The rest of my cheapass Deadwood order came in (Seasons 2 and 3) and a book of pulp pastiche edited by Michael Chabon, McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales.
reviewed it previously when I saw it theaters (though it's nice to see not so close-up, turns out Amy Adams DOESN'T have horribly twisted giant arms), so I'll use this space to explain why it worked for me where Catch Me didn't. After all, both are period pieces about real stories featuring both con men and the FBI. So why do I like American Hustle so much? Beyond the layered character studies, the film making feels DANGEROUS. The emotions are raw, scenes have an exciting improvisational feel, the characters are volatile, and we're not always sure who is scamming who at any given time (which is a must for con stories, it's part of their DNA). That's what makes the story as thrilling as the con itself. And it's danger that's shared by the characters - you don't know if they'll succeed. That's what's missing from Catch Me. The production is as slick as its protagonist, and the way the story is told, you sort of know how it'll all shake out. The DVD here has deleted and extended scenes and a short making of.
earlier this year, when it was in theaters, and needless to say I loved it. A second viewing this week made me more critical of the Samantha character, however, and brought a new layer to the film's exploration of relationships in the modern age. Despite the title, I first understood the film to be about HIM, and no stranger to crushing loneliness, identified with the male character, fell in love with Samantha just as he did, etc. By focusing on HER this time, I was taken by the character's intense selfishness, which makes complete sense in terms of Samantha's literal immaturity. In addition to that layer is the mirror between Samantha and Theodore's ex-wife, and between Sam and Theo themselves across relationships. It seems I'm not done seeing something new in this film, but then, it's a Spike Jonze movie. The DVD package is disappointing because I'd have liked to see more making of stuff; we only get a conversation about modern relationships by various people reacting to the film.
Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
V.i. Ophelia's Funeral - BBC '80