THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS | If I look out of my window I can see exactly where Margot Tenenbaum (Gwyneth Paltrow) left Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray) 15 years ago. The block doesn’t exactly look the same, but close enough. Like the Tenenbaums. They changed but stayed the same. Kind of like any family, really. That’s why this is my favorite Wes Anderson flick. Because even if we’re not living the same lifestyle as these privileged New Yorkers we can still find the parallels to our own families in the weirdness and eccentricities; in the strained relationships, small achievements and colossal failures; in despair, forgiveness and camaraderie; and in the inside jokes—some of which we laugh at, and some of which I truly believe are confined to the screen only to be enjoyed by the Tenenbaums themselves. This family’s been criticized of consisting of one dimensional, cookie-cutter stereotypes, but isn’t that the point? To have the brooder, the champion, the loose canon, the control freak, and other insert-personality-type-title-here characters? That’s what makes it work. That’s what allows us to imagine their situations as ours. That’s what makes it resonate.
I’m terrible with updating my website. Clients, who’s wondering why the projects we have worked together is not on there, it’s not that I don’t love them. It is most probably that I haven’t caught up on website updates! I just made a print of this piece, and realized, yeah, it’s not on there…. I have to get to updating better and efficiently. I may need more help… :-/. #zatoichi #criterioncollection
The creepiest shot in film history? This is why Jack Cardiff is a film god. I still can’t believe Black Narcissus was shot in 1947. I mean, are you kidding me? Absolutely, incredible. #BlackNarcissus #criterion #criterioncollection #Powell&Pressburger #JackCardiff (Taken with Instagram)
CB 160: René Clément’s “Soigne ton gauche (Keep Your Left Up),” 1936.
Letter: Well done. Keep up your training. The next match will be certainly a hit. Best wishes. Max
Jacques Tati’s Playtime has always been a personal favorite, a feeling further reinforced after seeing it in 70MM at the Music Box last month. That extraordinary theatrical experience motivated me to finally catch up with Tati’s other films featuring the perpetually charming Monsieur Hulot. One of the many virtues of these four Hulot-centric films (Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon Oncle, Playtime, and Trafic) is they’ve all gotten the Criterion treatment, and the first two have included some early Tati shorts.
This first one, Soigne ton gauche, appears as a supplement on M. Hulot’s Holiday and features Tati not as Hulot but as a bungling laborer with dreams of being a fighter. Noticing Tati’s delusions of grandeur, a local boxing manager recruits him to step in and act as a human punching bag for his fighter who’s already gravely injured his other sparring partners. Armed only with a rudimentary boxing “how-to” book, which most trainers presumably leave lying around the ring, Tati is beaten senseless for a spell before finally getting the last laugh after things devolve into chaos. A cautionary tale about getting bopped in the head.