Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Bigger Than Life on Fox Movie Channel Sept. 12
Because I love you people, I have to point out this listing: On Friday, Sept. 12, at noon EDT, Fox Movie Channel is showing Nicholas Ray's Bigger Than Life. In letterbox. And if you miss it, it's showing on Sept. 21, also in letterbox, also at noon.
The Siren is just a teensy-weensy bit peeved about this, since she bought the movie on DVD in Paris at the current exchange rate. (The Siren sure is glad that the dollar hit an eleven-month high, with the euro closing at a bargain $1.41, and that you're still following a strong dollar policy, Mr. Paulson. Because she sure would hate to go shopping when the dollar was actually weak.) It's possible this is a run-up to Fox putting this out on DVD at last, which would put the Siren in Peter Nelhaus's camp of people who get Region 2 DVDs just before the movie comes out on Region 1.
If you don't have the service tier for Fox Movies, this movie is worth a temporary upgrade in my opinion. In fact, Fox shows a lot of hard-to-find and interesting movies, including things like Violent Saturday, The Egyptian, Wild River and Tales of Manhattan, but you have to be willing to comb through their frustrating website (the schedule setup is awful) to figure out when the good stuff is on, and record them while you're at work or asleep. Fox reserves prime time for the real classics like Jack the Bear.
If anyone needs more incentive to watch, you could start with Kim Morgan's typically fab post. Also, do not miss Peter's excellent analysis, which takes in the film's framing, something Ray is always revered for, as well as Bigger Than Life's development of the Ray theme of rebellion. For more of a contrarian view, see Evan Kindley's take at Not Coming to a Theater Near You. John at Greenbriar Picture Shows gives a convincing explanation of why the movie bombed upon initial release and remains a hard one to watch: "Show this to your teenagers if you want them to stay single."
P.S. And if anyone has posted, or found, any other particularly good writing on Ray's masterpiece, by all means drop me a line in comments and I will link it here.