Savages (1975)

I’d always looked at the DVD sitting there, especially with Michael O’Donoghue’s name on it. So odd. I mean, it’s a Merchant-Ivory film, co-written by O’Donoghue (!), that refers to the said Savages – on the DVD box yet, as “the Mud People.” So it’s intriguing if nothing else.

After the outcries of the indignities in King Kong and stuff about the Noble Natives, I thought this just might be the antidote. For those who don’t know, O’Donoghue was part of National Lampoon as its regulars morphed into SNL and SCTV. He was a main writer on SNL and sometimes performer (Wolverine, Steel Needles in the Eyes), but other than Scrooged, he had precious few screenplays to his credit. Continue reading Savages (1975)

Wholpin DVD

From the McSweeney’s people, who had already launched a rather good monthly magazine that used to be about books and writers called The Believer (It’s not so much about that anymore, and while still good, I no longer get it because I can read about politics, music and films in a dozen other places).

Their latest venture is a quarterly DVD, made up of “shorts.” People continue to make short films even with almost no outlet for them. One would have thought the web would have given more light to this kind of film, but other than the occasional re-cut trailer (Shining, Passion of the Christ) or a photoshopped scene of a jet landing on the 405, it hasn’t really been so. The other possible outlet for this stuff is straight to DVD which again has been tried by various DVD “magazines” with not too much success.

So enter Wholpin from McSweeney’s with an impressive bunch of names on the cover, and actually an impressive bunch of films as well. The variety between the films is impressive; there’s no attempt to create a “theme” thankfully, and the unexpectedness of what you’re getting in each new chapter is really a big part of the fun. Continue reading Wholpin DVD


Jeff and I saw this together last night. We walked in as fans of director Michael Haneke, and walked out with that adoration confirmed, if not exuberantly so–I think it was a strong, smart, challenging film, if not quite the equal of his finest (Time of the Wolf). So it is highly recommended, and I think we both want to puzzle over its objectives and accomplishments.

That said, it is also a film best discussed after viewing, and I don’t want to disrupt any of the pleasures of the text by giving away this or that–you can’t really start addressing without naming, so I’ll avoid explicit spoilers but can’t sidestep certain specifics. Continue reading Cache/Hidden