Beginners: Uptown Theater
Starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, this Mike Mills film is stuck somewhere between populist and flim-snob territory. It's not necessarily a bad place to be, so long as there's something charming or endearing about the characters and the story. Seeing as there's no real resolution and the main character is completely depressing, you wish the film had been more challenging. Instead, the light-hearted moments tend to be a bit confusing and out of place. It's not a bad film, but it just seems to be stuck somewhere in the middle between mass and niche appeal.
Yojimbo: Instant Netflix
Just yesterday the Criterion Collection took another step towards moving their catalog from Instant Netflix to Hulu Plus when they removed works by Jean Renoir and Akira Kurosawa, among others. Before they did so I watched this samurai flick that inspired Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars. There are better Kurosawa flicks, but I always love old Japanese films that contain lessons on life during depressions and how that makes individuals and societies reach lows they previously thought were impossible.
Odds Against Tomorrow: Instant Netflix
I saw this after a friend recommended I check out the work of actor Robert Ryan. One of the things that struck me about this film noir was the extent to which the interior spaces seemed to completely dwarf our two main actors (Ryan being one, Harry Belafonte being the other). I also found it interesting that, while both of the protagonists were total sleazebags, the film goes a little way toward redeeming Belafonte's character in certain scenes while doing absolutely nothing for Ryan's.
Rare Keith Haring Clip: YouTube
Keith Haring, the 80's graffiti/pop artist, is "boogieing on a Saturday night." That's supposedly a criticism leveled at him in this video, but I can't trust anyone who uses the term "boogieing" seriously. If I had to guess, I'd say this clip comes from a taped episode of 60 Minutes. So to whoever kept their nearly 30 year old VHS of this episode: kudos.