Looking Back

Over the last year, I haven’t had time to read a lot of books, but have finally started to catch up on some of the movies I’ve missed out on over the years. Some were checked out of the U.N.C. library, some I bought, but most came from Netflix. In 2006, I watched 98 movies, one of them twice, only two previously familiar, plus 20 shorts. (At least half a dozen more I’d seen many years before, but more or less forgotten.) Some brief notes:

  • Best: perhaps Smiles of a Summer Night — I hadn’t realized that Bergman could be funny. All I remember from college is The Seventh Seal, Virgin Spring, and some contemporary scenes of emotional torture and self-torture.
  • Worst by far: By Brakhage — what little I watched of it was pretentious crap. On a scale of one to five stars, I gave even The Abominable Dr. Phibes one and a half, but By Brakhage earned a special score of zero stars.
  • Most painful to watch, at least for a bibliophile: I, the Worst of All, which features both a book-burning scene (1:06) and another in which philosopher-poet Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is forced to sell all of her books and scientific apparatus (1:39).
  • Best adaptation of a novel I’ve read: Schlöndorff’s Coup de Grâce. I’ve looked into Young Törless (the book) but not read it yet.
  • Worst adaptation: The Driver’s Seat.
  • Most suitable for showing bits of in 6th-grade Geography class: Ozu’s Good Morning.

I will add to this list if I think of anything else.

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