Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Gold Rush | The ALASKAthon

The Gold Rush is the last new-to-me film in the ALASKAthon, which means that my gap year is coming closer. This, I hope, is a good enough excuse for this review being somewhat rushed. There really aren't enough hours in the day, especially when in some of them, you get to see your friends for the last time in a year.

It might interest you that my aversion towards silent films has lessened quite a bit during the last year. From vehemently stating that "I hate silent films" to finding them okay to actually finding myself enjoy them once in a while, I have undergone what some call "a snobformation". Jokes aside, Chaplin delivers another heart-felt and fun comedy on a serious enough topic in this film. He once more shows off his physical skills and talent for physical comedy, while the story - of course - isn't complicated at all. The sets are amazing and the pieces that were actually filmed in real snow are rather impressive too. Sadly, Chaplin outshines most of the other actors, and the girl in particular doesn't get a very important or rememberable role. His "cabin friend" makes for a funny side character though, and he and Chaplin play off each other very well.

I'm happy I watched The Gold Rush, since it makes for an interesting change in the many recent films I watched for this blogathon. It seems that Alaska was never very popular among filmmakers but Chaplin saw its charm already in the dawn of the days of filmmaking. Again, I'm sorry if this review seems rambly and short. There was no other way.


How capturing/ engaging/ interesting is the film? (out of 5 northern lights)

How gorgeous does the film - or the Alaska in it - look? (out of 5x Timothy Treadwell's hair)

How much does the film itself make you want to go to Alaska? (out of 5 sledges)

1925 • USA • English

director Charles Chaplin
author Charles Chaplin
★ Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alone in the Wilderness | The ALASKAthon

The wish to just pack up our dearest belongings and burn or leave the rest, to wander off into the wilderness and start a new life without the complications of modern society - I think most of us have felt that wish one or several times in our lives. It's something that I've always associated Alaska with - the goodbye to society, that crazy breed as Eddie Vedder calls it in one of his songs. In the course of history, there have been a number of women and men who succumbed to this wish, which I do not doubt burnt much harder in them than it does in most of us who have not succumbed to it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mystery, Alaska | The ALASKAthon

-Note!- My blind spot entry for this month will be posted on, as was last months (12 Angry Men). I want to get used to and make you get used to my blind spot entries and possible (mini) reviews appearing on that platform. Just wanted to make sure you know.

Even though it should be the cinephile's highest aim to be able to approach each genre and subgenre without prejudice, we all have our own little preferences when it comes to the films we watch. Last year, I started keeping a diary on what decades I watch most films from and what suffer most of my ignorant teenage - of course I found my viewing habits concentrated on the last 5 or so centuries. With the 2000s and 2010s taking a lead that is much too strong in my eyes. But it's not only that (sub-contious) skirting of old films that dictates my film viewing habits - much more prominently and, I have to admit, self-consciously, I omit war and sports films.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

30 Days of Night | The ALASKAthon

When the success of the Twilight franchise precipitated a swarm of mediocre, over-eroticized vampire novels and cinematic adaptations of these, the vampire trend was officially a thing. Before that, vampire films had been mainly limited to the horror genre for a long period - as far as my limited knowledge of film history goes. 30 Days of Night was released one year before the first Twilight movie and hence its vampires are ugly brutes that want nothing but to kill and feed. Which is a nice exception from the mass these days...

Set in Barrow, the northernmost town in the US, the film takes place during the 30 days of darkness that the inhabitants of the town experience every year. While the sun never sets, the vampires are free to roam Barrow day and night and leave behind them a trail of destruction. The gorgeous Police officer Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) is the first to find out what's going on and along with a few other people he manages to survive the attacks for a long time.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Insomnia | The ALASKAthon

I've decided to finish the left-up work and continue the ALASKAthon as a final installment on this blog. Maybe it's because I cut my toe and am thus excluded from most fun summer activities or maybe it's because I just don't want to leave my blog as a half-baked mess. Better to end things neatly if you really have to end them.