“We aren’t in some American TV show. We don’t need any private detectives,” a policeman tells Joe Shishido (the chipmunk-cheeked tough guy from Branded to Kill and A Colt Is My Passport) early in Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell, Bastards!
The first performance of The Seagull is one of the legendary disasters of the theater. The audience booed — but, perhaps more tragically for Chekhov, they laughed, and they laughed in the wrong places. They laughed at the young writer Treplyov’s symbolist play with which the story opens and at the pretensions of the younger characters.
Like most movie enthusiasts, we watch more films than we ever have time or occasion to single out for longer, more in-depth discussion. Rather than cobbling together, as we have in the past, lists of currently streaming titles — there are plenty of astute critics already doing a wonderful job at this uniquely pain-in-the-ass endeavor — we’ve decided to just assemble some highlights from our week.
Boots Riley‘s sense of humor has always tended to the pointedly outlandish, indignant outrage paired with a much goofier sensibility. Case in point: the class-conscious dance track “Five Million Ways To Kill A CEO” from his legendary Oakland hip-hop ensemble The Coup, in which Riley, voice swaggering over the groove, lays out the case against a ruling class who “own sweats shops, pet cops and fields of cola / Murder babies with they molars on the areola,” before suggesting a number of ways to rectify the situation.
There are all sorts of divides between us and the early silent days of Hollywood: assumptions about gender and race; the differences in our ability to fill in what is unsaid (to put back in the implicit sex they had to leave out, for instance); and even the ability to perform the simple act of holding an actor’s face in mind for the seconds until the title card comes up, then retroactively making the face make sense with the words.