but that was more just an excuse to buy such a fine film. The paper is supposed to be combination review and essay, so I'm sure I'll post the highlights on my website. It's a movie that I could say a lot about, so I'm looking forward to writing it.

The Office: Series Two: Great fun! All I can say. I already watched all 6 episodes, almost to the detriment of my studies.

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The writing has been slow going lately, naturally. I still have almost completed reviews for Intermission, Dirty Pretty Things and Laws of Attraction, but haven't been able to find the time to top them off.

I did still manage to put up this review for Man on Fire.

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Recent Viewings:

Throne of Blood: Kurosawa just flat out amazes me. His ability to plop me at the edge of my seat is just unparalleled by any film director. This is my favorite of his yet, and I'll share the reasons very soon. Just an amazing experience. 10/10

Bon Voyage: A delightful period piece that is critical of French society in the same vein as Rules of the Game. Very well-done production and shooting style. Isabelle Adjani gives a terrific comic performance. 8/10

Bonnie and Clyde: I had to watch this in film class and I'm just not as high on this film as I probably should be, considering it's historical significance. It just seems very drab, and horribly dated. I thought it was okay the first time around, but liked it even less the second time. 5/10
Really like it!

The real Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.

:) Gibsland, Louisiana, where Bonnie and Clyde were shot down, cashes in.
You Only Live Once (Fritz Lang, 1937) 8/10:fresh:



This is the first film version of the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde. However, this film is only loosely based on the lives of the famous outlaws. Eddie Taylor (Henry Fonda) is just released from prison after his third conviction with the intention of turning his life around. His girlfriend Joan (Sylvia Sidney) gives him reason to settle down. Eddie thinks he can just give up his life of crime, but he finds going straight isn't as easy as he thought it would be. When a mysterious man robs a bank Eddie becomes a prime suspect. He is captured and found guilty. Being his fourth conviction, Eddie is automatically given the death penalty. The rest of the film follows Eddie's struggles to escape from prison as well as becoming a "love-on-the-run" tale.

While this film can't compare to Arthur Penn's masterpiece (a film I've seen a number of times), I do think that this is a great companion piece. It keeps a quick pace which keeps it entertaining, but the film is too short. The time spent between Eddie and Joan felt like more of an afterthought than being intricate to the plot. The "love-on-the-run" portion of the movie all takes place in the final 10 minutes. Otherwise this is a virtually flawless tale from a great director.
Comments pending.



to be honest, i don't think Bonnie and Clyde is a classic in the truest sense. i'm sure it had a major impact of American film in the late 60's, but it's violence is tame by today's standards and there isn't even that much violence in it.. not like it would have had it been made in 1997 instead of 1967 anyway. it may not have held up as well as other well-known classics, but it is a good film though, a great film even.

since i imagine most people are familiar with the legend of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, i don't think i need to tell you what the film is about. it wouldn't require much explaining though since it's basically all about how they met, got famous and ended up being chased across states after robbing banks. it is worth noting though that the film version has taken some artistic liberties as it is so popularly called, so it's not a fully accurate account of what really happened. with the exception of what i've read on IMDb's trivia page (such as the character of C.W. Moss being a composite of two real-life members of the Barrow gang), i couldn't tell you what's different from the real tale since i don't really know any exact details about the actual Bonnie and Clyde's escapades.

personally, the acting highlight of the film is Faye Dunaway's performance as Bonnie Parker. looking at just the bare facts, Clyde was the one doing the most of the bad things, but the film certainly gives you (me at least) the feeling that Bonnie is the more wicked one of the two, and that Clyde, at least initially, just acted tougher than he really was to impress her. the film makes him out to be the troublemaker, but it felt like Bonnie's the one getting him into it. anyway, back to Dunaway.. she's just ravishing! granted, i haven't seen her in that many films, but this feels like the best i've seen from her. the film got 5 nominations for acting, but in all honesty i only feel she's the only truly deserving of being nominated. all the others, Warren Beatty, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons were great, but i'm not sure i think they all deserved nominations.. okay, Parsons does, she even won the Oscar.. but it's Dunaway that truly shines in my book. Bonnie and Clyde are both fascinating characters, but i feel that Dunaway gave Bonnie that little bit of extra.

as for the production values, it's certainly a nicely done film. i do find it very surprising considering it's Academy Award acclaim that it didn't get nominated for editing or art direction since they're both very splendid. the final sequence in the film in particular has some brilliant editing that totally energizes the climax. the costumes were nominated though, and rightfully so. the cinematography, while very nice, oddly enough won the Oscar.. don't get me wrong, it's a very nicely lit and shot film (as you can see in the capture i took from the DVD above) but i'm not sure i'd consider it worthy of winning the Oscar.

Bonnie and Clyde is a classic.. sort of. i do feel that it's dated in that it's not really shocking at all to a modern audience, but on the other hand, it's a well-made, well-acted exciting and sometimes even fun film. whether you agree or not about it's status as a classic, i'm sure we can certainly agree that it is one of the (many) must-see films of the 1960's.

****


Robbers, thieves, killers, crooks. Lovers, brothers, heart, and spirit. What they were depended on who you were. To the police they were notorious crooks and villians. To the countless victims of the depression they were a symbol of rebellion and hope. The only thing more mythical than a great hero is that of a great anti-hero, which Bonnie and Cylde certainly are. After all, most of us are puzzled at who invented which machine or medicine, but have no problem recognizing the name of Al Capone. America's heart is still that of the small rebel and it's no surprise that the names of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are still a great part of American myth and legend.

The film was met coldly when it finally saw the light of day because of it's romantic take on some dispicable characters. Sensibly it's hard not to see it that way, but it's hard to after watching the film and being caught up in it's sheer beauty. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway may be the most beautiful duo ever to grace the screen in each other's company. Young, vibrant, and ambitious they bring hope to a time without any and energy to a dusted land where survival is job number one. They are simply irresistable. Beatty with his suits, cigars, and pistol. Dunaway with her shinging blond locks, berets, skirts, and stares. You'd be heartless to not be caught up in their increasingly tragic quest. The photography too is noticeably striking. Evoking the dust bowl of the depression we're treated to a full world of dusted browns and wilted greens. It's both wonderful to look at while at the same time making the beauty of the characters stand out that much more against the drabber backdrops.

Warren Beatty produced the film as well and had to fight hard to just let the film see the light of day. He knew what the studios did not in that the film's tale of rebellion was just what the younger movie going groups of the late 60s would attatch themselves to. It does idealize the violent uprising, but we see the tragic results. The film presents realistic and graphic violence throughout that is hard to imagine how fresh it was in it's time. It signaled the new hard edged direction that filmmakers of the early 70s would take film. The use of a jovial bluegrass soundtrack too counters the raw visions on screen. The most memorable shot, of course, is the stunning final barrage of gun shots that ends the tale of Bonnie and Clyde.
All-Time Classic in every sense of the word. Great filmmaking all around.