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I have a question for those of you who've seen Revolutionary Road.

Okay, this is going to sound really lame, but stay with me. Could you tell me if this movie left you feeling positive for the main characters? Or like they are on a hopeless road to nowhere? See, I'm interested in seeing this, but my husband has been feeling down lately (about his job, his ever-increasing age, etc.) and I don't want to take him to this film if he's just going to have all his fears confirmed & he'll feel like slitting his wrists afterward. It doesn't have to end with all sunshine & rainbows, but if everything is hopeless for these characters or if the marriage breaks up or whatever, then I think I'll have to see this one on my own.

Based on your concerns I would not take sheff to see it. It's an excellent film, but most of the critics have hated it due to the complete lack of anything remotely good happening.

girltrouble, the pool scene in Let the Right One In was just great. I agree with you about your question, not what your friends thought.
anna k
Girltrouble, I too agree with you with your question. I talked to a friend about the film, and he came to the same conclusion, and what would their relationship would be like once the boy grew up and the girl remained the same age.

I saw Waltz with Bashir today, and was struck by its starkness recalling the events of war. The images were surreally animated and I could emphasize with the confusion and naiveness of youth, of trying to be an adult before you're mentally ready, and it opened me up to a whole different world and take on war, as well as the faces of a war I didn't know anything about, save for an old interview with an Israeli rock singer who served in the 80's and stuck it out in Lebanon. It did make me feel sad and depressed, but also more human and alive while watching it, if that's a good way to describe it.
anna, medusa: yeah, i think it was the symbolism of the knife. that was the primary killing instrument of the old man, when the boy tries to use it on anyone but himself (and as a means of offering a deep friendship), he fails, dropping it-- he's non violent at his core. and the dialog between the old man and eli-- he was more of a servant. then there is the whole morse code thing-- it's a symbol for learning, finding new language. no, the little boy was as much of a "right one" for eli as she was for him. and i loved that last shot, the boy on the train-- the scenery flying by, eli in the box. separated, but together. it's saying their relationship would be the same, even tho he'd grow old. it was beautiful.

plus i love the whole transgendered thing-- but then i would. lol.

thanks for that retrospective.

The stuff I've been watching... weird and all-over-the-place.

But for a very mainstream thing (for me) I just saw Slumdog Millionaire... in a theater.

In the first place: Simply too cranked up. I'd rather watch Ozu than this pounding stuff that's put out by dudes who have graduated from Music Video U.

Apart from that, I respect it for focusing on Muslims (of a sort) and wonder (very much) how its Muslim vs. Hindu angle played out in India, esp. given that it's directed by a Brit. (Or a Scot?)

I very much liked that scene where they suddenly come upon the child Hindu deity, with his blue face, and bow & arrow. One bit of suddenness (in a flic with too much aggressive suddenness) that worked...

-- reggae, and out!
Favorite movie: I don't know if it is my favorite movie... this is a moving target, you see... as we get older & wiser, but the first movie that comes to mind when I contemplate such a question is... "El Espiritu de la Colmena"
> The spirit of the beehive (1973)

It is soooo beautiful, soooo romantic, soooo complicated...

The first time I saw it, I was in tears at the final scene, when she says her name-- "Soy Anna....," and you hear the train... And then I came back to understand it more and more.
This has then come to be what one most wants (from a movie, or from life itself?), to be immediately touched and moved... and then to arrive at more and more insight.

And then (from the sublime to the ridiculous?) the movie I have seen more times than any other: Three Caballeros. But also beautiful and romantic-- along with ridiculous & psychedelic. Three Mescalitos! When Donald Duck says, surveying Mexico City at night: "The Sky is filled with romantic." (sic) I'm ready to join him in the quest for Latin Love.

Wonderful music, esp. when they go to Veracruz, to dance to the Jarocho.

[NB: You have to get through two ordinary cartoons before 3 Cabs takes off.... when they board the train for Bahia. And if you switch the language to Spanish then, you'll hear "Bahia" in the original Portuguese.]
QUOTE(roseviolet @ Feb 1 2009, 10:44 PM) *
I have a question for those of you who've seen Revolutionary Road.

Okay, this is going to sound really lame, but stay with me. Could you tell me if this movie left you feeling positive for the main characters? Or like they are on a hopeless road to nowhere? See, I'm interested in seeing this, but my husband has been feeling down lately (about his job, his ever-increasing age, etc.) and I don't want to take him to this film if he's just going to have all his fears confirmed & he'll feel like slitting his wrists afterward. It doesn't have to end with all sunshine & rainbows, but if everything is hopeless for these characters or if the marriage breaks up or whatever, then I think I'll have to see this one on my own.

Rose: the ending of Revolutionary road is very depressing. However, I found that it had an oddly uplifting effect on me. As lame is this sounds, it’s like a really good lesson in living the life you want, rather than just filling the mold that’s been laid out for you. It also sort of made my boyfriend and I feel better about our lives and our relationship, in an “at least we’re not that bad” sort of way. Let us know what you think after you see (and your husband, if he sees it as well).
dearest dolor!

how delightful to see you again! i have to admit, i always miss you terribly, it's the way that you speak, clear, but somehow mysterious to me. i always feel that there is this space between your lines, so flush with meaning that i'm not sure i can take it all. but i want to. as much as i would love to see you around all the time (which would be my second wish after winning the lottery, i have to admit, your absence makes the times you do post feel like a wonderful care package-- there is, of course, the wonderful shock/surprise that someone was thinking of you enough to make one, next comes the unpacking, examining the little gifts, and the consumption, thinking about the shared meaning of the objects/foods/gifts. then thinking about the sender, and how much you miss the time spent with them, yearning to go back to past times. there is the wanting new memories, and wishing the sender were there, sharing it with you, not in some far-flung place.

a cheezy poem!

the movie partner,

it's always these foreign
shindigs, that i wish you were here,
to share this meal of images,
of meaning, of symbols, of ideas.
it's not yesterday's burger--
that cinematic block buster
of americana.

they are all cliches,
and soda pop chase scenes,
and occasional catsup explosions.
not much in the way of surprise.
don't get me wrong, they are fine,
in their time and place.
after all, how can you appreciate
the outstanding, if you aren't
used to the mundane?

they bide the time between
more exotic, foreign fare
whose subtle flavors,
and construction take more
time to digest, and whose left overs,
you can't wait to reheat.

the really delightful thing
is you never quite know
what it is you're getting
and it's best to not ask
what it is you're eating
no, these treats are best
consumed with an open mind,
figuring out the components
as they color your palate.
and that's why i miss you,
and the conversations
that often follow.

i love knowing what you felt,
what parts moved you,
the things that sent you
reeling to other places,
other films, stories and places,
and the way you tell me
about them feeds me
as much as any film itself.

ta fer na!
your girltrouble

ps. cha and i were talking about you in glowing terms (but then how could we talk about you in any other way?)
do tell us more of the movies you've seen lately.
Thanks for the advice, DM and LikeAnyOther. I saw Revolutionary Road on my own today & I think it was the right choice. It was such an overwhelming, emotional experience for me. I think it hit me especially hard because I am a housewife & because my husband and I have somehow developed the reputation of being this perfect little couple in our perfect little house with our perfect little life, and on and on. I probably cried throughout the whole last 1/2 hour of the film. It took me a while to gather myself just so I could leave the theater, but I was still so shaken that I went into the ladies room and cried in a stall for a few more minutes. I've never been so grateful to have a pair of sunglasses in my purse. Kate Winslet's character really really touched me. Wow. I really hope she gets the Oscar for her work. Leonardo DiCaprio impressed me, too. That scene at the breakfast table ... oh my god. In that moment, she was already dead. It was like my heart was sent through a laundry mangle.

But it was GOOD. I love it when films reach in & shake me up like this. I love it when I walk out of the theater & I look at the whole world through a new set of eyes for hours or days afterward. It was a painful, moving, wonderful experience for me. I don't think all of my friends or family will be affected by it the same way I was, so that makes me extra grateful that I saw it alone. As for my husband, I think it would be good for him to see it eventually (he also loves it when movies rip inside & tear you up a bit) but I think this isn't the right month for it. We'll see.
RV, I also saw Revolutionary Road alone. The events in it didn't come as a surprise to me, since I've read the book, but it is a bleak, thought provoking film all on its own.

I think it raises difficult questions; it did for me. I think it demands a lot of its audience because it (like the novel) is so uncompromising, which is all too rare in a Hollywood film. What stood out for me was April's failed attempt to challenge the status quo; the idea that you have to settle (for the suburbs, for a conventional life) once you have children. Making that choice sent them both into different kinds of despair, and yet that status quo persists today.

For me, RR hit close to home in another way: we currently live in the suburbs with the mister's child and I have been resisting our new 'status quo' from the start, so I took a kind of bitter comfort from the film's premise that conventionality literally =death. But that's probably another conversation...

I also agree with what likeanyother said, though: Rose: I found that it had an oddly uplifting effect on me. As lame is this sounds, it’s like a really good lesson in living the life you want, rather than just filling the mold that’s been laid out for you. I felt that too.

I am more than happy to explore the ideas that come up in RR further RV... I totally know where you're coming from.
Yes, Sybarite, it definitely raised some difficult issues.

It's strange because I want to talk about the film, but I also have trouble finding the words. One of the things I liked about the film is that I think it showed both Frank and April pretty equally. I never saw one as the hero & one as the villain. I just saw 2 people who were struggling, then hopeful, then broken. I can see why many people think that the story is a huge criticism of suburban life as a whole, but that isn't what I took from it. Rather, I think it just isn't the right path for everyone ... or that some people need something in addition to what the suburbs have to offer. I think too many people follow a certain path without really thinking about whether it's what they really want. I know I'm guilty of it in some ways.

Watching it all fall apart. I don't even have words for that yet. When April said she didn't want out, she wanted in ... that said so much about what life had been like for her for so many years. She'd been locked out of life. Not really living at all. So when it was all over & she knew she had to return to the "hopeless emptiness", it was if she just allowed her spirit to die. That morning at breakfast, she might have had a faint glimmer of hope left ... hope that Frank would acknowledge the charade & that they couldn't go back to life as it was before. I think he wasn't quite sure how to react. He didn't want to fight again. He was afraid to fight again. I think he just wanted her to see that things could be okay. So he stayed polite & played along. I think in a way he just wanted to reset everything to the way it was before. And maybe that's one of the reasons why she gave herself the abortion ... just to put things back where they were. But also because she didn't want the permanent reminder of what they lost. And because Frank told her in the fight that she should have gotten rid of it (whether he meant it or not). And because of the things John (the mentally ill guy) said just before he left. And much more. I don't think she consciously meant to kill herself, but I also can't say that it mattered to her very much, one way or the other. She was too sad, too, heartbroken, too sick at that point to be acting purely for logical, rational reasons.

Just a few nights ago I found myself having a similar conversation with my husband as April & Frank had on Frank's birthday. Granted, we didn't decide to move to another country, but we talked about our lives and our goals and the ruts we've fallen into, as well as what we want & the steps we might have to take, as well as the fear of taking chances, especially considering the current economic climate. To have a conversation like that and then to see this film all within 24 hours ... well, you can see why I was touched so deeply.
Tea-Gal, you dahling duckie!

You set me a-spinning with all that warmth and appreciation of yours.... How can I deserve this? More reply anon, I trust... but there is so much on my plate this morn, yikes!, that I'll just say a bit in reply to your request as to what I'm up to cinematically?:

Just saw J-P Melville's Le Doulos... which sent me back to see Andre de Toth's Crime Wave, which JPM worshipped. The latter is majorly enjoyable and super nicely done. Beautiful B&W.... As for the first, I'd say, we're running into certain familiar problems with MASCULINITY: the compressed masculinity of the actors /charactors, and JPM's own fascination with. There's now a predictability to it... for me.

You and I have already touched upon these problems.... and, Wow, how you have confronted them yourself!-- in your doubled /tripled /quadrupled experiences and choices.... (I'm referring to De Bois' notion of doubleness, you Double-TroubleGal.)

Apart from that (which I'm only gesturing at), some of the weirder paths I've been wandering along these days include The Little Rascals (yes, that gang of adorable spankies), and then "Inglorious Bastards" a grade D spaghetti re-run of the Dirty Dozen, now re-released 'cause cutie QT will be cranking out his remake this next August. But I watched it 'cause a certain acquaintance (Peter Hooten) was starring in it.... Not as ridiculous as I hoped for.

-- I must head off,

yr dolor
PS Ignorant question: What's with the blacked out text? Who is doing this? Is it to hide spoilers, or what? Can one (I) uncover this stuff?

PPS I also plan on seeing Revolutionary Road. Having been Very impressed with the book. I certainly respect the movie for trying to capture this era, the early 50's, which now looks so distant to us. Perhaps more distant than earlier times, because the kind of rebellion /revolution then was /seems so timid, compared to our current no holds barred situation.
-- Which reminds me: My grandparents moved from US suburbia (Missouri) to Paris in the 50's. They negotiated their revolutionary road more successfully.
Dolor, they're spoiler bars. I chose to conceal the text of my post so that people who haven't seen the film won't accidentally read any details. If you want to read the spoilers, just highlight the blacked out area with your mouse.
my detrimental delerium dolor,

strangely, i can understand the little rascals, their early shorts were actually very good. i think it was angels with dirty faces with cagney and bogart that got me down that road. i was on a voracious bogart tear, i like cagney, but never enough to go out of my way. if i want an over the top brogue, i prefer edward g robinson. his movies never fail to impress me. key largo, double indemnity, scarface, scarlet street (there's an interesting look at masculinity), even soylent green. but back to AWDF. i remember that it might have been the genesis of one of those kid series..... that and boy's town are two "orphan/priest" movies of that era that i've watched several times accidentally and always enjoy, much to my own amazement. i'm afraid i have to even admit to crying at them.

i'm so tempted to ask you for a recommendation, but i am so backlogged movie wise. i'm kind of gravitating towards french films again, so perhaps a melville festival would do me some good. although my timing is pretty awful. the seattle film festival has it's own theatre and for the last week or so they have been showing a "french crime wave" series. i've seen the red circle and bob the gambler, but they had some ones i've never heard of, like mississippi mermaid directed by truffaut, or chabrol's the champagne murders. towards the end of the month they are showing the non-crime wave lola montez, by max ophuls, which i would die to see on a big screen. but i'm broke (and their tickets are the most expensive in town). so right now it's netflix and the library which means i've got about 18 movies in my house right now demanding to be seen. right now it's denis and breillat, but some of the more extreme stuff. it's interesting comparing it to the asian extreme, and how many of the AE filmakers are taking a decidedly french tone (last life in the universe, bright future), or perhaps returning to a more austere asian tone. 3 iron is a good film like that-- it's almost a metaphor for asian film of the last 20 some years' evolution. it starts with a very asian kind of set up, but grows into something much more interesting, although very asian.

i really should do the dirty dozen type of films too. that would be fun to compare to it's asian parallel, the yakuza heist ensemble movies like gonin (another interesting movie about troublesome masculinity, complete with a guy-on-guy kiss ending). yay! something new to explore!

*sigh* dolor. you are a dream!

ps, you can use the spoiler bars by using basic code, putting the word "spoiler" between start ([xpoiler]) and stop ([/xpoiler]) brackets.
RV, drive by for now...but I agree, I don't feel April wanted to kill herself (consciously) at all. The book makes clearer that she's actually going through with the abortion for love of Frank; she still clings to the dream, albeit desperately.

I also think the film is simply about how couples work, more specifically, how we fight. When I read the book I had the same sense of being grasped by the throat; as in, is tearing each other apart inevitable at times when you're that close? The mister and I don't these days, but we certainly have before. And the frustrations which inform these fights we've had for sure.

I do think it's important to remember how lost they felt, so devoid of references to their exact situation: there were no (or few) studies of suburban angst at the time. It was all brand new, unexamined postwar prosperity
inadvertent double post...
anna k
I rented Bangkok Dangerous (the original version) tonight, and it was memorable and really got to me. Despite that the plot has been done before (bad guy wants to reform, meets a sweet girl and must hide his secret, gets pulled in again to do one last job), I really dug the low-budget artsy cinematography, the scenes with Kong's isolation and loneliness as he tries to communicate with regular people and coming off as shy and reserved instead of unable to speak/hear, and the scenes of Bangkok at night, both in the clubs despite the rape scene and Kong/Fon's budding relationship. There were some scenes I really liked, like Kong about to kill the men who killed Joe, with the ghost of Joe walking by his side, gun in hand, and on a superficial note, the guy who played Kong was dead sexy to me.

Girltrouble, I agree with certain Asian films having a "dark, dark cinematography," and that's what stood out to me about this film, that it didn't look like it cost much to film, and captured so much with up-close performances and the sense of loneliness with the characters ran throughout the film. I'm sorry I'm not more eloquent, I haven't really been as expressive as before with the films that I've watched.
i'm glad you liked it, anna. it is kind of a cliche of a movie, but what they do with it really works. and the warehouse scene with the gunsights was so simple, obvious, but smart. i'd never seen that in a movie and it made me exited to see what the pang bros would do next, which was the original the eye, which was really good, and the asian sci-fi slum thriller, the tesseract, which if nothing else had one of the most interesting settings for a sci-fi film. but when deny and oxide came to america, their inventiveness some how got lobotomized (see (or rather don't see) the insipid country ghost story, the messengers).

speaking of american remakes, i just watched the amercian version of funny games. it's a nasty, sadistic piece of work directed by michael haneke, who directed the original austrian film of the same name. haneke, who's best known for the piano teacher, makes films about violence and the repercussions of violence (71 fragments, benny's video, the cache/the hidden). thing is, haneke is probably the most controled/cold director since pre adjuster atom egoyan. his shooting style is the polar opposite of someone like scorsese, who uses camera motion to anticipate violence, instead, haneke's shots rarely have camera movement. he plants the camera and leaves it. you watch from a reserve, never sympathetic. but it's particularly... funny here. audience expectation is that the camera will dwell on the violence, to revel in it, but instead we are deprived of it. it is omitted from the film. the only thing that's left is it's residue. haneke uses that to make the film agonizing. nothing is shown, but you still get all of tension. if brecht was into thrillers, he would have loved funny games.... sort of. he would have liked the way that class expectations are used. how the two preppie kids get away with so much because they look that upper class part.

the movie starts, like many horror movies, from a predator's eye view in the sky, narrowing in on the unsuspecting family. to cop a film title, there will be blood. another thing about haneke, when other directors would be showing violence, haneke focuses instead on the mundane actions of people during violence and then, lingers with long shots on the emotional aftermath (or more often, the lack there of). his antigonists feel nothing, and are products of modern alienation. his protagonists tend to be upper/upper middle class families who think their money affords them shelter from the dangers of life. funny games picks up some threads from his other movies, quoting some shots, and the first part of the movie is similar to his post-apocolyptic, the time of the wolf, of a family going to it's vacation home and things going quickly to hell, but the thing that most people will hate about funny games is what makes it interesting: the funny games of the title aren't being played on the family, much as it might seem so. no, they are actors, puppets in this story. haneke contstantly uses brechtian distancing devices like having the antagonist break the 4th wall, and talk directly to the viewer or hitchcockian implicating the viewer in the violence. if it weren't for the viewer and their expectations, this family would be having a nice vacation, but sadly, the people need a good show, a yarn to scare them. the two villians of the piece constantly call each other cartoon names like tom and jerry, and talk about plot devices and how the movie is about "entertainment." they chide the viewer for cheering for the family to survive, knowing full well the family is not going to survive. it plays with the idea of fatalism, making sure that you know there will be no out for them. the only thing to do is to grit your teeth till the end of the ride. you know there will be violence, but even that is short circuited. you only see one bit of gore, and even that is erased-- literally purged from the story. even the climax is, well, anti-climactic. you know the end at the start of the film, and haneke isn't really interested in changing that. instead he wants to dare you not to care about the family, to constantly twist the knife. the funny game is being played on you.

continuing in my festival of crazed french cannibals directed by women, is the film, in my skin. a smart, unsettling debut until the last 2 minutes or so when the director goes all artsy and runs out of gas. it's too bad since the rest of the movie is five star body horror. it's about a woman who accidentally falls and gets a gash in her leg, from that point on she's turned on my drinking her own blood, or tasting/chewing on her own flesh. what i liked best was that the film was played in a way that is very down to earth. from the film's point of view, she's no different than an alcoholic, or a drug addict. she has a bad habit of clawing at her flesh colored pantyhose and ripping it that genuinely gives you the creeps. she's out of control, and as soon as she's done literally licking her self-inflicted wounds, she realizes it. i can't wait to see what she does with her next movie. this would be a great double feature with any number of cronenberg movies.
Has anybody seen a movie called Trouble Every Day am thinking about renting it . Thoughts worth the rent etc...
lol...i wrote about it lunia. go down a couple of my posts. jan 31st i think.

one of it's posters is my profile pic too.
anna k
girltrouble, you have such great taste in films, I'll definetly check out those films since I liked Bangkok Dangerous. I agree on it being cliched in terms of plot, but it was still unique to watch.

I may see Coraline this weekend. It's meant for kids, but it sounds like a good story with great animation.
like wise anna! i am super excited to coraline. i'm just wanting to see it in 3D
Just got back from seeing Coraline. I'm a huge Gaiman fan, but I loved it. I'm not the biggest fan of 3-D movies, but it was so creepy and magical. The 3-D graphics were amazing without being too "ooh the image is coming near me," which was cool. The director also explored some Freudian themes as well. I don't suggest it for kids too young though. I'm going to have to go back and re-read the book now. I hope it's up for an Oscar next year. It's truely the best stop animation film I've seen in years.

I'm thinking of seeing He's Just Not that Into You for a silly girl flick on Sunday. I have a funeral to go to tomorrow(ugh), and will need a pick me up movie after that. I'm going to celebrate my birthday a little early with one of my best friends.

I still haven't picked my favorite movie yet for that job application, but have welcomed your suggestions. I'm honestly just thinking of picking a Woody Allen or Mel Brooks film, and leave it at that. There are just too many, and I feel as though I'm playing Sophie's Choice with many of them.

GT, thanks for the review of Funny Games. I've been wanting to see that.

GT, is The Tesseract set in Malaysia? I'm wondering if it's an adaptation of the Alex Garland novel of the same name. Is it good, would you recommend it?
anna k
I wanted to see Coraline last night, but it was sold out, so I saw Revolutionary Road. It was painful to watch at times (the fight scenes, the deadness in April's resignation to her life, the dream of Paris going down the toilet, Frank's voice cracking like a little boy's when he asked if she really hated him, but I felt absorbed in it.

RV, although I can't relate to your observations personally (not being in a committed relationship), I really liked reading your analysis of how this film affected you. I thought it would be really cliched at first, but the acting and mood of the film went above that. I forget that Leonardo DiCaprio is a fantastic actor, because he has boyish looks and had a party reputation for so long that I couldn't take him seriously. I also thought the actress who played the secretary was well-cast for the period, she had a Betty Boop-style old-fashioned face that reminded me of my grandma as a young woman back then.
I saw Coraline last night. I liked it, but there was something in the animation and the movements of the characters that was nightmarish. Other than that weirdness, it was good. I just wish we had a 3D theater here.
sorry another long post...

yeah, syb. there are actually 3 movies called "tesseract" but the one i've seen, the tesseract directed by the bros pang. is good. very interesting and yes, it's based on the novel. the setting i thought was really interesting for a sci-fi movie. i don't know how it compares to the novel (i rarely read anything but manga, graphic novels and film/gender theory), but the movie was not what i was expecting, and the oxide brothers are really good directors when left to their own devices. it's only when hollywood interferes with their scripts-by-committee shtick.

lunia-- tell me what you think of trouble every day if you decide to see it. i'm not sure anyone else would like it-- it's one of those love it or hate it type movies. i fall into the first, most people the second. i think seeing it and then seeing in my skin after left me a bit dazed. they are both very graphic, gory, something that usually doesn't bother me, but both left me feeling as if i had been drugged. these are draining, shocking, disturbing movies, to be sure. there is a lot of emotional residue-- for me at least -- in both films. they both say a lot about love. lately i've been meditating on in my skin-- where TED is more about "cannibalism" as a metaphor for sex, and relationships, IMS is more about self-love. it's never strongly stated, and in a lot of ways i wish that the director had made a stronger through line. sorry, i'm not being clear. the main thing that IMS has made me think in the last few days, is that there is a certain interesting point of view to be told with cannibalism from a female perspective. if this all seems a bit strange-- and i will be the first to say it is. think about most women's relationship to food, and body image, then think about how women deal with each other's bodies as consumers, and how that relates to how we consume ourselves with body image. it's terribly interesting, complex, compelling. i like IMS, and there are lots of things in it where she touches upon these ideas, but it seems that she only touches them instead of burrowing deep and making some specific point. it's too bad. IMS is much more accessible than TED, and in many ways much more disturbing. i can't help wishing that IMS had had a stronger climax. strangely, the best films tell you all that you need to know in the first and last shots, sequences, and the end of IMS has a lot to be desired considering the strength of the rest of the film.

in finding TED and IMS, i was reminded of abel fererra's the addition, which is more of a vampire movie. but follows the same sort of contemporary take on modern horror take as they do. i saw it forever ago, and i thought it would be good to see after the other two. i remember at the time thinking it was ok, i've never watched all of the king of new york (still haven't), i hated the bad lieutenant, fererra's previous movie. bodysnatchers, however, was my shit. i love that movie. so i was up for another reworking of horror cliches. i wanted to see what he would do. plus, the addiction stars lily taylor who i love, and if memory serves uses the vampire tropes as a metaphor for addiction, and aids. unfortunately it's not out on dvd. booooo! instead i'll have to see ms.45, his revenge film.


i'm excited to see the original austrian funny games. the american verson was good, but in reading the back of the original DVD, i discovered that the preppy boy and the dad were both in haneke's first, brutal film benny's video. if this means nothing to you, that is understandable, but let me just explain-- the casting of the father and son from that movie as protagonist and antagonist, respectively, adds another layer of "game" to funny games. it adds a beautiful layer of cinematic intertexuality to it.

i'll rewind.

intertexuality is when a film refers to another thing, another book, movie, tv show etc, and builds a deeper, more complex meaning adding to it's own. like this, in the american version of funny games the two preppy boys keep calling each other cartoon charecter's names, like bevis and butthead or tom and jerry-- they are aware on some level that they are just cartoon charecters who, even if they are injured or die, will simply be revived in the next episode or the movie is shown again. they live no longer than any other film person in that when the credits roll they have met their end. they are nothing more than 2 characters in search of an author so to speak. in a similar way, this casting deepens FG, because these people now have a history that is acknowledged if never explicitly. it's the dance scene in pulp fiction with john travolta. it draws on that cultural history. travolta becomes another possible life for that kid from new york, if that makes sense.

in benny's video, benny is a kid who is so... disconnected, alienated, removed from life that he doesn't even look out his windows. they are covered in black shroud, with video cameras aimed thru them. he looks outside by looking at his video monitor. his parents are yuppies who barely give benny the time of day, and when he kills his playmate (in typical haneke fashion, off screen with lots of horrible noises), then obsessively watches the video of his death, his parents are utterly in denial. i should also mention that the film foreshadows some of the video sadism/playfulness/construction that is later realized in FG. BV's opening sequence, a pig being slaughtered, is replayed before the film is allowed to progress. but back to funny games. when haneke casts the son as the torturer to the father of this new family, it is as if benny has somehow grown up, broken free of his former film and the punishment he had to face, and hunted down his father in his new idyllic nuclear family, ready to destroy it, a game where, in the end he feels nothing. he's still benny. kiss the girl then kill her, he feels nothing. he is just a viewer's or director's temporary conceit, and when he breaks the 4th wall, he's as icy to us. he's tired of keeping us entertained, but that is what must be done. with each film for me, i think haneke is one of the smartest, best directors alive.
I really want to see Coraline! It looks super fun and a little bit creepy.

I went to see Wendy and Lucy this weekend. I really enjoyed it.
saw Coraline this weekend. it was the best film i've seen in a long time. everything about it was flawless. it stuck to the book very close for all you Gaiman fans out there. my only regret was that i had not paid closer attention in the very beginning of the film to see who the first character was in the doll. i was surprised to see so many small children at a film that's rated PG and not G but i'm surprised that so many small children are at every Harry Potter film as well.
I've just read that there's an adaptation of Colette's Cheri being released here next month. That excites me greatly although whether it will be any good or not... Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates star and Rupert Friend is Cheri.

I've been lazy on the movie front recently and want to catch up on a lot before the Oscars.

I did finally see In Bruges, which I thought was brilliant. The dark humour, the setting, the fantastic chemistry between Farrell and Gleeson. I really enjoy McDonagh's writing. Oh, and I thought that the cunt speech was one of the funniest things I've heard on-screen for some time.

I also enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire and don't agree that it was overly twee or cliched. Sometimes a feel-good ending is what's in order.

Watched All the President's Men for the first time a couple of weeks ago (as a prelude to Frost/Nixon, which I'm looking forward to seeing). Great performances, great dynamic between Redford and Hoffman (who I thought shone), fast-paced, good intrigue and maintaining of interest in the political...

I'm really jealous of those who have seen Coraline; I'm a fan of the book (Gaiman in general) and am excited about seeing it adapted to the big screen but it's not out here until May sad.gif.

Speaking of more adaptations: I'm going to watch Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day at some point this week.
Ooh, casting will be key in any adaptation of Cheri, and IMO Rupert Friend is no Cheri. The young Johnny Depp could have done it, more because he could pull off that innate cmbo of cockiness + vulnerability. I can't think of a young, cute actor who embodies that these days...

I love Michelle Pfieffer but can't quite see her as Lea, who is described as more opulent that Pfieffer usually projects.

I'll try not to spend all afternoon coming up with a dream cast... cheers for the heads up bunnyb!
Ooh, a young Johnny Depp epitomises the character of Cheri!
I'll need to re-read it and try to imagine contemporary characters in the leads...
I'm definitely excited! It's released next month here.
I really really want to see Wendy and Lucy, but I'm almost afraid to. The trailer alone made me sob. I'm okay with a tear slipping out in a dark theatre, but audibly sobbing, not so much.
Edie, Wendy & Lucy is definitely sad & a downer, but for me it wasn't a huge tearjerker. See it!
anna k
Girltrouble, I watched Body Snatchers tonight, and was interested by it, particularly the animation of the aliens posessing people through tentacles in their sleep, and a double being created alongside them. It had a slow, creeping pace to it, and I kept wanting Terry Kinney's character to realize quickly that his wife was not the same person, given that she went from being his vivacious wife cuddling with him into an emotionless android despising her son within a day. The ending had a great dystopian feeling to it, that there would be no escape, as far as they could run once their town was destroyed.

and did i mention this version takes place on a military base? what better place to hide mindless drones

That's a great observation, how the aliens could easily possess those who dedicate their lives to serving others and following orders.

I watched most of the film, but was distracted by some things going on, so I didn't get into Forrest Whittaker's character that much. I may rewatch it again tomorrow and see the scenes I missed. I was surprised that it was shorter than I thought, the DVD cover said it was 127 minutes.
be sure to watch for all the visual variations on tendrils that occur thru the film--tree branches, roots, veins tubing, wires, etc.

i liked the idea of the end, but the VO somehow ruined it for me.

and did i mention this version takes place on a military base? what better place to hide mindless drones

correction: emotionless, uniform drones -- no offense to soldiers.

no, that setting and it being a sort of a coming of age story-- the protagonist struggling with the bland rules of adulthood (and it's taboos of sexuality)--is BS' spectacular double whammy. she's surrounded by people smothered by their restraints, then add the pod people....

you can look at the end as her simply being resigned to the idea of growing up.... becoming a (mindless) worker bee. the twilight sepia the base is shot in is a double for that inbetween, the staging area before..... a no man's land, the eve of responsibility claiming us all.
I saw Revolutionary Road and really appreciated it. I think that it should have been acknowledged more in the Oscar nominations, other than just the nod for the actor who played John and for costume design. Sam Mendes should definitely have received a nod; it was well directed and beautifully shot (the scene near the end, before breakfast, as the camera pans around each empty room before the kitchen wowed me); Kate Winslet and Leonardo di Caprio were outstanding and I can't believe they were overlooked for the big award (although Kate has received a nod for The Reader instead - I'm interested in seeing how she topped the performance she gave in Revolutionary Road).

Perhaps it was too bleak and uncompromising for the critics/Academy and instead of hard-hitting and uncompromising they need happy endings like Slumdog Millionaire (which I liked but the ending is feel-good. I can see why people may want uplifting in these particular times but I find it cynical. Like some others I actually found Revolutionary Road's overall pessimism to be uplifting as it reinforces that we should follow our dreams and fulfil ourselves by doing what we ultimately want.

As an aside, one of the things that struck me about the movie was the symbolism of the sex scenes: sharing the act with two different men, both scenes conveyed April's unfulfilled self, both sexually and in life. I also thought that the argument scenes were superbly done and showed well how couples can destroy one another.

Another thought: I haven't read the book and I'm curious to know whether it is better explained there or left to the imagination ... did Frank purposefully impregnate April? John suggests it, Frank reacts, April perhaps ponders it and in a slightly earlier scene Frank's work-mates joke about the flaws in contraception. I think he did do it intentionally, perhaps not to feel more like a man -as John accuses him- but as a means of escape from the actual escape and conforming instead. It's an interesting reversal of some women trapping men by intentionally falling pregnant.

I also saw Milk over the weekend and liked it; the cast gave good performances.
I killed it unsure.gif.
Tsk. Shame on you bunny! What did this poor thread ever do to you?
QUOTE(Persiflager @ Feb 20 2009, 01:10 PM) *
Tsk. Shame on you bunny! What did this poor thread ever do to you?

Made me feel uncultured on occasion? laugh.gif

I was completely charmed by Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It has no substance but it's not supposed to; it's an enchanting 1930s grown-woman's fairy tale (a Cinderella/rag-to-riches story), which cheers one up immensely. I read the book a year ago and it was a faithful adaptation. I thought it was well-cast, well-acted and loyal to the period setting (1930s). I loved how Miss Pettigrew's hunger throughout the day (she has eaten nothing -as she has no money- and drank a lot with no prior experience of having done so) is brought to the screen; the continual accidents where she almost has food but not quite manages to consume it (excluding the cucumbers on her eyes during her make-over) are comic but stress her gnawing hunger for sustenance, of the edible kind and in life.
Bunny, I also thought the arguments in RR were really well done. I felt they did a great job of showing the pain of both people which, again, kept me from taking sides the way I might have expected. Big parts of those fights really stuck with me &, frankly, made me glad that Sheff and I don't fight like that! I don't know about Frank intentionally impregnating April, though. I haven't read the book so I can't be sure, but I did not get the feeling that it was intentional.

I find that it's hard to convince people to see Revolutionary Road because on the outside it seems like a very basic story that people have heard 1000 times about priviledged people who don't understand how good they've got it. But it's the way this story is told & the quality of acting that really makes this extraordinary.

I also really enjoyed Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It was a pleasant, touching bit of fluff. The great costumes were a fabulous bonus!
T-Gal and Anna K and all,

I haven't seen Ferrara's (or anything by AF, since I watched the first third of Ms. 45), but Kaufmann's 1978 version of Bodysnatchers is one of the very few remakes that are worth the candle. In fact, when I think of good remakes, I begin with that one...

As opposed to the setting in the military base, this one is cleverly placed in the un-uniform/ed mix of San Francisco-- where even your Chinese laundry couple are being transformed into pods. > "My wife.... not my wife..." whispers the man, while his pod-Chinese wife glares out from the tiny laundry... A few days later... and he's joined the team. They're as cosy as peas in a pod.

Also, I loved the super-clever cameo with Kevin McCarthy, still trying to alert us: "They're coming! They're Here!" Then promptly mobbed and killed by screaming pods.

And the other clever cameo of Don Siegel, director of the first Body Snatchers, now a pod cab driver.

-- yr D-gal

PS Anna K, I just saw "Band of Outsiders," starring You!
How nicely you danced "The Madison..."
i've been catching up on my movies a lot lately, sometimes one or two a night before i go to bed. i did take c-monkey to see coraline over the weekend, and it was fabulous. went a bit off-track of the book with the addition of whybie and the doll, but i really enjoyed it. c-monkey found a couple parts a bit too scary for her liking, but she was very impressed with it and eager to read the book.

i also finally got around to watching brideshead revisited. it's been on my list for a while, so i'm glad i finally got to see it. emma thompson did awesome as the overbearing catholic mother.

best movie i watched this week though was repo: the genetic opera. i loves me some anthony stewart head, and not even paris hilton could ruin it. i finished watching it, and then i started the whole thing over again. someone on another messageboard i visit mentioned the potential for repo to become a cult classic, with theater re-enactments a la rocky horror, and i really hope they're right.
ok, this is about the furthest thing from high-brow cinema that you can get, but it was hilarious. I just saw "One Eyed Monster." it's just making the rounds of film festivals now, but will come out on DVD at some point in April.

the plot? Ron Jeremy's penis gets invaded by an alien, removes itself from his body, and goes on a killing spree. It was suprisingly good, and funny as all get out. A total tounge-in-cheek homage to alien, the thing, and porn. It was cheesy on purpose, but smart cheesy, if that makes any sense at all. Oh and drives the point home of the importance of doing your kegels. wink.gif
anna k
I watched some of Hard Boiled last night, and forgot how violent it was. I had seen part of it at college several years ago, and wanted to see it again. So so much shooting, just constant bullets, I had to check IMDB to see if they listed a body count (307). When I first saw it, I could see how Face/Off (by the same director) had a lot of the same elements as Hard Boiled, similar cop/criminal antagonistic relationship, stylish shootout scenes with men diving across the floor with a pistol in each hand, a sense of glamour and gangster-like allure, despite the cops being the heroes here. I skipped to the hospital shootout scene, impressed by the one-take staging, though the various slo-mo shots seemed cheesy to me, like trying hard to be "cool," like something Tarantino would do. A particular moment in that was when two cops are in an elevator re-loading their guns and having an out-of-breath exchange, mentally and physically preparing themselves for the imminent battle. Again, according to IMDB, when the elevator doors are closed, the crew had 20 seconds to clear the room and make it look like a different floor when the doors would open again.

dolor, I saw Band of Outsiders again last year, on a date. That dance is so cute to watch.
QT owes a HUGE debt to Chinese film makers, Anna. HUGE. Woo's "ballet of bullets" really influenced QT's work. Hell, Reservoir Dogs is essentially a retelling of Ringo Lam's City On Fire married with Kubrick's The Killing's non-linear story structure.
qt owes a huge debt to asian cinema in general... i used to be obsessed with woo. his stuff does seem dated now, but when they first came in was in love with the slo-mo shots. violence was never so beautiful. cinema has never embraced romanticized masculinity in such a forceful way since. and when QT did the two guys doing the gun 69, it pissed me off. it was plagiarism. it's one of the reasons i still can't completely love his films.....ok, that and his mind-numbingly boring dialog scenes.

dolor, i like the sf/70's version of body snatchers, the man faced dog still freaks me out, and i love the horrible pod people shrieks, and casting of leonard nimoy was inspired. i'm told a lot of it was making reference to trancendental meditation thing going on there, but it's something i was too young to know details about, and it never took off in a way to still be as relevant. it's better than the original for me, but i think ferrera does more with the material. i can't say as i blame you for not being eager to see another of his films. he's one of those directors who made one great film, but hasn't won me over. i'll use atom egoyan as a counter point. his first fer movies are not worth the time it takes to fast forward thru the preview. but with the adjuster, he grew up and became a craftsman. fererra--his work still seems haphazard to me, other than BS, his movies...hit and miss, usually heavy on the miss. to me, his film, the bad lieutenant is one of the most self indulgent films i've seen. i LOATHE it. no, BS is the anomaly for him-- a really good, tightly constructed film.

I just saw Midnight Meat Train. It's based on a short story by Barker ( which should tell you something) and it's very very gory. It's pretty far fetched but it makes it more interesting than the standard horror fare. It's the first horror movie I enjoyed watching in a long time.
anna k
I agree on QT ripping off of Asian action films. I didn't mean to say that the slo-mo shots reminded me of his style, but the stuff that he and others appropriated in their films to be "edgy" and "indie." I really did like the male relationships in that film, there was a closeness and brotherly feel that I could feel, and I'd like to watch more of the film, though at times I got tired of the shootouts if there wasn't much variety in them.
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