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01 October 2009

MeCha Movie Club discussion post September's movie was White Dog. Share your thoughts, observations here. Also, someone should choose our movie for October!
I thought that White Dog was deceptive in that there was no dog, and certainly no white dog. I was really hoping for a nice time watching a healthy white dog do tricks, or flush out a goose, or perhaps herd sheep.

I thought the entire enterprise was duplicitous, wrong-headed and vile.

I did not view the film; I know I'm not helping. I'm just lonely.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 01 October | 07:54
Sour it!


Oh no, the dog's gonna attack the little kid! Oh, wait, no he's not.

Oh no, the dog's gonna attack Paul Winfield! Oh, wait, no he's not.

Oh no, the dog's gonna attack Kristy McNichol! Oh, wait, no he's not.

Oh no, the dog's gonna attack Burl Ives! Oh, that time, he did.

I mean, really. I think "ham-handed" is the correct term here.
posted by mrmoonpie 01 October | 09:32
The Room.

No please don't.
posted by CitrusFreak12 01 October | 10:25
Plan 9 From Outer Space? (Serious suggestion)
posted by CitrusFreak12 01 October | 10:28
Suggestions for future films:

Quiet City and/or Dance Party USA
All The Vermeers in New York
posted by Lipstick Thespian 01 October | 11:18
white dog ate my movie review.
posted by special-k 01 October | 18:02
My day kinda went off the rails- going to post my review tomorrow.
posted by BoringPostcards 01 October | 21:38
1. My library ordered White Dog almost a month ago.

2. It arrived about two weeks ago, but is still waiting to be processed (which is to say, moved into a locking case and marked with about ten stickers and pockets and whatnot. And also a barcode scan and some quick mostly-copy cataloging).

3. Sure, there's a backlog, but things are supposed to be moved to the front of the line when people have them on hold. I'll have to check with somebody in that department, to see if even the first-priority list has a big backlog.

Wait, am I in the right thread?
posted by box 01 October | 22:41
Couldn't lay hands on this movie for love nor money.
posted by ninazer0 02 October | 00:35
The man who wrote the original book was married to Jean Seberg.
posted by brujita 02 October | 01:42
My spoiler-iffic thoughts on the movie- if you're still planning to see it, box, you may want to skip this for now.

I'd seen White Dog before on a grainy dub made from VHS, so seeing it cleaned up on a Crierion DVD was a very cool experience. (The version I saw before was also cut down for TV.)

Samuel Fuller used to be a newspaper reporter, and his movies always have a sort of lurid, tabloid-y vibe to them, this one being no exception. The story isn't subtle, or even believable, but I thought it was a fantastic fable, and full of visual moments that really made an impact on me. (Such as the hand of the black man reaching towards the dog's face in the arena after its "re-raining," and the shot of the little boy who runs out of his house unaware that the dog is around the corner, digging in a trash pile.)

The acting is totally sub-standard from everyone except Paul Winfield. He's melodramatic, but I thought his character was really the star of the whole movie.

The movie's take on racism is really chilling, and sort of depressing. By representing racism in a vicious dog, it makes the point that racism is learned, and worse, taught. It doesn't occur naturally. But the ending seems to suggest (and I admit I'm sort of confused by the ending), that once it's ingrained, it leads to a kind of insanity.

The MOST chilling scene in the whole movie, to me, is near the end when the old man with the two little girls show up at Kristie McNichols' house, and the one girl asks, "Where's my dog?" Even though I kind of knew it was coming, that moment made the hairs on my arms stand up on end.

I've said before that Sam Fuller created my favorite opening scene ever in a movie in The Naked Kiss; the very last shot of White Dog may be my favorite ending shot ever, heartbreaking though it is.
posted by BoringPostcards 02 October | 09:57
White Dog was a late night TV staple in the 80's and I saw bits and pieces of it but never the whole thing as the melodramatic nature of the film put me off. I am glad I've finally seen it.

The acting is not great but Kristy McNichol, Jameson Parker play likeable characters and R2D2 hating Burl Ives is great fun. "That's the hand that helped duke win the Oscar." Paul Winfield sort of holds it all together.

Getting past the melodrama and some goofy bits there is a kind of sadness that hangs over the film. The characters all seem to be trying to change things but not really getting anywhere. The movie seems to say it's noble to make an effort but you won't change the world.

What I do find amazing about it is that Fuller manages to address a hot topic without running the risk of making the antagonist look cool. In fiction, when addressing issues like racism or violence, the bad guy must be nasty enough to be a credible threat but a well done bad guy can end up being seen as a hero to some. Fuller brings racism to the table and shows us that it has consequences but does it without a human antagonist. The dog clearly can't grasp the concept of race let alone racism. He is just acting upon his training.

It's a brilliant way to address a difficult topic and it's sad that some people could find the movie to be racist.

The ubiquitous Ennio Morricone provides a great soundtrack.
posted by arse_hat 02 October | 13:21
there is a kind of sadness that hangs over the film. The characters all seem to be trying to change things but not really getting anywhere.

Well put. There's a sort of doomed feeling through the whole flick.

Also, and possibly related, it's very much a 70s movie to me, even though it was made in the early 1980s.
posted by BoringPostcards 02 October | 15:38
Yeah it's definitely move 70's than 80's.
posted by arse_hat 02 October | 16:06
What about Babette's Feast for the movie for October?

It's a great Danish film. Plus: total food porn.
posted by jonathanstrange 04 October | 06:29
Also - 2nding LT's suggestion of Daywatch - though it would make more sense to watch Nightwatch first, as that's the 1st in the trilogy.
posted by jonathanstrange 04 October | 06:31
Aho's 12th || Why old dogs are the best dogs