4/6/08

My Week in Film (3/31 - 4/6)

I barely watched anything this week. It was until Wednesday night that I actually managed to get halfway through a film. I've decided to expand this little series to include films I'm re-watching if only to give me a chance to talk about them.




My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999)
(Directed by Isao Takahata)

This wonderful little film directed by the Ghibli giant Isao Takahata is unlike any Ghibli film I've seen before. First of all, it has a sort of watercolor-y kind of animation. Also, it's been adapted from a yonkoma manga which gives this film a different structure from all the other ones. Basically, the film depicts an average Japanese family as they deal with normal everyday things. However, what really makes the film remarkable is how pitch-perfect every single moment is. The film is broken up into little sketches showcasing everyday Japanese life with a haiku from famous Japanese poets punctuating the scene. This little touch almost elevates each scene into the sublime. In essence, each little sketch is its own little haiku. I'm not really sure where in the hell this fits in with the rest of the Ghibli canon but I'm glad it's there even if it's sitting by the corner all by itself.

★★★



Talk to Her (2002)
(Directed by Pedro Almodovar) *

Absolutely wonderful. And so begins the gushing! Talk to Her tells the story of two men who tend to women who are in comas. One of them was in a relationship with one of the woman while the other is the other woman's nurse. That's all I will say regarding the plot because to spoil it would be spoiling some of its surprises. However, I will say that Almodovar goes to much more darker places than we've seen him in before. I'm still a little surprised how he manages to pull everything off so deftly. I suppose it just proves what an amazing filmmaker he is. Honestly, trying to talk intelligently about such a beguiling film is almost near impossible for me. All I can tell you is to see it and surrender yourself to its perplexing charms.

★★★★1/2



Black Girl (1966)
(Directed by
Ousmane Sembène)

The first African film I've seen? I wouldn't be surprised. I got interested in this film mainly because we're reading the short story that's the basis for it (also written by the director) in my short story class. Outside of historical importance, there's nothing too enjoyable about this one. It seems pretty simplistic on the surface with a couple of broad caricatures (I'm looking at you, white folks!) but I'm sure this could all be some sort of stand-in for Africa's relationship to Europe post-colonialism OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. Anyone who's reading this should probably watch it. It's only one hour long after all and you probably don't have anything better to do (aside from watching Flight of the Conchords or sumthing.)

★★1/2

I didn't watch a lot this week but what I did watch I mostly enjoyed.

Jhon's Film of the Week is... Talk To Her.

Because I love that little silent film.

* = Films I've Already Seen

1 comment:

Bill Thompson said...

One note on Yamada, it was the first film Takhata animated digitally, and it was all because that was the only way he could obtain its distinct watercolor look.