jon miller, hall of famer

what i watched last week

(Does it mean anything that I forgot to post this?)

Cleo from 5 to 7. Initially frivolous, but it grows into something far more profound. Not sure why it has taken me so long to see this French New Wave classic. As was true the first time I saw Breathless, I wanted to watch it again as soon as it ended. (For the record, I didn’t ... I did with Breathless, though). Cleo from 5 to 7 isn’t quite as startling now as it must have seemed in 1962, but its essential, existential heart is just as large now as it was then. 8/10, although I feel a 9 or 10 coming on subsequent viewings. #554 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the Top 1000 Films of All Time.

Shake, Rattle & Rock. 50s rock and roll exploitation junk. Mike Connors, before he was Mannix (well, actually, before he was Mike … he’s billed as Touch Connors) plays the DJ who wants to use rock and roll to help the kids live positive lives. A variety of typical character actors fill out the cast, including Groucho’s old friend Margaret Dumont as a prissy old lady. The old folks in town want to put an end to the music … a trial of sorts ensues, and rock and roll wins out. Fats Domino and Big Joe Turner show up … their young fans are all white kids, of course. At the trial, the old timers compare rock and roll to jungle music … Touch Connors responds by demonstrating that if you play Chopin real fast and emphasize the beat, it sounds like rock and roll. There’s a five-page undergraduate essay in all of this, but the movie’s not worth it. 5/10.


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