11/9/08

My Week In Film (11/3 - 11/9)

I'm late... but please fuck off.




Winter Light (1962)
(Directed by Ingmar Bergman)

Very powerful with lots of great performances and occasionally stunning cinematography... but something's off for me. There's a lot of great stuff here (the powerful confrontations, the doubt, the silence) but some other things feel very wrong (fuck this 10-minute opening church shit... I don't go for a reason!; the whole "I'm scared of China!" stuff doesn't feel very convincing but maybe that's the point). Whatever. What really registers for me is the empty spaces and the silences (as mentioned before). All of the stuff with the body shot from afar is so great (just the wind, I think). The letter thing doesn't feel like it should work but it sorta does although it's awkward as hell. It's strange. So spare. So empty and yet it feels extremely rewarding. Who knows what I mean.

★★★1/2



Synecdoche, New York (2008)
(Directed by Charlie Kaufman)

What can I say? It's easily the most joyless film I think I'll watch all year. It's also probably the most inventive, saddest and most ambitious (haven't see Che yet, Maus!). At first, it's almost overwhelmingly relentless in its chronicling of physical decay (Caden suffers pustules, has to go the doctor frequently, examines his own stool). The question of one's mortality is beaten almost into the ground in the first 40 minutes (with NPR voiceovers, cartoons, etc). Then it turns into something else. Something far more interesting. It's about trying to leave something behind, something that you'll be remembered by and about how that pursuit cuts you off from the rest of your life. And about how you're constantly trying to juggle the people in your life (and their feelings and how they won't adapt into whatever you project onto them). And, by film's end, when everyone else has died and you're alone in this mess you've built, it's heartbreaking.

Perhaps it's far too undisciplined and messy for it to truly be great but, god damn, this shit killed me.

★★★★



The Thing (1982)
(Directed by John Carpenter)

This turned out way better than I expected. And also a lot grosser. But that's cool though cuz driving that grossness is one of most surprisingly atmospheric thrillers I've ever seen. It's also just pretty much perfectly paced and the tension is ratcheted up in a way that feels completely organic. And, yeah, shit's gross as hell Smiley Russell is a fucking bad ass (seriously, his beard, look at it). Maybe this was just an expectations thing, but The Thing is totally fucking awesome.

★★★1/2

The fat bastard gets it.

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Synecdoche, New York

1 comment:

Bill Thompson said...

Interesting, I never quite thought of Synecdoche as joyless because I had a lot of joy watching it.