Monday, March 19, 2012

Thoughts on 4 Films

1. Melancholia - The more I think about this film, the more I fall in love with it (and the more I want to see it again). The film is seperated into two parts - part one focuses on Justine (Kirsten Dunst) celebrating her marriage with an elaborate party and I admit it was a bit tedious to sit through (I can barely make it through a real-life wedding between people I actually care about). It takes a lot of patience but it turns into a really beautiful film about depression, destruction, life and death and the insignificance of it all. I can see the comparisons to Another Earth only because it captures the "smaller" human tale within the "larger" planetary one, but it defers greatly in the actual story - in this film, a planet called Melancholia is on a path to possibly collide with Earth. It really starts to picks up with the second part that focuses on Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg - who deserved much more credit than Dunst in my opinion, but I could be biased as she is a favorite actress of mine) and her struggle to take care of Justine, who is basically paralyzed by depression. The way the ending keeps building up, as Melancholia gets closer to Earth is breathtaking. I've really never liked a Lars von Trier film - in my opinion, he is the captain of pretentious filmmakers. I was really expecting to rip this film apart but I simply can't. I watched it a few weeks ago and I still find myself thinking about it. "I smile, and I smile, and I smile".

2. The Skin I Live In - Fucking bizarre and disturbing film and I totally loved it. It was definitely an advantage that I avoided reading or seeing anything about the film. I prefer to watch a film without any preconceived notion of it, but I find that increasingly harder to do these days. The narrative of the film was absolute perfection - for the first 1/2 of the film I had absolutely no idea how it would all connect but I was still interested enough to watch every second of it. Once that connection happens, it is transcendent. Easily added to my favorite films of 2011 (which needs a major overhaul since I would also add Melancholia) and definitely my favorite Almodovar film (which is saying a lot because I love all of his work).

3. Footloose - I was never a big fan of the original, so I knew I would probably be even less of a fan of the remake. I was right - it is beyond stupid on so many levels. First, the premise is the same as the original (which was stupid as well) - after a tragic accident, a group of conservatives in a small town create a law where it is illegal to dance in public spaces. The problem is that the accident had nothing to do with dancing, instead it had to do with blatant reckless driving - if they wanted to make a "town law" then wouldn't it make more sense to limit the amount of dumb-ass teenagers allowed in one car? Second, the main female character, Ariel, is a fucking bitch and one of the least likeable teenage characters I've seen in a while - she calls other girls "hussies", then literally one minute later she begins to dance around purposely trying to gain as much male attention as possible (and by "dance", I mean that she basically fucks a pole). Third, I was actually really surprised that Kenny Wormald was from Boston because his accent was atrocious (was he just trying too hard?). He is also a terrible actor - his "you don't know me" breakdown scene was hard to sit through with a straight face. Last, there were these weird and violent fight scenes interspersed through out the film and then forgotten about - the one where a girl hits a guy over the head with a glass bottle and then leaves was actually quite funny, but the end brawl that was then followed by a dance sequence was really frustrating.

4. Hugo - I watched this almost a month ago, but I hesitated writing about it because I thought that maybe I should watch it again before making my final decision of the film. However, after giving it some thought, I decided that I just don't like it. Done and Done. I actually fell asleep while watching it, which is something that never happens to me - I purposely do not have a television in my bedroom because I would never sleep. I did watch the film in it's entirety (after I woke up) and it was mind-boggling how boring it actually is. It was a beautiful film, visually and technically impressive, but once it starts to lay down the "history of film" storyline, my mind started to wander. Obviously, I am interested in the history of film ( I double majored in Cinema Studies and Drama Studies in College) but the problem with the film is that the history is very uninspiring - meaning that anyone with even the most basic passion for film already knows everything that the film tells us, so the point is sort of lost.

1 comment:

  1. I was drinking some OJ while reading your Hugo review and spit it all over my laptop I was laughing so hard. So you are the person who loves to go against the grain eh? Don't get me wrong, I am NOT a fan of Hugo either.. but I didnt HATE it, or fall asleep in the middle. Which is easier to do with those annoying 3D glasses on. Let me put this argument to you thou... Wouldn't you agree that for most Youths who are NOT studied enough have a Double Major in Cinema/ Drama Studies (yes I know, awful isn't it.. lazy bastards) That the clips from Old School Silent films would make them want to discover an era of Film that is nowdays locked away in some dusty studio Vault?