Thursday, June 08, 2006

Film quick hits...

Ove the weekend and earlier this week I watched a few movies. I wonder, now, with the World Cup starting up, if my bouts with insomnia will be entertained by taped World Cup games, or if I will still be up till 3am watching movies. I also wonder if I could misuse more commas in a single sentance. The post is young, I guess.

We'll start off with Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville. Now this film was different. A science fiction film with no special effects whatsoever. Shot entirely in 1960's Paris, and entirely in black and white. At no point did it really seem campy to me though. There was a futuristic feeling to the whole ordeal. My crush on Anna Karina escalated even more as she was phenomenal here. Like nearly all Godard films this was very lyrical. There were a more than a few extended moments of dialogue that I wanted to memorize should I ever fall in love again. And yes, love, or the impossibility of love, is the theme in this postmodern society. Highly reccomended.

Badlands. I wish I didn't like this movie as much as I did. I don't really think I want find movies about a guy who goes on a killing spree, on the run from the law, with his girlfriend (?) in tow to be a movie that I am so intrigued by. Yet, I found this movie entirely hyptnotic. Ther is no real lesson here. It's just a story of youth gone wrong, or wild (Skid Row rules!). But through voiceover nararation by Sissy Spacek, and throuh wonderful direction by Terrance Malick, it somehow becomes a wonderful and magificent film. Why do I feel for Martin Sheen's character? Why do I empathize with him in a way? If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Crimes and Misdemeanors may be my favorite Woody Allen film. A while back I talked about my dilema after viewing Match Point. It seems to me that Crimes and Misdemeanors deals broadly with the same sorts of issues, byut from a far less cynical standpoint. I don't only say this because of the abundance of humour that is found in Crimes and Misdemeanors, as opposed to the total lack in Match Point, though that is true. I say it because in the characters in Crimes and Misdemeanors you see them struggling through their problems in a more human way. They don't seem entirely detached from their actions. They contemplate not only the natural consequences of their actions, but the longer lasting spritual and human consequences of their actions. This begs to be talked about with a friend afterwards, luckily I have a few that have seen it.

When I first watched White I thought it was by far the weakest of Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy. On first viewing it didn't have beauty of Blue or pack the emotional wallop of Red. Only upon repeated viewings have I come to appreciate this film nearly as much as it might deserve. It's a bit of a dark comedy, wrapped in a bit of a love story, wrapped in the larger whole of the Three Colors. White is meant to represent equality in the French flag, and as Karol tries to re-start his life in Poland after his wife divorces him, Kieslowski puts forth the questions of how equality can really exist in love? There are larger themes covered here as well, but like Blue and Red when we look at Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in Kieslowski's trilogy it is never in the political realm, it is always in the relational realm. There isn't another filmaker who could have possibly made this trilogy or this film in particular.

The New Order Story DVD is like all music documentaries, overly long, pretentious, and insufferable. However, it is about the greatest band in the world through their Repuplic album period. So it's watchable. But even as a huge New Order fan I cringed a few times. But when you are New Order, or related to New Order, you are okay with me.

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