Friday, April 06, 2007


In addition to his good fortune of having a name that sounds like a Sherlock Holmes villain (and yes, that is a good thing), getting his picture taken with Ben Stein and having a name that sounds like a Sherlock Holmes villain, Damian Arlyn is one of those lucky souls who has a film blog. At Windmills of My Mind, Damian keeps the pinwheel spinning on topics such as windmills, elevators, parking etiquette and also film. Since he works at an independent video store (one of the few in Oregon I haven't visited, natch), Damian is able to discreetly rent movies of adult nature, but he probably stays far away from those and invests most of his time in the finer cinema selections -- as evidenced by his ear for great scores.

(RE)MADE MAN: 'I am fascinated by remakes that aren't strictly remakes; in other words, new films that take the same premise, plot and basic storyline from a classic film, but create their own characters and their own distinct "take" on the events. Oftentimes these movies work much better than if the filmmaker had just done a straight remake. If I were to ever have my own revival theater I would do a lot of double features highlighting these films (such as Double Indemnity and Body Heat, The Lady Vanishes and Flightplan, Bringing Up Baby and What's Up, Doc?).'

MOTHER!: 'There are several sequences in Psycho that still unnerve me to this day. That marvelous scene (done in one uniterrupted shot) where Norman walks up the stairs, enters the bedroom and talks with "mother" while the camera slowly floats up after him and perches itself above the door. Also, that final spine-tingling shot where the killer looks right into the camera... I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.'

ONE MAN'S GARBAGE ...: 'I must confess that I happen to love the movie Van Helsing. Yes, it's awful; yes, it's big and overblown; yes, there is not one ounce if subtlety in a single frame. But it's all so wonderfully absurd, so unabashedly silly, so unapologetic in its cheesiness that I think it makes for a very enjoyable viewing experience. The filmmakers clearly didn't take it seriosuly so why should I?'

WE'LL SEE WHAT SHERLOCK SAYS: 'I would say that I generally watch somewhere between one and two movies a day.'

DIFFERENT SEASONS: 'Oustide of the normal holiday movies (It's a Wonderful Life at Christmas, Young Frankenstein at Halloween, etc) I have to watch Jaws at least once every summer. To me, it's the ultimate summer movie. Not just because it essentially started the summer blockbuster phenomenon, but because it actually takes place in the summer!'

TELL IT TO THE JUDGE: 'I have on occasion talked during a movie. Never loudly. Usually just under my breath to myself, but it has annoyed some of the people in my immediate vicinity.'

HE'S THE MAN: '"Schindler's List," the film that changed my life. I remember thinking "If movies can do THAT, then they can do anything!" I was 17-years- old and had just started to become aware of movies as art and not just entertainment. I saw it six months after viewing "Jurassic Park," a film which I was also blown away by but not necessarily "surprised" by
(except in terms of special effcts). I felt it was a real "return to form" for Spielberg, the kind of movie I knew he could make. I had no idea, however, that he was capable of making a film like "Schindler's List." Something so deep, so powerful, so subtle and so beautiful. Watching it I
thought to myself: "The same man did both of these films? This can't be the same man!" That film convinced me of his enormous talent and astounding versatility. He's been my favorite director ever since. Also, just as a film, I found "Schindler's List" immensely powerful and incredibly moving. It opened my eyes to the potential of cinema, not necessarily in telling
stories about the Holocaust but in dealing with very serious subjects in an honest and meaningful way. It also made me want to be a better human being. How many films can you say that about?'

WHERE ART THOU, BOB HOSKINS?: 'I don't really believe in not finishing a movie once I've started it. The only time I've ever walked out of a film halfway through it was when I was forced to do so by the people I went to see it with (my family). The movie was "Super Mario Bros." I didn't particularly like it up until that point but I didn't hate it either. Years later I actually finished it. We didn't miss anything.'

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1 comment:

Jo Custer said...

adam, i tried looking for an email address for you, couldn't find one.

when you say "contact"...via comments?