My Week in Film (4/14 - 4/20)

I didn't get too much done this week (no marathon post, no 90s films, no something else I forgot) but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of films.

Chungking Express (1994)
(Directed by Wong Kar-Wai)*

It's always going to come down to this: I don't love both halves equally. As with most people, I find that I'm attracted more to the Tony Leung/Faye Wong story but that's not to say that the Brigitte Lin half isn't awesome; it's just different. It captures a feeling that's present in a lot of my favorite movies. These type of bittersweet movies always do the trick for me. If you manage to strike that certain chord within me, it's like an automatic pass into my favorite movie pantheon. By the end of each story, I sigh and think "why can't more movies be like this one?"


Mother Joan of the Angels (1961)
(Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz)

Definitely one of the most uncomfortable film experiences I've had in a while. There's a sense of claustrophobia that's palpable here. Think of the way in which the characters seem to face the camera head-on. Think of the incredibly sparse sets and the way the camera follows these characters around not letting them escape. Then there's the exorcism set piece which couldn't be creepier if it tried. The image (seen above) of those nuns spread all over the floor is extremely haunting. It's an interesting film and I'm glad I watched it but I would hard-pressed to say that I actually liked it as I don't particularly find that whole POV thing very enjoyable.


Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
(Directed by Nicholas Stoller)

Does the winning streak for the Apatow team continue? Yes. Much has been made of Jason Segel's penis in the reviews for the film so I'll simply say this about it: it is by far the least interesting thing about the movie but it's certainly there. Really, this is just an incredibly sweet comedy about a guy whose entire life shuts down and about his quest to get it going again. Most of the film's funniest sequences aren't even of the raunchy variety. Segel crying like a little girl in his hotel room is both sad and hilarious. The thing about the film is that it gets the balance between heartbreak and hilarity absolutely right and that's what I love about these Apatow movies; there's truth in them.


Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
(Directed by Lloyd Kaufman)

I cringed while I was typing the "directed by" up there. It really hurt. The notion that this was somehow "directed" should upset film enthusiasts everywhere. But, there's an audience for this kind of shoddy, campy retardation (an audience of which I'm sometimes part of - I do love Troll 2) so these films keep getting made.

To find out if you're the kind of person that might enjoy this film, read this plot summary from IMDB:

When Arbie's girlfriend turns out to be a lesbian, he decides not to go to college but to work at the American Chicken Bunker where she always protests. One thing, the American Chicken Bunker was built on an Ancient Indian Burial Ground and on Toxic Waste. What will Arbie do when the mutated toxic spirits of the Indians enter the dead carcass of the Chickens? It's POULTRYGEIST! ATTACK OF THE CHICKEN ZOMBIES!

While my friends watched this film (for this is the only way to watch a movie like this), we kept remarking that this film was basically written by 13-year-olds who still thought bodily functions were funny and whose idea of biting satire is cribbed from MadTV. Of course, from what I'm reading this is par for the course for Troma Entertainment.



Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Chungking Express.

I really love this movie.

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