5/18/08

My Week In Film (5/12 - 5/18)

Now that I'm on vacation and all that junk, I should have more time to watch films. This is good.




Water Lilies (2007)
(Directed by
Céline Sciamma)


I am not going to claim to know much about what girls go through when they, ahem, become sexually aware. I am a male through and through and such things aren't within my immediate scope of knowledge. However, this fantastic French film made me believe that everything within it was absolutely real. I see no reason to doubt it. Living in a world where parents are never seen, the girls of this film explore what's available to them by themselves. It's gentle and quiet and definitely one of the best films of 07.

★★★★




Love Songs (2007)
(Directed by
Christophe Honoré)

This slight yet wonderful slice of polyamorous French life (which just happens to be a musical) isn't amazing. No, but it's so damn lovable that it's hard to deny it its charms. One of which happens to be its leading man, Louis Garrel. He "sort of" reminds me of Jean-Pierre Leaud which is always a good thing. Or, maybe, it's just that he's French and he's young and that's who I think of when I think French and young. I don't know. It certainly helps being reminded of him. Also, this film is apparently inspired by Jaques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (which I haven't seen but really should) so maybe you should go see it. Maybe.

★★★



The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa)

Another great Kurosawa flick. Is there any other kind? This time Mifune is out for vengeance in the world of corporate Japan. Boy, what a fucking dark world it is. It's one where your bosses can drive you to suicide with a few words and a few threats. It actually reminded me of Letters From Iwo Jima with the images of defeated men ready to end it all. Anyway, though overlong, the film is well-paced and most of the time has an energy to it that not a lot of films can match. Plus that beginning wedding scene is brilliant.

★★★★



The Family Game (1983)
(Directed by Yoshimitsu Morita)

Ah, pimples! The essence of youth. That's what a young tutor says to his student in the film. He then kisses his cheek. Lovely! This biting satire of 80s middle class Japanese families is fierce. Most aspects of family life are skewered horribly. Traditional roles are turned upside down, values are ridiculed, karate is taught. It's all here. It's all great. It's surprisingly funny. So, yeah, pretty good film. I actually expected something more like Visitor Q (they're kinda similar) but I'm glad it turned out how it did. Plus, I really enjoyed the final scene even though as usual its meaning is slightly outside my grasp.

★★★1/2



Days of Being Wild (1991)
(Directed by Wong Kar-Wai)*

On a 2nd viewing, this film is a lot easier to love. All the emotions and textures are more readily evident. I can feel the hazy afterglow of the lovemaking sessions that take place in stuffy apartments. I can feel time slipping by and even though I try and and crystallize a single minute in time, it goes by anyway. Wong Kar-Wai's films have a lot to do with time and how maybe we find ourselves ready for love at the wrong time or how about we miss our chances for love. The presence of all those clocks (thanks skjerva!) made me think of how much of our life is dictated by time. Anyway, enough of that crap. Pretty much everything about this film works. It's beautiful and filled with such romantic longing that it kind of makes me a little teary-eyed. Wong Kar-Wai's first masterpiece.

★★★★



As Tears Go By (1988)
(Directed by Wong Kar-Wai)

Wong Kar-Wai's first film sorta feels like the WKW we know and love today. Sorta. However, it feels more like HK action flick meets Mean Streets than anything else. Andy Lau and Maggie Cheung are pretty great here as well as the Chinese take on "Take My Breath Away." However, I don't think it all adds up to much. Sure, it's entertaining; it's Wong, after all. However, that only gets the film so far. The cliches, chessy 80s music, and all that stuff really drag it down. Interesting debut but it's for WKW fans only.

★★1/2

Damn, this has been probably the hardest week to pick a movie of the week. Early on Water Lilies was a favorite. However, it was only after I actually got started writing this that I decided.

Jhon's Movie of the Week is.... Days of Being Wild


1 comment:

Drab said...

i was wondering where you got ahold of Water Lilies? I thought it didn't come out until September. I managed to find it online but it had no subtitles. Thanks for your help. I love your blog.