4/5/09

My Week In Film (3/30 - 4/5)



The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
(Directed by Frank Tashlin)

I always enjoy it when Lewis is given something romantic to work with so this was a treat. However, for the longest time I thought I would hate this movie since it was going for a "loving-the-wrong-person" kind of thing. It doesn't pull itself out of that whole until the very end which was both disappointing and a great relief. Weird. Anyway, Lewis plays a guy who wanted to be a doctor but whenever he got close to patients in pain, he feels their exact pain as well. This leads to some great jokes about some old lady's kidney problems. Lewis has a love interest at this point... though she's kind of regressive in that she seems totally into Lewis when he barely gives her time of the day and she dreams only for him. I mean, I can understand. He's great! But, come on! Then some new patient shows up and we get to go back into Lewis' high school days for a bit which is hilarious and then there's gag after gag of him almost tormenting patients because he tries so hard. It's fun/funny and it all builds up to that great ending as everyone ends up hanging out at some random convenience store. Ain't life swell?!

★★★




A Man Asleep (1974)
(Directed by Bernard Queysanne)

An utter punch to the gut for most of its duration. This actually is always how I picture how my life will be like once I finish school and whatever - just a gradual retreat from society/other people/etc. So, it's kind of heartbreaking in that regard. Just to see so many ideas and things like that crystallized and made available to me, it was just great. I really dug the 2nd person narration and shit coupled with that the pure amazing visuals of it. Sometimes it's too obvious in the way it presents alienation and whatever but most of the time, I felt right at home. Or I wished I did, anyway. It's a different feeling than I usually have with movies. I don't think I get it myself. Anyway, the alienation stuff is cool... but I don't think it would've been enough for me. I think it's the accumulation of details that lead one to believe that you can't really turn your back on society and shit what makes it great. I don't know. It reminded of Norwegian Wood, too, except without the sex. Fuck life. Seriously.

★★★★



2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967)
(Directed by Jean-Luc Godard)


"There is increasing interaction between images and language. One might say that living in society today is almost like living in a vast comic strip."

So it goes. I had a lot of thoughts on this one but most of them are gone now. c'est la vie. What strikes me as most interesting is the way Godard creates this utterly fascinating film out of a barely-there plot, laughable narration (as in how ridiculous it sounds), social commentary, philosophy, etc. Yeah, to survive in Paris, you have to prostitute yourself, yeah, yeah. But what else is there in this movie? It seems to be working on the level of poetic/philosophic inquiry at its best and at its worst, it's just sort of inane. But, I don't know. For some reason, it just makes sense to me. Surrounded by this city in the middle of reconstructing itself (thanks to American imperialism/modernization/globalization/etc), it makes sense to find solace in trying to distinguish the difference between an object's meaning and significance, etc. FUCK THIS MOVIE. I want to stare into that coffee cup forever...

★★★1/2




Antoine et Collette (1962)
(Directed by
Fran├žois Truffaut)

This is pretty in line to what I thought would happen to poor Antoine. You know, he would grow up and he would find girls and would take solace in that, you know? So this shit is pretty rough in that she's the perfect girl and she leads him on and whatever and what do ya get? NOTHING. It reminds me too much of things I would rather forget, probably. It's something that's been done before, you know? It isn't terribly exciting, either. It's just that the character of Antoine Doinel is one who is deeply personal to me (and Leaud is one of my fave actors) and his struggle is my struggle, you know? Either way, fuck life. More or less.

★★★1/2




Stolen Kisses (1968)
(Directed by
Fran├žois Truffaut)

He's a working man!

And that's what's wrong with him? I just don't see Doinel going from job to job, trying to impress people, etc. My understanding of the character is that he's misunderstood, an outsider, so to see him turning into this bourgeois character isn't very interesting. However, this is still Doinel/Leaud so it's great just watching him fumbling around, trying to tail people and shit. And the girl who he's in love with is fucking hot as hell (as is the Seyrig as the older woman who he has a crush on). There's probably too much plot in this film; most of which isn't very interesting to me. I just want to see Doinel and his love life and whatever, I could care less if he's a detective. This doesn't matter to me. Why is this happening? Still, it's charming and humorous enough. Just... too whatever.

★★★




Buffalo '66 (1998)
(Directed by Vincent Gallo)

There's something very appealing about just the look of this film. I really dug just looking at it. Then I dug it in other ways. Billy Brown is kind of a douche bag. A big pathetic douchebag. Plus abusive and a homophobe? So there's all of that. The film kind of has him wallowing in self-pity and hatred for most of the stay at his parent's house. I thought that it was almost too much, you know? But then I began to see it as a way of Billy Brown to deal with has happened to him. By making his parents complete caricatures, he is finding a way to deal with that shit, you know? At first, I thought that's what the dinner scene is about. I was seeing only three people at a time and for whatever reason, I thought the scene was a subjective portrayal of this. Like, sometimes you saw Gallo, sometimes you didn't. I didn't really make the connection that the cuts signified changes in point of view. Like, when it's from Gallo's point of view, his dad basically feels up Ricci. Dunno, it was cool. There's a bunch of other great stylistic choices used throughout (don't know what to make of the proto-matrix one other than it's cool). The ending is, I thought, Billy Brown trying to give himself a happy ending even if he doesn't deserve it. For whatever reason, that's just fascinating. Weird fucking movie. BOY.

★★★1/2




The Holiday (2006)
(Directed by Nancy Meyers)

You can take apart this movie just by looking at it structurally. Two women switch houses because they want to get away from their current lives. So a quick a flight over the pond, there they are. Cameron Diaz meets Jude Law right away. Kate Winslet sort of maybe half meets Jack Black. You would expect each relationship to get roughly equal screen time but it seems Cameron Diaz and Jude Law pretty much dominate the total film. The relationship between Winslet and Black sort of maybe gets developed near the end but that's roughly based on a few references to Irene Dunn and some other bullshit. Diaz gets to meet Law's children and they have tearful "I love yous" and whatever. Why is their relationship treated so seriously when the other one is done as a joke? I think the film is working off stupid ideas of beauty. Cameron Diaz is kind of the epitome of this gorgeous blonde being, right, and Jude Law is Jude Law... so why shouldn't they get the sexed up relationship (seriously, they're having sex on their first encounter)? Meanwhile, Winslet is stuck with some old dude, helping him to walk by himself. Why isn't she getting sexed up? Don't know, man. Don't know. So Diaz/Law get way more attention and Winslet/Black who are less traditionally attractive (Winslet is pretty hot sometimes (not here) and Jack Black is Jack Black. Why doesn't she get a hunk herself?) are short-changed. So, that sucked. Anyway, why do the women even need men to get over this shit? Just reeks of bullshit pretty much.

Editor's Note: The Hollywood angle to it is really dumb.

★1/2



The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)*
(Directed by Wes Anderson)

I'm dumb because this was excellent. I don't know what my feelings regard it where before but I can see now that I was wrong. Other people were right. Good for you. The whole movie has this feeling of a weird moroseness about it which is completely at odds with Anderson's awesome stylistics that I still can't get enough of. It's probably Murray who stumbles throughout the movie disliking everything and generally being old and pitiful. But he's funny! And so is this movie (even though this is probably Anderson's saddest film yet). This made me rethink Goldblum. He's pretty hilarious in this as is Dafoe and pretty much everyone else. What I didn't expect is just how good Blanchett is in this film. She's incredible! And she makes every scene she's in glow and be 200% better? Something like that. Yeah, fathers, sons, broken families, awesome music, thingie majiggers, the substance of style. fucking Life On Mars.

★★★1/2



Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1958)
(Directed by Frank Tashlin)

It's pretty great, yeah. The one big flaw, in my eyes, is that Jayne Mansfield is like the embodiment of everything that is wrong with humanity. Okay, not really. She's pretty grating sometimes, however, and Tashlin doesn't spare her (as I think he plays her up to be an embodiment of what was wrong with 50s culture). But, she's not the only one who is ridiculed. The television advertisings/ad agencies are taken on first with a series of hilarious advertisements (one of which ends up eating the person who bought). Then Rock Hunter is introduced and the greatness of Tony Randall shines. His performance is pretty hilarious, talking quick, being jumpy, trying to be the straight man sometimes, but failing and being totally ridiculous. Then he becomes famous and his girl tries to start being like Jayne Mansfield and so does his niece and the world goes haywire! It's pretty great and pretty savage. I also love the narrative interruptions that Tashlin will throw in there once a while such as when Rock Hunter comes out and tries to make the audience who is used to watching stuff on television right at home by shrinking the image, turning it black and white, and getting crappy reception. Eat it, TV Fans!!!

★★★★



Go, Go Second Time Virgin (1969)
(Directed by Koji Wakamatsu)

That's my only reaction. I thought this would be pretty trashy with moments of startling CINEMA and whatever. But I was wrong. It's mostly just CINEMA with some random silly stuff thrown in. Basically, girl gets raped up on a rooftop while the characteristically silent and passive boy watches. Then they strike a friendship while she begs him to kill her, she gets raped again, etc. Wakamatsu's use of music is outstanding (or maybe it's that the songs are really awesome?) and also helps to mask some pretty bad acting (and bad line readings) sometimes. His startling use of color is also great. But I think what I like about best about the film is sort of the doomed lovers aspect of it and a feel that all these people are entirely fucked up and THEY ALL DESERVE TO DIE. Well, someone one thinks so, at least. It's totally pulpy and pinky stuff but it's elevated by the execution. That's all I ask.

★★★1/2

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

1 comment:

face said...

WSSRH? really is awesome isn't it?