Monday, January 9, 2012

Logan's Run, Footprints and The Descendants

With this post I close the book on films seen in 2011 and start with films from 2012.

In December, I saw:

Logan's Run starring Michael York & Jenny Agutter; with Farrah Fawcett & Peter Ustinov; directed by Michael Anderson; (1976)
Footprints starring Sybil Temtchine; directed by Steven Peros; (2009) - Official Website

I saw Logan's Run at the Castro and Footprints at the Little Roxie

Logan's Run is a well known film. It's one of those films I missed as a kid which is too bad because in 2011, only a adolescent boy could be interested in the film. Surprisingly, there was no nudity that I recall. Jenny Agutter wore some skimpy outfits but surprisingly little sex for a film which had the reputation among teenage boys as being all that.

The premise is well known. Didn't they do a remake recently? Michael York seems to be playing the role for high camp which I guess it is 35 years later. The special effect have a certain 1970s shabby chic appeal which reminded of the television show Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century. The dialog is cringe worthy at time. Seeing Peter Ustinov and Roscoe Lee Browne (as a robot) perform in the film made me wonder if they were desperate or the produces were paying them boatloads of money. Things were indeed strange in the 70s.

Two questions I have - 1) When Logan 5 (York) is being brain scanned by the computer at the end, he reveals there is no sanctuary. This puts the computer into an infinite loop and eventually overloads the system resulting in the destruction of the domed city. Why? Why does the computer need the existence of sanctuary for itself to exist? 2) What the hell was that carousel stuff? When you aged out, you went on this carousel where people cheered you on as you were zapped by laser. Was there a chance you would survive which was later disproved? I couldn't make heads or tails of the carousel.

Footprints was at times equally head scratching although I had a better sense of what was going on. Extremely low budget, the film starts with a woman (Sybil Temtchine) waking up in Mann's or Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. She has no memory of her past including her own name. As the film progresses, she meets a number of Hollywood subculture characters - the homeless man, the tour guide operators, the woman who poses for photos dressed as Catwoman, etc.

I won't bother to recount the plot any further. The film has a dreamlike feel which makes it more interesting than it really is. Filmed on and around Hollywood Blvd., it feels like an indie film made for indie filmmakers and Hollywood history buffs. Ultimately, the nameless woman's story is representative of all the young actresses who came to Hollywood and we don't remember them or anything about their lives...the boulevard of broken dreams although technically refers to Sunset Blvd. not Hollywood Blvd.

The film never really captured my interest. The filmmakers seem to be ripping off Chris Rock when the homeless man rants about the less desired locations of black actors footprints in the Chinese Theater's courtyard. Actually, the seem to rip off Tarantino or Kevin Smith as well when the tour opertor goes on a rant about Nick Nolte "taking it up the ass" in The Prince of Tides. This was all in the first 10 minutes so I thought the film was going in one direction when it ended going in another.


The first film I saw in 2012 was The Descendants. Yes, I saw it second time. I usually don't see films twice in such a short period but I was visiting my father last week. He wanted to see it, it was Senior Tuesday so he got in for $3 and I liked it enough that I thought I could get a better appreciation of the film with a second viewing.

I didn't gain much from a second look. What you see is what you get the first time through. There were no details that I saw during the second viewing which enhanced the film in my estimation. I did notice that Dog The Bounty Hunter was playing with the sound off in the background when Scottie goes over to apologize to the girl for teasing her about her "pubes."

Having watched the credits the first time, I knew that Kaui Hart Hemmings played Matt King's (George Clooney) secretary. Hemmings wrote the novel The Descendants upon which the film is based. I thought she would be older.

So even though I didn't gain added appreciation for The Descendants, neither did the film lose its luster from a second viewing which many films do. My father said it was one of the best films he's seen in quite awhile. I have to agree.


Jamie Daniels said...

The automated world of the future in Logan's Run could take care of everyone's needs to a point. That is why at 30 people are eliminated at Carousel. That was the point there was no "renew".

Dan said...

I understand that they were killed (voluntarily in most cases) at age 30. My question is about the Carousel. Specifically what is it all about? Why make such a spectacle of death? There was much talk of renewal as if one could be "renewed." In hindsight, it was a lie to keep the people from questioning the system. To the uninitiated viewer, it was confusing that they talked about renewal prior to everyone getting incinerated. Frankly, to watch people die in that manner would seem to be counterproductive from the government's point of view.