Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blizzard


Lots a snow recently and rather than making me crave escapist, tropical set stories, I've been drawn toward more snow and blankets of it that mute the desperation bleeding out pitifully where no one will ever find it. Jeez, maybe I need Spring break after all. You'd feel me if you've experienced Larisa Shepitko's relentless war film Voskhozhdeniye, (The Ascent) about two Russian soldiers freezing their nuts off fighting the German invasion. It's all black and white and subtitled and brutal, yes you will need to have a good cry afterward and perhaps join a fight club to work out some the frustration, but damn I couldn't tear my eyes off of it. I immediately added Sam Peckinpah's Cross of Iron to my flix cue for a more tarted up Russian front tale, (this one from the pov of German soldier in retreat).

I'm interested in Dominc Sena's Whiteout, (though the reviews aint been promising) based on the graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. I haven't even seen a preview for this one and could be waaaay off, but I'm hoping for a Smilla's Sense of Snow, (again, the film by Bille August as opposed to the book by Peter Hoeg), kinda experience there. Of course, I'm always up for another crack at John Carpenter's The Thing or Sydney Pollack's Jeremiah Johnson. Another type of blizzard is alluded to in John Schlesinger's Falcon and the Snowman, that I think I need to revisit soon and while we're onto that type of snow, I've just read Lynn Kostoff's 1991 novel A Choice of Nightmares which New Pulp Press is bringing back into print next month. Like the main character, Robert Staples, you'll feel you need to sweat half the Andes out of your system after that one.

Canuk, John McFetridge's Let it Ride is out now and today is also the official release of Craig McDonald's Print the Legend, more on that later. And my new post about Swedish writer Henning Mankell's new one is up.

9 comments:

Paul D. Brazill said...

This is a cracking film with lots of snow.

http://www.pisf.pl/en/polish-films/films-from-a-to-z/dom-zly

Iren said...

I've always felt that Fargo is the ultimate in Snow Noir. The Helsinki part of the flick, Night on Earth also has at least the great image of the taxi driver driving around and around and around a statue while waiting for a call. The 1982(?) version of The Thing also uses Snow to it's fullest, creepiest extent.

jedidiah ayres said...

Definitely. Plus, since I posted I've been wondering why I didn't mention THE SHINING? or any other Kubrick film for that matter cause they were always cold as hell regardless of setting.

Keith Rawson said...

Loved Print the Legend and I'm picking up Let it Ride this weekend.
Speaking of McFetridge, he tagged me with one of these things, and now I'm tagging you

http://bloodyknucklescallusedfingertips.blogspot.com/

Kieran Shea said...

get the graphic novel...

the movie glamour takes away from the b/w grittiness. just saying.

Juri said...

Ain't no better than Shepitko's DESCENT. It's simply one of the best films ever made, snow or no snow.

jedidiah ayres said...

Juri - that ANOTHER one by Shepitko? I can't find it availble if so. Keep my eyes peeled

jedidiah ayres said...

And Paul - Doesn't look like yours is availble here either

Rod Norman said...

Jed I was just gettin ready to comment on you leavin out "The Shining", and then I saw you remembered it. Dang your good, Titanic no snow, but it was pretty damn cold in the water at the end.