Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The hit parade.


A quick Hello, Hi, all that, and then back to work.

What you should know:
  • I made the mistake of watching Fox's Prison Break. Dear Lord, we knew Brett Ratner can't direct films and we now know that he sure as hell can't direct for TV. In addition to creating a visually dull pilot, the performances he elicited from the actors... Well, let's just leave it at: It tells you something about the director when that level of acting is deemed acceptable.

  • I feel guilty for liking John Madden's Proof. What's funny is most of the reasons for feeling guilty--the Oscar-bait sheen, the wobbly mix of "realism" with Big Movie Moments, my unrelenting crush on the Gawky Bird--are the reasons I liked it so much. Hell, Hope Davis is usually a deal-breaker; here, in a role where the decks are entirely stacked against her, she slays. Remember back in 2001, when all those critics were smoking crack and recommending Ron Howard's limp and artless A Beautiful Mind? Yeah, well here's a way better entry in the genre of "Glossy Films About Tormented Math Geniuses."

  • Kanye West's Late Registration isn't quite the masterpiece that its hyped to be, but it's still bold and odd and pop and unlike any other hip hop album out there. But would someone please get Ye a copy of that memo about skits on rap/hip hop albums. He's still under the impression that they're funny and, you know, don't kill the flow.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Baba O'Reilly.

I never got the chance to see an episode of Brat Camp. This didn't bother me in the least until I read Sam Anderson's
pean to the show, where I learned of Mother Raven and Glacier and their attempts to tame unruly teens at Camp SageWalk.
There are two truly great moments in the piece: the concluding "where are they now" paragraph and this amazing capsule of anti-teen fervor.
Though I'm normally a pretty empathetic person, I hate teenagers with incredible fervor. It's nothing personal: I hate them categorically, like I hate injustice. I hate the way they roam around in packs, wearing floppy, Technicolor clothes, sculpting their marginal facial hair, slapping and tripping each other, shouting strings of banal obscenities as if they were delivering the 'Gettysburg Address.' I hate the way they express personal inadequacy through car accessories and vandalism. I even hate the word 'teens,' which sounds like some kind of infectious skin fungus. When a child I love becomes a teenager, my love for him goes into escrow for seven years. I know that there are biological excuses for their behavior—their amygdalae (the brain's anger and fear center) are ballooning, their exploding sexualities have only secret and shameful outlets—but that doesn't change my instinctive revulsion any more than knowing that sharks eat people because they need the protein. The cast of Brat Camp—a tribe of self-absorbed, violent, coke-dabbling, pimply rage-aholics—isn't an anomaly: It is the fullest logical expression of the genus teen, the platonic ideal of the species.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Don't call me whitey...

In a post on Shaft/blacksploitation film music at the excellent mp3 blog Moistworks, James drops this bit of dead-on film nerdery:
Personally, I'm more interested in a theory of Whiteslpoitation film.

I don't know exactly how one would begin to define such a genre, but I do know it would at some point suppose the following - off the top of my head:

A theme song by Randy Newman; some snappy dialogue about sex-fear by Nora Ephron; a good wife who walks around in wholesomely white panties played by Anne Archer; a sapless male character played by Aidan Quinn (because he's the male Anne Archer); John Travolta trying to dance like a black guy; Tim Allen trying to dance like a black guy; some cancer; a depressed person in a big house on the coast; speedboat chases; an acting debut by a country-western star; an expensive school christmas pageant; and a retard."

My additional suggestions:
  • The frat pack. It seems to me that a Whitesploitation film needs a tired Will Farrell cameo or Vince Vaughn doing, uh, a Vince Vaughn impression or (in the Defamer's words) "Ben Stiller running through a tire maze in short-shorts."

  • A score by Nancy Wilson.

  • A montage set to the most obvious Motown song possible, wherein Mother and children lip sync into hair brush/curling iron/etc.

  • A scene that goes something like this:

    A kitchen in a pleasant McMansion.
    LONG-LOST FRIEND (who has just arrived): Wow, this place is so... (long dramatic pause where you think she's going to say "nice" or "large") taupe.
    YUPPIE MOM: Oh. Thanks... I guess. Can I get you a Diet Snapple?
    LLF (ignoring her): What is that?
    YM: A banana hammock.

    Ho ho.
    And scene.

  • A stab at social relevancy involving how everyone in suburbia is medicated and how stifling that is and how that alienates "us."

  • Two words: Kevin Motherfucking Spacey.

  • Better: After the tragic, senseless death of (his son/the neighbor boy/Dakota Fanning) Kevin Motherfucking Spacey delivers an earnest-yet-forceful monologue where he implores us all to think about the golden rule whilst Sarah McLachlan plaintively sings on the soundtrack.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Things that are making Thursday A-OK.

  1. The current issue of the LA Weekly.

    (a) David Thomson has a lovely essay on a childhood viewing of Olivier's Henry V.

    (b) Scott Foundas introduces me to Super Happy Fun and Five Minutes to Live (you mean I can get a DVD copy of Sam Fuller's notorious White Dog? Best!).

    (c) The Weekly adds to the sea of Lunar Park-related Bellis profiles... and it's actually pretty good.

  2. New Kanye West.

  3. This factoid:
    When Marcello, the titular character in The Conformist, is given the phone number of the man he must assassinate, that was Jean-Luc Godard's real home number.

  4. Tomorrow's Friday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Mmmm... Lists...

Thank you, people, for going along with my little obsession.
Not only do I get to pour over lists, but it's added an urgency to a bunch of films I've been meaning to see forever. (Ran, Au Hasard Balthazar, and Double Suicide among others.)
Here's what we have so far:

Marion/Pat: This is your life.

Tim beat me to the punch in posting an anti-Marion "Pat" Robertson screed. (I know, how daring, hating on Marion "Pat" Robertson. But he makes it so easy...)

This post started out as a little detour from film lists and all that blah blah blah and was going to be an appreciation of the hilarious Hugo Chavez song-and-dance number that Marion "Pat" Robertson is currently selling, but Tim covered it nicely. (I'd just add that Marion/Pat neglected to mention that he also said "If [Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it." I'd love to see him try to play semantic games with that.)

The real point of all of this is: you really must read the Wikipedia entry on Marion "Pat" Robertson. It's an awesome litany of righteous insanity and hypocrisy. And it makes me laugh. A lot.
Here's a profoundly religious man and icon of "pro-family" values and his life story contains dalliances with whores, falsified wedding certificates, and dubious dealings with African diamond mines and dictators.
But, Ben, you say, that's all so gossipy and questionable. Fine. He's on record as saying he willed Hurricane Gloria away from Virginia with the power of his prayer, said it'd be a good for America if a small nuke went off in the State Department's HQ, and (in a recent and famous example) claimed that activist judges are a bigger threat to America than Islamofacists. Oh and somehow, despite his belief that abortion is one of the biggest problems in America, he supports China's abortion-enforced "One Child Only" policy. (China is, according to Marion/Pat, just "doing what they have to do.")

I hope Marion/Pat never leaves us. May He live forever, enriching and elevating political discourse as only He can. Amen.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

You know you want to.

As previously mentioned, I love lists. It's an unhealthy love, but I own it.
With that out in the open, won't you feed my pathological obsession and make your very own TOP 20 FILM list over at Your Movie Database? Please? Pretty please?
I'm still laboring over mine (very work in progress at the moment), but if you have a YMDB list already or can quickly compile your Top 20, post the links in the comment section s'il vous plait. That means you, Joshua. And Girish. And Timbo, Dan, Spencer, Horny Gandhi girls, Dash, all you other friends, lurkers, and co-bloggers I'm too damn lazy to link to.

Thank you.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The other end of the telescope.

Essays, articles, links, ephemera, whatevs to pass your almost-nearly-please-make-it-Tuesday afternoon:
  1. I'm not sure why he's tackling the subject now, but Douglas Wolk's overview of The Magnetic Fields is perfecto. A sample:
    But Merritt's crowning conceit to date can be found on the Magnetic Fields' magnum opus, 69 Love Songs, which is precisely that: three discs' worth of love songs, written in every pop idiom Merritt's capable of pulling off convincingly or mocking entertainingly: country-and-western, Celtic folk, civic-pride song, blues, Fleetwood Mac. Which of those idioms are really his? The point is that none of them are really anybody's -- or rather, they don't belong to performers, but to listeners who understand how they're supposed to be affected by them. To confuse them with realness is to mistake a mask for a face.

  2. In March 2001, the Taliban took a rocket launcher and blew up two enormous, ancient statues of Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan. Artist Hiro Yamagata has a plan for the ruins:
    His program calls for building solar panels and windmills to generate power for 14 laser systems that would be positioned up to eight miles from the cliff-side where the Buddhas stood. With the mountains serving as a kind of screen, the lasers would project Yamagata's semi-abstract images of the destroyed Buddhas. The illuminated figures, limned in shades of pink, green, orange and blue, would be visible for miles, he said.

    Obviously, this is a politically and religiously charged move. Yamagata doesn't want to hear that, though. "I don't care about religion. And all the politics? No interest .... [Preservationists] asked me to do this, so I do it.... No other reason."
    An added bonus of the seven million dollar installation would be that the Bamiyan Valley would finally be wired for electricity. This doesn't seem to impress Yamagata either: "If we can provide electric power, why not do it? ... But I don't like the talk about doing this 'for the people.' I have no interest in that. I want to stay more dry and make this a cutting-edge, hard-core piece."
    Against interpretation, indeed.

  3. Kill some time over at playing FOX FAN FUN: Guess the Eyes. Here's one:

    Clue: He's looking out for you! (Your loofah/falafel joke here. Ho ho.)

  4. Monkey.

  5. The Duff veneers into Buseyville.

If I'm reallyreally good, can I get it?

Feast your eyes on this one (and, no, I am not making it up):
Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed

This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn money for a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland.

For my birthday? Please? Please?
(Via Bookslut.)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Tell us how you really feel.

I've always known that El Presidente di Fagistan hearts Wm. Faulkner. Today he dropped this:
Most of the critical reaction is to The Sound and the Fury, of course, which is largely considered third only to Ulysses and The Waste Land among Mondernist achievements. As most of you should know, I find the novel's reputation to be unwarranted. Of course, it is a staggering masterpiece of almost limitless potential. But Faulkner wrote at least three novels that are superior to it, including As I Lay Dying which is certainly the finest novel ever written and probably the best single work of art ever made.

I love heedlessly bold declarations like that and wish I could make them. I get all caught up in the fact that, well, when it comes to lit, I am way out of my league. (The list of canonical books that I haven't read is appalling.) I guess I'd be better suited to making bold pronouncements about film, but... yeah, the list of canonical films I've yet to see stagggers. (I still haven't seen an Ozu film. Or an Ophüls. Or a Bresson. Or... You get the [pathetic] picture.)

If you feel like letting a sweeping statement about art off your chest, leave it in the comment section.

Sidenote: At dinner this past Friday, a friend (loudly) asked: "Why am I eating dinner with you fuckers, when I could be watching Tucker?" It's a question that, I'm sure, has never been asked before. Somewhere, Francis Ford Coppola is smiling.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Nick Sylvester's blog, Riff Raff, is making my boring descent into insanity Friday afternoon bearable. Here's why:

One: His list of what M.I.A. has to add to her live show before he sits through it again. Item number six is: "During 'Bucky Done Gun,' Siegfried & Roy appear on stage leading an interminable line of white tigers. Diplo, inexplicably dressed as Tony the Tiger, gives high fives to all the tigers passing by (they confuse him for an actual tiger). Siegfried & Roy arrange the tigers into a kick line, which lasts for five hours. All the sudden a Bengali tiger attacks Roy, this time swallowing him whole. Diplo high-fives the Bengali tiger, who is actually M.I.A.'s dad. They are happy to meet, and he consents to their marriage."

Two: His interview with Tori Amos, where he spends the entire time asking about Dan Brown, Brown's runaway bestseller The DaVinci Code, Brown's previous novel, Angels & Demons, and whether she'd collaborate with Brown on a novel.

Three: His David Foster Wallace-esque take on the current Backstreet Boy tour.

Notes from the margin.

Some miscellaneous Friday whatever:

  • A Sound of Thunder looks like it could be the best worst film of 2005. Just look at that trailer. Oh and realize: it wrapped on September 17, 2002 and stars Finbar McMullen with a Mandrill (get your mind out of the gutter, a Mandrill is that thing pictured above) and Renny Harlin was attached to direct it, but left due to artistic differences. I can't wait. (Thanks for the link, Morgan.)

  • Girish's film chats with his Mom are killing me.
    Part One: On Gandhi.
    Part Two: The auteur theory.

  • "Parting Gift" is not only one of the best songs from Fiona Apple's upcoming album, it's the most withering "fuck off, I'm over you" pop songs I've heard in a loooong time. I'd hate to be the guy on the receiving end of the line "it is by the grace of me / you never learned what I could see."

  • The video for LCD Soundsystem's "Tribulations" is full of Gondreyesque lo-fi goodness. (Via GreenCine Daily.)

  • Remember when Andy Dick did his Daphne Aguilera shtick? Don't these "hot" (please note the use of quotation marks around the word hot) pictures of Kathy Griffin remind you of Daphne?

  • There's something kinda smug about this video (not to mention there's mad Fatboy Slim residue all over it), but for a mediocre SoCal rock band, OK Go sure can dance. (Hat tip to The J.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Commentary Inventory, No. 1.

A preface:
In 2002, enjoying his post-college unemployment, my friend Tim sat down with pen and paper and documented every influence--film, book, record, artist, etc.--that Wes Anderson mentioned on the commentary track of Criterion's Royal Tenenbaums DVD.
Tragically, I never saw said list. If you know me, you know I love--nay, lurve--lists, especially ones from oddball tastemakers, like, say, Wes Anderson or my friend Nayiri. Thus, I set out to recreate this mythical list and upped the ante by putting it on my interblog and added a bunch of hyperlinks and that blah blah blah.
So here it is, in all its time-wasting glory, every little thing Anderson mentioned as being influential to the making of Tenenbaums.

Commentary Inventory:
The Royal Tenenbaums

Anderson, Eric Chase (illustrator)
Avedon, Richard: In the American West (photography series, 1990)
Calderón, Miguel (painter)
Guinness, Hugo (artist)
Puckette, Elliott (artist)

Burton, Tim
Death Takes a Holiday
Enfants Terribles, Les
Feu follet, Le
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Paris, Texas
The Red Shoes

Blakey, Art: unspecified drum solo
Clash, The
Drake, Nick: "Fly"
Dylan, Bob: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Enescu, George: "Sonata For Cello & Piano in F Minor"
Guaraldi Trio, Vince: "Christmas Time Is Here"
Nico: "These Days" and "Fairest of the Seasons"
Ravel, Maurice: "String Quartet in F Major"
Rolling Stones, The: Between the Buttons

Anderson, Texas (archeologist/director's mother)
Borg, Björn (tennis player)
Kid in 4th Grade Who Was Actually In Love With His Own Sister, A (director's classmate)
Tenenbaum, Brian (director's friend)
Wilson, Andrew (Wilson brother)

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
McCarthy, Cormac
McInerney, Jay
New Yorker, The
Sacks, Oliver

Connors, Jimmy vs. Vilas, Guillermo at Forrest Hills, 1977 (tennis match)
Gino (restaurant)
"Mind Traveller" (television series)
Snoopy (comic character)
Waldorf Astoria (hotel)

The Life & Death of Jordan Two Delta, a Hollywood Extra.

Yesterday Josh grappled with blogging about another Heather Havrilesky column. I feel Joshua's pain, because I am about to excerpt yet another Armond White essay. I know, I know: why don't I just sign over this blog to Mr. White? Well, maybe I would if he'd take it, OK? So stop hating on me.

Anyway, when I saw Armond arguing that, with a few exceptions, modern avant garde cinema is dead... And that those exceptions are Messieurs Spielberg and Bay [?!], well, I knew I had to post that shit. Enjoy:

Where is the new avant-garde? Is it the Silence of Gus Trilogy, where Gus Van Sant uses Elephant, Gerry and Last Days to imitate Ingmar Bergman's famous Silence of God trilogy (an exploration of cinematic possibility and religious struggle), but actually bleeds life out of film and pop phenomena? Maybe it's Michael Bay's overhead shots of human clones in The Island traversing the lunar-looking landscape—a poetic image of liberty expressing the film's emancipation theme. Lack of avant-garde spirit may explain why both directors are misunderstood, why Michael Mann's visually and conceptually fuzzy Collateral wins acclaim while the sober, visionary War of the Worlds is excoriated.

Side note: I'm just guessing here, but I bet that Armond puts little faith in Metacritic as a critical gauge. However, if he'd head over there, he'd note that the critically "excoriated" War of the Worlds has a score of 73, while the "acclaimed" Collateral has a 71.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Jon, Paul, Fiona, and Kanye.

1. Check out the newly redesigned/relaunched P.T. Anderson website, cigarettes and red vines , for an exclusive interview with the man. No news on There Will Be Blood (his adaptation of Upton Sinclair's Oil!), aside from the promise that it'll surface next year. Highlights: he dispels the "I shot a video for Radiohead's 'We Suck Young Blood' that has never surfaced" rumor, talks about working with Altman, gives his stance on shooting on film vs. digital, names his favorite recent film, etc.

2. By now you've most likely heard that Fiona Apple's long-delayed third album, Extraordinary Machine will be out on October 4th. The leaked version, produced by Jon Brion, that hit the internets earlier this year has been mostly scrapped. Nine of those songs were re-recorded, one was just written and recorded and added, with two Brion remaining in the mix. OK, whatevs, you knew that.
Here's something new: Brion claims he's really annoyed with "his version" of the album (the quote's also from Cigs & Red Vines):
"There's music on there that wasn't even part of [what I recorded]. It's wrong," he said. "It's not like, 'I don't quite like the mix,' " he continued, affecting a whiny voice. "I wasn't happy with [the leak] cause I don't like those versions. It's stuff that doesn't reflect what we recorded, for the most part, except for the stuff that's just her and an orchestra. That's just right — but as far as the rest of it, it doesn't reflect what I recorded."

The drama never ends on that album. Brion's work is still in place on Kanye West's new album, Late Registration. He talks to MTV about it and Kanye talks about their collaboration in the new issue of Radar. My favorite part of the interview has nothing to do with those Largo types, instead it has to do with one G. Stefani.
Says 'Ye: "That Gwen Stefani song 'Hollaback Girl' was my shit before it was everyone's shit. But she already said it was her shit in the song, so I guess it was bound to be somebody's shit."

And with that, I bid you good night.


Eventually, I'll get back into the whole blogging thing (whenver I've manged to work my way through all 900,000 pieces of job-related e-mail that piled up).

In the meantime, make sure you check out this online gallery of Saul Bass's perfect title designs.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I'm back.
More later.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Dear Peoples,

I'm off to the lake to see the family and relax and read and all that good blah blah blah. I'm not sure what the whole Interweb situation is there, I might say Hi, I might not be able to. Either way, behave yourselves and have a nice week. (And, if possible, go see 2046 or Elevator to the Gallows. If they're not in your neck of the woods... read a good book [or the latest Armond White column] and patiently wait for them.) I know it'll be tough, but carry on without me.

Your pal,


Full disclosure: that is not actually a picture of the Lake that I'm going to. Artistic license and such.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Remembrance of things past.

Attention you lucky people: it's no longer necessary to own an import DVD to see Wong Kar Wai's delirious quasi-sequel to In the Mood for Love. That's right kiddies, 2046 starts its theatrical rollout this weekend. My love for the film is well documented.

The Whine Colored Sea's favorite rebel critic digs it too:
It's predicated on academic theory about the male gaze, but outside of Ingmar Bergman and Robert Altman's female studies—and Hustle and Flow—I can't think of another movie that so thoroughly challenges such theory. Ziyi, Li, Lau, Wong and a brief appearance by Maggie Cheung achieve a sensuality that is emphatically not inscrutable. 2046's love scenes convey a chivalrous, androgynous empathy. (After sex, Chow gallantly covers a lover's bare behind—a motif from The Conformist.)

On one level, 2046 could be called the greatest date movie of all time. But that would be superficial, reading its alluring surfaces as no more than Chinoiserie. Though Wong and cinematographer Chris Doyle delight in design, that's still half the experience Wong intends. 2046 confirms Wong's fascination with modern Western tropes—it's an esthetic romance.

Don't you dare miss it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Quick question.

Aside from its epic breadth, bleeding-heart triumphalism, and really rad keyboard tone, can someone tell me why Journey's "Don't Stop Believing Believin'" is Number 10* on the iTunes Music Store Hot 100 Singles? Is it, like, the credit music for Wedding Crashers? What am I missing here?

* Damn you Black Eyed Peas! By the time I'd finished the post they'd bumped Journey to no. 11. Phunk them. Hey, but while we're all in small print, let me reproduce this hilarious bit of artistic integrity, as found in the bio on Journey's official site:
"The switch to their signature highly sophisticated rock occurred with the recording of their hugely successful album, Infinity. Journey's drummer, Aynsley Dunbar, was unhappy with this new style and left for Jefferson Starship, to be replaced by legendary drummer Steve Smith."
Fuck you, Journey and your sophisticated rock sound. I'm off to build a city on rock 'n roll.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Slam-dancing over a void.'s Aaron Aradillas continues his series of exhaustive interviews with film critics, this time with Slate's David Edelstein. The piece is full of great morsels (lots of Pauline talk, politics, an anecdote about debating with Michael Medved), but this little bit reigns supreme. Can you imagine?
"I was a theater guy--a big ham--and went to the same drama camp that's in Todd Graff's Camp. Actually, it was its predecessor, Beginner's Showcase, in Georges Mills, New Hampshire. The clown who ran it (he was literally a clown) became a fugitive from justice and the camp moved to New York and was renamed Stagedoor Manor. Todd was there when I was--he played the Artful Dodger to my Fagin."
Speaking of camp, the title of this post is Edelstein's perfect description of Moulin Rouge!

I practice all my moves / I memorize their stupid rules.

I heard the new Liz Phair single yesterday. Not the hottest, says I. And I'm not one of those guys who thinks Liz needs to forever live in the '93-lo-fi-indie-blowjob-queen incarnation of her career. If she wants to be the pop-rock-FHM-mom with the hot radio single, more power to her.
But this new track? At best it sounds like one of Sheryl Crow's tossed-off deep album cuts. The syrupy production by The Matrix is gone, but so are the hooks and the power chorus.
Even if I'm not totally on board with the new stuff, she's refreshingly unrepentant about her new musical identity and her place in pop culture. In a New York Times profile, Liz snaps it into focus: "After all, I'm not sitting in an office telling someone that their insurance policy doesn't cover their chemotherapy. Theoretically, I am trying to make a piece of music come to life, to try and bring joy and meaning to people's lives. That's a pretty good deal."
I wish her new music was as assured as that statement.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Yup, he went there.

Bryan Michael Stoller, director of Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls*, talks to MTV about watching movies with his buddy, Michael Jackson:

"His favorite movie is To Kill a Mockingbird. He has an actual 35-millimeter print of the movie. We watched it together once and, you know, he was into serious pieces... I said to him one day, 'You're living To Kill a Mockingbird right now.' It was all about a black man who was on trial. And [both Jackson and the character in the film] were innocent. It was just really weird that that was his favorite film even before these allegations happened. The trial was kind of a modern version of To Kill a Mockingbird."

I... yeah. I'm just going to leave it at that.

* Miss Cast Away..., according to the IMDb, is "A spoof that combines Cast Away with Miss Congeniality, Planet of the Apes, Love Boat, Gilligan's Island, The Sixth Sense, Jurassic Park, and more." Just so you know.

Je t'aime, encore.

Is there a better way of escaping the California heat than by ducking into an air-conditioned art house (with stadium seating, thank you very much) and watching Jeanne Moreau walk that walk down a rain-soaked Champs Elysées at night, while a mournful Miles Davis original plays in the background?

I didn't think so.

Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows is coming to a theater near (most of) you. If you miss it, you got no one to blame but yourself, bebe.

Addendum 1: When I find out things like, oh, Louis Malle was only 24 when he made Elevator, it makes me want to crawl under my bed.

Addendum 2: Here's an anecdote from Vincent Malle, Louis's brother, about the above-mentioned scene:
Also the much talked-about scene of Jeanne walking down the Champs Elysées at night, with Henri Decae (the Director of Photography) in a wheelchair and electricians holding battery-activated lamps. Since it was Louis’s first film, the laboratory called the producer the next day saying it was completely black and had to be entirely reshot. Thank God they didn’t, and it remains one of the more significant minimalist night scenes ever. And other directors took notice: So you can shoot at night almost without lights!