Saturday, October 18, 2014

So, Twitter Is Dangerous

I’m not a social media user.  I briefly jumped on Facebook years ago when it seemed everyone was jumping in.  When people from high school started asking to be my friends who were, most emphatically, not my friends in high school, I felt there was something rather disingenuous about the whole thing.  So, I bailed.  Knowing what I know now, my kernel of info that I put on Facebook, a mere crumble, is still probably in Mark Zuckerman’s basement, or something.  But, I didn’t even put a photo of myself on it, so I’m not really all that bothered that the small bit of info that I did abandon on Facebook is still floating out there somewhere.

So, any other social media has found me rather apathetic.  Except Twitter.  Initially, I only followed two people:  the Dalia Lama and Bret Easton Ellis.  And, is it possible to find two polar opposites?  I added Werner Herzog and David Lynch, who I believe are aliens from other planets sent here to make amazing films that few humans can understand.  Unfortunately, Herzog never tweets.  However, Lynch does.  He’s a funny bird, because you are dealing with a limited number of characters, but he always starts his quotes with “Dear Twitter friends.”  That is so great.

But recently, I added a few, mostly dealing with film (BFI, AFI, and Criterion).  Sometimes they tweet interesting things, and I’m genuinely glad to get keyed into what they are broadcasting.  However, last Thursday, I got this:

For those of you who don’t know, Criterion is one of the two gold standards of DVDs (the other being Kino).  Not only do they have an outstanding collection of the most important films of all time, but they also bring in some of the not-so-known-yet-essential films.  They restore films as well as (usually) have a lot of great extras.  They are the reason why I started this blog in the first place.

They are also expensive.  Most single discs start around $40.  And, when you try to buy them used, the price really doesn’t decrease all that much. They are for cinephiles.  And yeah, we are snobs, so we expect a lot.

So, half off?  Are you kidding?  Christmas comes early this year.

But, there were restrictions.  Stuff had to be in stock.  Not future sales (they’ve got a series coming out in December from Kinoshita on Japanese WWII film that I’m so going to get, but couldn’t preorder it for this sale).  And I found out that some things are (sadly) out of print, like Last Year at Marienbad.  When did that go out of print?  So, I couldn’t go crazy, but I had quite a bit of leeway.  Here’s what I scored.

The Wages of Fear (1953) – This is such a great film.  It starts slow but when you get to the part where the trucks leave, it is one of the most, if not the most, suspenseful films ever.  I started working on a post for it a few years ago and will finish it, I promise. And, got it on Blu ray (squee!).

In the Mood for Love (2000) – Wong Kar-wai.  This movie is not about characters.  It is about atmosphere. And profound longing.  It is such a beautiful film, and this one I got on Blu ray as well.  Tony Leung.  Maggie Cheung.  Again, not a fast movie, but so beautiful.

Le Samourai (1967) – This may be the coolest film of all time.  Hit men are, by default, cool.  But this film is about a FRENCH hit man.  Please.

Pickpocket (1959) – This one was probably the least passionate impulse buys of the bunch, but it is still a solidly made film (afterwards, I was like “Why didn’t you buy The Bicycle Theives?"  I fucked that up.).

The Killing (1956) – This one I actually ordered after I placed my initial order, as I was like “What are you thinking?  Why didn’t you get that one?  Go back!”  One of Kubrick’s first films, and such an amazing one at that. Sterling Hayden does tend to walk away with it, but it’s a great film noir, and you know how much I love that genre.

Nikkatsu Noir – This is from the Eclipse Series, and links back up with my previous entry.  Japanese noir.  This is the only one out of the group that I haven’t seen before, but I knew I’d like it anyway (gee, Japan … noir … no-brainer – if retirement investment were that easy).

So, thank you to both Twitter and Criterion for my early Christmas.  I hope this doesn’t happen often.  This could be infinitely more dangerous.