Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Xmas, and Stop Smiling!

Not as contradictory as it sounds. I do wish you a Merry Christmas, gleefully, sincerely, quickly, and somewhat exhaustedly, after all the baking I did last night and all the essay-writing (seriously!) I'm having to do this morning, in advance of my annual professional party. (At least writing this paper has involved sustained attention to two delicious movies.)

Speaking of delicious movies, and in the spirit of gift-giving, the best cinematic stocking-stuffer of the year is absolutely the elegant and richly outfitted Charles Burnett Collection from Milestone Video, centered around the seminal and at-long-last-available Killer of Sheep. As you probably know, after 30 years in a limbo of non-exhibition, the 30-year-old Killer finally bowed on commercial screens in the late spring. I was wowed by the movie in August, when it arrived to Chicago's Music Box Theatre and have been even more deeply wowed after two further revisits. After some hemming and hawing, I have elected not to include the movie in my upcoming Top Ten List and year-end awards, since I experienced all those #1 spots for Army of Shadows last year to be something of a cop-out. But, still pending There Will Be Blood, Persepolis and eight other (read: less auspicious) theatrical releases, Killer of Sheep does look to me like the movie of the year. My ongoing friendly relations with Stop Smiling Magazine allowed me to publish this online review, which I hope you'll enjoy...on or after today's joyeux noël. More from me before year's end!

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