…and the quest to see everything

Posts tagged “Richard Donner

Best Shot: ‘…mother’s womb.’


My first reaction to Richard Donner’s movie, second to ‘Nat’s Best Shot series is back! Yay!’ is that I have now learned where that hipster singer’s name comes from, assuming of course that all musicians get their names out of thin air unless stated or informed of otherwise. And fortunately, the movie Ladyhawke isn’t as bad as the electro-whaetever musician. Little Boots is better.

An actor’s blocking and personality changes an image in a movie despite of how the camera sticks to the same frame boundaries. This shot of a dirty wall and a hand desperately trying to stick out comes after one that shows three men getting hanged. The first thing that comes to my mind is that this man faced another execution, of getting cemented within a wall or something, suggesting a brutality that the movie might have. It cuts to a scene when knights search for an imprisoned Philippe Gaston to be hanged next and it cuts back to the same muddy surface we see earlier.

And then we realize that it’s just Cooter Burger breaking out of that wall and we realize that he and we are just going to be fine. We see and hear Matthew Broderick’s luminous face and first words – comparing his current state to that of ‘escaping mother’s womb.’ Despite his and everyone else’s wobbly accents, he brings whimsy and youthful physicality to a movie that we’ll discover is anachronistically yet enjoyably cartoony, a Medieval adventure story viewed under a modern lens and a good God soundtrack.

Those are my favourite shots although there were many from which to choose, the movie simultaneously bringing my tendencies to compare the natural compositions with Brueghel, which is coincidental because Philippe’s unlikely road buddy in the cursed Navarre is played by Rutger Hauer, who will eventually play the painter three decades later. Other shots and the colour within them also remind me of Cezanne, Powell, Poussin and Cameron although the silhouettes makes a Western trope into its own thanks to cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. The movie also features Michelle Pfeiffer as the titular love interest Ladyhawke/Isabeau and Alfred Molina as Cesare, a man who works for the three characters’ common and blasphemous enemy.


“Lethal Weapon” Movie Pitch


I watched Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon 3. This is 1992 and the film shows the contradictions within depicting black people in cinema. The threat of Danny Glover’s character’s retirement and old age is ever-present because of Mel Gibson’s trickster of a character, but said threat is heavier against the former because of his son who is suddenly listening to rap music and hanging out within the bad crowd!

I changed the channel half an hour later, and I’m not going to wait to see this film in its entirety before I write about it, because what will probably make a better movie is if fact and fiction mix. If Gibson’s chauvinistic persona and Glover’s super left-wing self were in a movie and wrestled or fought or something. That’s worth ten dollars.