6/8/08

My Week in Film (6/2 - 6/8)

I watched absolutely nothing but top-notch films all week. I didn't expect it to turn out that way but what the hell. All weeks should be this satisfying :)



Double Indemnity (1944)
(Directed by Billy Wilder)

Sometimes all I need is a fun movie. This is that movie. Double Indemnity never presumes to be more than what it is and for that I love it. It's simply a remarkably well-told story. Add to that some crackling dialogue delivered by actors who know just the right intonation to give every single syllable and I can see why the film is quoted even to this day. I'm not really well-versed in film noir or whatever so I don't have much to compare it to but as long as they keep the femme fatales, tight plots and crisp dialogue coming, I'll be sure to enjoy whatever pops up.

★★★★


Kings and Queen (2004)
(Directed by Arnaud Deplechin)


I knew before I even watched the film that I would enjoy it. I'm not sure what led me to believe this but I wasn't disappointed at all. It's hard to explain what it is that makes it such a joyous experience. Perhaps I just enjoy the way that it careens through a plethora of emotions; each one truer than the last. Or maybe it has something to do with the deep likability of the characters. Maybe it's the fact that this film has enough ideas to fill 10 other movies and it employs them all so well that it's hard not to stand back and admire it. It could go off the tracks at any point and it never does. It could ring false but it never does. All I can bring to it is my admiration and my affection and nothing else.

★★★★


Oldboy (2003)*
(Directed by Chan-Wook Park)

Oldboy is one of those movies like Fight Club and American History X that are seen as (what my friend would call) fratboy classics. These are films that are embraced by a certain kind of viewer because of their violent content or because they break away from the norm. I've seen Oldboy numerous times now but on this viewing what struck me the most is how silly the film actually is. The scene where he is covered in ants, the scene in the train where she sees that huge bug, the scene with the hammer that outlines the trajectory it will take. The film is ridiculously over the top and sometimes it kinda pratfalls. However, what I think is great about the film is still intact. I love the extremity. I love the places and things that Park is willing to go to get his point across no matter how on the nose it turns out to be. It ain't no groundbreaking masterpiece like some (fratboys) would have you believe but for a visceral experience, it's hard to beat.

★★★★


Paths of Glory (1957)
(Directed by Stanley Kubrick)

Kirk Douglas turns in a fine performance as a man outraged by the behavior of his superiors. That's not really what sticks to me though. All I see is Kirk Douglas stalking the trenches. The way that he walks through them is that of a man who knows that what is happening is wrong but can't do much to stop it. The courtroom scenes also come to mind. They are not free of cliche but I love the way that there's a sense of the inevitable at play. Douglas tries his best but he can't do much in face of that kind of system. The whole film is as compact as they come with nary a scene wasted. Everything is meant to advance the plot until all we are left with is a song. Just a song.

★★★★


Eureka (2000)
(Directed by Shinji Aoyama)

What is there to say? Watching it is almost a humbling experience. Transcendent.

Alright, I'll try a little bit. A film like Eureka does not make for normal viewing. Normal films don't last 3 and a half hours. Add to that that it's in black and white. However, that doesn't really mean anything once you get started. The film just plains draws you in and you have no choice to stick with the ride. It seems like not a lot happens but it's just the opposite; everything happens. There's not a lot of plot. There's just a destination; a goal. It's mostly about the things we sometimes have to do to be able to deal with life. It takes a while to get there but, damn, if it isn't rewarding as fuck.

★★★★1/2

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Eureka.

It was pretty brutal this week. I had my mind pretty much made up until yesterday when I saw Eureka. It was still pretty damn close though.


1 comment:

Zlombulo said...

this was such a spellbinding exp. watched it when i first found your blog. seen it again just a few minutes ago. brilliant stuff!