• BurgundySuit

    Want to be as cool as John! Then sign up for Year of the Month!
    Get ahead of the game for November by signing up to write up 1978!
    Potential music here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_in_music
    Movies here: https://letterboxd.com/films/year/1978/
    And books here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_in_literature

    November 1st: Burgundysuit: Beauty and the Beast
    November 2nd: scb2012: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    November 3rd: Anthony Pizzo: Animal House
    November 5th: Joseph J. Finn: Splinter of the a Mind’s Eye
    November 6th: Burgundysuit: Chartbusting
    November 7th: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: Autumn Sonata
    November 8th: Dixon Cashwell: Halloween
    November 10th: GIllianren: Tribute to Mary Blair
    November 12th: BurgundySuit: Dawn of the Dead
    November 14th: John Bruni: John Prine’s Bruised Orange
    November 15th: Balthazar Bee: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    November 22nd: Alex Christian Lovendahl: I Wanna Hold Your Hand
    November 23rd: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: The Star Wars Holiday Special
    November 30th: Burgundysuit: Jack Kirby’s last year at Marvel

    And here’s what we’ve got for the rest of October:

    October 20th: BurgundySuit: Chartbusting!
    October 23rd: The Ploughman: Rookie of the Year/The Sandlot
    October 24th: wallflower: Pleading Guilty
    October 25th: Seth Carlson: Super Mario Bros
    October 26th: Wallflower: Fearless
    October 27th: Bhammer100: Homicide: Life on the Street/NYPD Blue
    October 29th: Conor Malcolm Crockford: The Fugitive
    October 30th: Miller: Matinee/The Last Action Hero
    October 31st: Anyone can have it really, I just want to make sure we save this date for: The Nightmare Before Christmas
    NO DATE: Jake Gittes: Dazed and Confused
    NO DATE: Wallflower: Fearless
    NO DATE: Wallflower: Pleading Guilty
    NO DATE: scb2012: Mrs. Doubtfire
    NO DATE: silverwheel: World Gone Wrong
    NO DATE: Son of Griff: The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl
    NO DATE: Mr. Apollo: The Baby of Macon

    • Crimson Pico

      Hey just a reminder that I’ll be doing Martin with you on 11/12, and then Life a User’s Manual on 11/29.

      • BurgundySuit

        Shoot, this must be an old version of the schedule. Hang on a second and I’ll update it.

    • I’ll have a go at writing something about The Shout. November 9th?

      • BurgundySuit

        Go for it!

    • Bhammer100

      How about The Stand on the 29th.

    • Hey Sam. My apologies, but I’m gonna have to take Fearless off the list and move Pleading Guilty to the 26th. I simply have too much to do to make both deadlines, and I honestly don’t want to do a shit job on Fearless. (It will show up soon as a Year of Last Month item.)

  • Well played. This is a long way from perfect, but it fits in the tradition of The Wild Bunch, Logan, and a very few other works about the impossibility of escaping from a lifetime of ownage. Some other points of praise:

    –DePalma’s direction in the scene at the bar and the chase to and in Grand Central are some of the high points of his career. Following his rule that films are about what people see, he carefully tracks every detail that Carlito picks up on, and shows us how he lays the groundwork for what he’ll do in the shootout. DePalma picks up from Peckinpah and Leone the value of drawing out the prelude to violence, but he loads that prelude with action and vision: directing one guy to hold down a billiard ball, and holy shit seeing another guy with the knife reflected in the sunglasses. When it all goes off, he does classic crosscutting between everything Carlito does and every step of killing his cousin, and Carlito is exactly one cut too late.

    The Grand Central chase is magnificent, a more convoluted version of what Mann would do in the final sequence of Collateral. The game is literally Where Is Al Pacino in This Picture?–Carlito isn’t trying to fight, he’s trying to hide, and that’s just so damn cinematic as dePalma keeps cutting between everyone’s perspective. I wish more directors would do sequences like this. (True Detective used it in the next-to-last episode of season two.) And then there’s the pure thrill of the moment when the fat guy, behind everyone else (because of course he is), sees Carlito on the escalator and Pacino just gives a perfect “well, shit, time to own” face and the bullets start flying.

    –Patrick Doyle has always been underrated as a film composer, and he had a great run in the 1990s with this, Hamlet, and Donnie Brasco. His opening track is a Requiem for Carlito’s life and he actually uses counterpoint several times in his score, something you almost never hear in films anymore.

    • John Bruni

      The suspense generated in the film concerns not what will happen but when it will happen. There’s an undertone of tragedy, as if you could imagine Pacino reciting this passage from Hamlet: “There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all.”

      • Formally, this is a tragedy with the Carlito’s flaw as loyalty–his inability to separate himself from the things he needs to. The feel, though, from the flash-forward at the beginning is of the final act of a tragedy. Carlito’s fate was locked a long time ago, and dePalma, Pacino, and about 60% of Carlito all know that.

        • John Bruni

          Yeah, when Carlito says that he wasn’t supposed to have made it this far, he really means it.

        • BurgundySuit

          That’s an interesting idea – a tragic hero whose flaw would be a virtue in most contexts.

          • Oh yeah. The tragic flaw always needs a virtuous aspect if it’s gonna be effective. On The Shield, Vic’s self-righteousness means he genuinely does good, Shane’s loyalty makes him a great husband and father (far more than Vic), and there are lots of little touches of characters who don’t have the positive sides of the flaws. If the flaw has no positive aspects, that’s a loser, not a tragic figure.