AEC


film (b)log by
ariel esteban cayer


index

portfolio


Venus in Furs (Jesús Franco, 1969)

Venus in Furs (Jesús Franco, 1969)

David Holzman’s Diary (Jim McBride, 1967)

David Holzman’s Diary (Jim McBride, 1967)

Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)




Psycho should be seen at least three times by any discerning film-goer, the first time for the sheer terror of the experience, and on this occasion I fully agree with Hitchcock that only a congenital spoilsport would reveal the plot; the second time for the macabre comedy inherent in the conception of the film; and the third for all the hidden meanings and symbols lurking beneath the surface of the first American movie since Touch of Evil to stand in the same creative rank as the great European films. — Andrew Sarris [1]




It would seem I’ve filled my quota. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, because it seems that I am cursed: while I genuinely love Psycho, I might just have to blow my brains out if I have to sit through it one more time in class. From the very first second, Hermann’s iconic score drills into my brain, all-too familiar and frustrating as it seems I will never be allowed to let this film sit in my memory longer than a year. It is also a painful reminder of how little Hitchcock’s I’ve actually seen, something I promised myself I’d fix this year. So today, I tried, enjoyed it all over again to an extent (it is after all, irresistible filmmaking), but my brain-body fought back and I passed out as soon as Marion Crane hits the road — only to be woken up in a panic by her shrieking under the shower.

Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

Psycho should be seen at least three times by any discerning film-goer, the first time for the sheer terror of the experience, and on this occasion I fully agree with Hitchcock that only a congenital spoilsport would reveal the plot; the second time for the macabre comedy inherent in the conception of the film; and the third for all the hidden meanings and symbols lurking beneath the surface of the first American movie since Touch of Evil to stand in the same creative rank as the great European films. — Andrew Sarris [1]

It would seem I’ve filled my quota. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, because it seems that I am cursed: while I genuinely love Psycho, I might just have to blow my brains out if I have to sit through it one more time in class. From the very first second, Hermann’s iconic score drills into my brain, all-too familiar and frustrating as it seems I will never be allowed to let this film sit in my memory longer than a year. It is also a painful reminder of how little Hitchcock’s I’ve actually seen, something I promised myself I’d fix this year. So today, I tried, enjoyed it all over again to an extent (it is after all, irresistible filmmaking), but my brain-body fought back and I passed out as soon as Marion Crane hits the road — only to be woken up in a panic by her shrieking under the shower.

A Nap és a Hold elrablása (short; Sándor Reisenbüchler, 1968)

A Nap és a Hold elrablása (short; Sándor Reisenbüchler, 1968)

The End of Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1961)

The End of Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1961)

Whistle and I’ll Come to You (short; Jonathan Miller, 1968)

Whistle and I’ll Come to You (short; Jonathan Miller, 1968)

An Actor’s Revenge (Kon Ichikawa, 1963)

An Actor’s Revenge (Kon Ichikawa, 1963)

Gate of Flesh (Seijun Suzuki, 1964)

Gate of Flesh (Seijun Suzuki, 1964)

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1963) by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko


Stan Lee notoriously misnames Peter Parker as “Peter Palmer”. In this issue, Spider-Man also attempts to join the Fantastic Four and The Chameleon makes its first appearance as a commie spy.


I don’t want to make too much of this, but I think that these two classic panels (and so much more like those) get to the essence of why Peter Parker/Spider-Man is one of the most instantly relatable, popular & enduring super-heroes ever, as well as the favorite of many — myself included. The mix of teen angst, alienation, intelligence and guilt in his characterization endures to this day and I’m looking forward to see him evolve with the decades as I make my way through all 700 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man (1963-2012) this Holiday break. Yes, you’ve heard that right…

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1963) by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

Stan Lee notoriously misnames Peter Parker as “Peter Palmer”. In this issue, Spider-Man also attempts to join the Fantastic Four and The Chameleon makes its first appearance as a commie spy.

I don’t want to make too much of this, but I think that these two classic panels (and so much more like those) get to the essence of why Peter Parker/Spider-Man is one of the most instantly relatable, popular & enduring super-heroes ever, as well as the favorite of many — myself included. The mix of teen angst, alienation, intelligence and guilt in his characterization endures to this day and I’m looking forward to see him evolve with the decades as I make my way through all 700 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man (1963-2012) this Holiday break. Yes, you’ve heard that right…

Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko.

Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko.

Film strip detail of Paul Sharits’ T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (1968). [via]

Castro Street (short; Bruce Baillie, 1966)

Castro Street (short; Bruce Baillie, 1966)

All My Life (short; Bruce Baillie, 1966) // Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

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The Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946)
Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)
Silent Hill: Revelations 3D (Michael J. Bassett, 2012) 

Necrology (short; Standish Lawder, 1969)
Deceptively simple 10-minute shot of heaps of nameless people riding an escalator in reverse (as if to the after-life, the title might suggest), Lawder’s short becomes wholly hilarious when the credits - rolling onto the screen in the same manner as the elevator - appear, as the film’s concluding punchline. A brilliant idea, executed perfectly.

Necrology (short; Standish Lawder, 1969)

Deceptively simple 10-minute shot of heaps of nameless people riding an escalator in reverse (as if to the after-life, the title might suggest), Lawder’s short becomes wholly hilarious when the credits - rolling onto the screen in the same manner as the elevator - appear, as the film’s concluding punchline. A brilliant idea, executed perfectly.