Tuesday 31 December 2013

2013 Dies!

Well, that was the year of The Penciltonian.  What an exciting time!  What a world of adventures!  What!  Why?

I had hoped never to watch another film again, but the bright lights and colours have drawn me back.  Since the official end of the project and the blog, I've found myself compelled to watch the following motion pictures, which I report here in order to wrap up the year:

Iron Sky (2012)

This is actually a far more appropriate end to The Penciltonian than whatever the actual end was: an exciting Finnish/German/Australian/kinda-American film, riffing on a lot of the German movies I've been watching (even 1943's 'Münchausen', which I'd thought pretty obscure) and slathered in modern-style Wagner.  An action comedy about space-Nazis, an enjoyable and necessarily broad satire, which didn't end as I expected.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

On St Christmas Eve's Day, I actually saw a movie on the BIG SCREEN, something I had failed to achieve through the body of the year.  It's an excellent telling of the story, and is pretty close to being a perfect film.  Attractive, exciting, amusing and moving, and the muppets work surprisingly well alongside human actors, without seeming unduly ridiculous.  I'm sure I had more to say about it, but Christmas.

Witchfinder General (1968)

What a jerk!  I've always liked the Puritan style, and have seen photos from the film and admired Matthew Hopkins' hat and fine array, but he was a horrid fellow.  This film sits neatly alongside 'Häxan' (1922) and 'The Passion of Joan of Arc' (1928) as a tale of misidentified witches being beaten up by unchristian Christians - and it joins my beloved 'Winstanley' in being an inspiration for 2013's surprise hit 'A Field in England'.  This is a film of really horrible, hard-to-watch violence (which seems entirely appropriate, given the subject matter), and Pertwee-era-style crash zooms (which seem less appropriate).  Vincent Price IS the Witchfinder General.

War and Peace (1956)

I watched the first hour of this, but became immensely irritated.  It wasn't terrible, but it was slow and unexciting, and I'm no longer obliged to watch slow, unexciting films.  I have the liberty to escape such things.  I also grew aware that the film was not at all the best way to take this particular story.  As much as a massive, massive book is daunting, a film that boils a massive, massive story down to a few hours and makes it feel like any other romance, is a less appealing and less helpful prospect.

A borrowed and wearying cat on me, and upon you all.
So, what does 2014 bring?  I tried to make a list of my predictions, but the list started out frighteningly bleak and full of catastrophe (which celebrities will die, this year?), before becoming a sequence of portents of doom and stars of ill-omen, so I stopped making the list and wondered whatever was wrong with me.  2014 will be very lovely.  Amen.


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