Brush Your Teeth, Wear Sunscreen

Film Club #3

A few people have made mention that they can’t fathom fitting three films into a week. That’s okay! I really do not have the power or authority to hold you to watching any of these. Also, gauging my own laziness so far, I think this email will probably continue to only manifest every two weeks…

Perfect Blue

(Satoshi Kon, 1997)

I’ve never understood the insistence (of non-Japanese speakers) on watching anime with Japanese audio, or referring to the English audio versions as dubbed (and therefore a lesser version). All animation is dubbed! And most of the subtitle translations are pretty bad, e.g. both Akira and Princess Mononoké hardly make sense with the subtitles. Meanwhile, Perfect Blue is like an anime version of Polanski’s Repulsion. Or maybe Black Swan, minus bendy legs scene.

River of Grass

(Kelly Reichardt, 1994)

Continuing the Kelly Reichardt Cinematic Universe all the way back to her debut. At first the MUBI poster image looks like it features a vagabond Sarah Connor type leaning against a car smoking a cigarette, but upon closer inspection she’s actually holding a toothbrush. Is there a better symbol of Kelly Reichardt’s filmography?


(Carlo Mirabella-Davis, 2019)

I remember once reading a review of of some slasher film where the writer pointed out that a scene where a character gets literally bisected by some falling shelving elicited less of a visceral reaction that an earlier close-up of someone receiving a paper cut. When it comes to body horror, the familiar seems much more effective than the sensational. So that’s why I’m not sure I’ll be able to bring myself to watch Swallow. Even the trailer (in which the protagonist swallows various small & sharp household objects) makes several of my body parts clench in uncomfortable ways. But then the “Wear Sunscreen” song encourages me to do one thing every day that scares me…