10/27/11

Lock the parents out, cut a rug, twist and shout


Whenever I hear the song 'Santa Baby' I always think 'spider baby,' like that head in John Carpenter's The Thing, i.e.
Spider Baby, slip a sable under the tree for me
Been an awful good girl, Spider Baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight...
And so on, until the authorities are called in with their flame-throwers.

There was a trailer for the Thing remake in the movie theater last night: the kids in the audience kept talking over it and didn't notice. But when Paranormal Activity 3 started they went quiet – no texting – and then they all screamed, a lot. The movie includes one gag specifically from Halloween and some tricks Carpenter employed very effectively in Prince of Darkness (still one of his scariest). The pan-and-scan sequences put me in mind of the long, unblinking cabin shots in Friday the 13th, and there is a nice pay off that improves on The Blair Witch Project, a movie which is now so old that many in the audience would have only seen it on the small screen. It made no difference: the kids were shitting themselves. Paranormal Activity 3 is scary but above all harrowing. Despite the faux-casualness – handheld is the new sprezzatura – it makes you sit and watch. Loved it.

Amy Winehouse died from drinking too much. This is old news but still depressing. Some editorials are trying to paint her music as part of her suffering but it wasn't, which only makes it the more tragic. She didn't suicide: she just didn't cope. Being so physically small can't have helped.

I'm forcing my way through Stieg – a better translation this time, but his obsession with detail undermines his own plot. In contrast to the oddly entertaining details about sponge cakes, sandwiches and coffee – Blomkvist is a man who always knows where the next snack is coming from – it drives me crazy that in twenty years, nobody thought of trying a Bible code. A row of numbers, anywhere, anytime, that's the first thing anyone reaches for either in the real world or fiction. On the other hand the Hedestad sequence with the photos is great – Antonioni's Blow Up via De Palma's rock-and-roll editing suite sequence in Blow Out. Salander is not Pippi, she's Hannibal: the NeXT Lecter. Anyway, I'm making myself finish it this time so I can be up with what the young people are skimming.

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