Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

28 March 2008

The Big Sleep, dir. Howard Hawkes (1946)

STEVE says:
Every time I watch The Big Sleep, I'm reminded of an episode of The Simpsons: Homer's sitting on the couch, watching Twin Peaks, as Special Agent Cooper opines "That's some damn fine coffee you got here in Twin Peaks... and damn good cherry pie." On TV, The Giant is waltzing with a white horse as a traffic light swings from a nearby tree branch. Homer stares at the TV, transfixed.

"Brilliant!" Homer says. "I have absolutely no idea what’s going on."

Much the same way I feel watching The Big Sleep. I know it's brilliant, the direction is faultless, the writing top-notch. But I can't shake the feeling, when all is said and done, that I've missed something.

It's like Hawkes and screenwriters, Leigh Brackett, William Faulkner and Jules Furthman set out to make the most deliberately obtuse film they could. Based on Chandler, you know the plotting is going to be intricate, and with the machine gun dialog, you want to be paying attention and not wandering off mid-film to make a sandwich. But still, no matter how much attention is paid, you come out wishing for Cliff's Notes.

But when Chandler himself is shocked to find that even he doesn't know who killed the chauffeur Owen Taylor, what the hell chance to I stand?


Nikki did not view.

No comments: