Sunday, February 4, 2024

Television Watch: Fargo Season 5

In the long, long ago, I went to film school and had the rough idea of the kinds of stories I was drawn to, and in the most auteurish version of the world, what sort of thing I'd want to make.  When I watch the television series Fargo, it is with the knowledge that this is the kind of stuff that lives in my wheelhouse, but done light years better than - even in my most self-congratulatory fever dreams - I could imagine delivering.

It's noir, in its way.  And allegorical, most certainly.  Characters have rich inner lives from which they call and respond to one another, and watching each season is mapping and reconciling the arc of each character, understanding how they fit into a larger tapestry as Hawley weaves a picture of the point he's trying to make this time.

Initially, the show seemed like a fool's errand.  The 1996 film upon which the show is based is a bonafide modern-ish classic (I am not taking comment or questions on this statement).  Trying to work in the world of the Coens, aping their style and worldview seemed breathlessly arrogant.  I was part of the audience from the 1980's and 1990's, who - thanks to Joel and Ethan Coen - came to see movies could maybe be a bit more than what I thought.  The Coens provided a fresh take and a clear perspective all their own when it came to style, substance and density of narrative, as much auteurs as you were likely to see in the US film industry, and ushering in the 1990's indie-film era.   

G Watch: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Watched:  02/02/2024
Format:  Max
Viewing:  Second*
Selection:  joint - me and Jamie

I don't have much new to really add to what I said back in 2020 about this movie.  But I do suspect that this is the Godzilla movie I have a firm memory of watching on TV as a kid, mostly because of the multiple kaiju and that the fight happens in an open field.  

I didn't say much about the human story in my prior write up - but it does feel like it's trying to set up a TV show or series of movies about two dudes and a child of vague relation, and their robot.  Read onto these people whatever you want - are they pals, brothers, a couple and their adopted child?  They do not say.  Nor do they do much to infuse anyone with a personality, story or anything to make them characters, but they do spend a lot of time showing them doing things.

Btw - the reason Megalon is attacking is that the surface humans set off an underground nuclear test killing - according to the dialog - a full third of the population of Seatopia, the nation of people living under the ground.  Y'all, the Seatopians are right to try to kill all of us.  But so wrong about trusting that guy and his bad mustache to run Seatopia.

But this is a kids movie, and I'm not going to complain too much.  The kaiju battling, robot stuff and bases for the movie is (chef's kiss).

Ida Noir Watch: Woman in Hiding (1950)

Watched:  02/03/2024
Format:  TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  Second
Director:  Michael Gordon
Selection:  Me.  

This one popped up on TCM's Noir Alley, and my memory was enjoying the film, so I gave it a spin.  Also, it had been a minute since I'd watched anything with Ida Lupino in it, and that seemed wrong.  

Anyway, I stand by the review from three years ago.  And my assertion that Ida Lupino is a good idea.