My Week in Film (8/31 - 9/6)

Thirst (2009)
(Directed by Park Chan-Wook)

Some kind of weird mess. The pacing's really off in this film. I mean, I seriously thought the movie was going to be over at a certain point and then it kept going. It also seems to be several different movies at once, incorporating vampire lore, film noir and comedy into some weird beast. It doesn't really handle all of these elements as well as, say, The Host, but I found it interesting. I liked the shifting moral standards of the Song Kang-ho character (this guy is the shit!) at the beginning (and how at first, the movie just sort of took place in these deserted or, rather, sterile environments - hospitals, empty white walls, SHIT). Then I really enjoyed the sexual liberation of Tae-ju as she's freed to basically be on the same level as the dude. And then dude goes all like "hey, but about what moralz!" and he puts an end to her fun. Can't have women doing what they want to! *tsk tsk* What the fuck is this awful CGI whale shit?


Top Hat (1935)
(Directed by Mark Sandrich)

wow, this feels like the exact same movie as The Gay Divorcee! It has pretty much the same exact cast, too. So what makes it better? I guess it's the more sublime moments. Nothing in Gay Divorcee is as great as that "Lovely Day" number. The way that Ginger can't help but start dancing along. The way that she gives him a look every now and then as she's dancing. She's great. Maybe the thing that makes these movies so good for me. Sure, I love Astaire, but it's Rogers' grace that makes these movies so awesome. In a way, these are just the dumb romantic comedies that we trash these days, but I can't recall any romantic comedy being so damn charming or filled with wit and elegance as this one. The plot is so stupid. It could all be solved by just sitting down and talking, but then where would we be? We would have none of these sweet pleasures. I can't deny myself. The movies are made to be enjoyed. I can't ask anything more.


The Book of Mary (1984)
(Directed by Anne-Marie Mieville)

Originally meant to be seen on a double bill with Godard's Hail Mary, The Book of Mary doesn't really elucidate the feature's meaning for me. It just kinda exists somewhere, vaguely. It's much more straightforward in its narrative than Godard's feature which is nice, I guess, but it just isn't that interesting. Father and Mother split up, chaos ensues and Mary's just kind of left hanging and confused. There are moments of beauty, sure, as when Mary and her Father study triangles (or in the screenshot above), but for a film of 25 minutes or so, there's just too many boring lulls (and without Godard's experimentation, it gets boring really quick). Probably my favorite part is this sort of extraordinary Frenchie moment when the mom and dad are arguing in the other room or whatever and Mary sits in front of the TV watching Contempt. :lol:


Cover Girl (1944)
(Directed by Charles Vidor)

Click on the link!


Week End (1967)*
(Directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

I don't know what made me want to watch this again, but I'm glad it did. I felt that my first viewing of the film had probably been rather unfair. Whatever. I really didn't notice how funny this movie was. I mean, it's not like LOL-funny as Jerry Lewis or Zohan or something like that, but those moments in the beginning when the people are chasing each other around the car reminded me of Looney Tunes or something (same thing with the Jean-Pierre Leaud bit with his car). This time I didn't get really hung up on the politics. I chose to, mainly, because I just don't have any real sort of basis in which to engage with them. Maybe with time I'll respond to those parts of the film as well. I kinda just dug the progression of the characters and how at first they're in cahoots and by film's end, well, you know. Yummy! What previously exasperated me (those 10-minute tracking shots), I now found interesting or funny or whatever. Same with the endless 360 thing that he does around that park thing. It's this totally random musical interlude. It's basically just a series of excursions and diversions each one funnier and scarier than the next. By the time the film shows actual animal killings and the cannibals show up you wonder what kind of apocalypse this is. Hey, there sure are a lot of broken down cars in this movie! I keep going back and forth about whether I actually like it or not and it's taken me writing this to find that, yeah, sure, I kinda do. I mean, gotta love that miracle guy, right? Just a matter of months before I change my name here, pix! Just you wait! Contempt will be a 5-star film!


My Sex Life... Or How I Got Into An Argument (1996)
(Directed by Arnaud Desplechin)

Spend 3 hours following Amalric as he smokes, pines, talks incessantly while beautiful women revolve around him. But mostly it's kind about wondering if the people that you spend your time with, the people you love, if they can really change you. It's kind of stereotypical french stuff, you know? They sit around talking really fast, taking a drag from their cigarettes, invoking philosophers to describe a girl's ass. Even though the film is quite long, it's never boring. I'm not really sure how Desplechin makes these long-ass films go so fast, but it's just the same as his others. I think it's a little more impenetrable than the relatively accessible later films, but it's so goddamn winning and charming that you just let yourself get sucked into the lives of these characters, however immobile and indecisive they may be. Whatever. It's kind of beautiful and kind of sad and pretty funny, too. Oh, did I mention the rest of the cast? They're kind of incredible, too. Especially Devos. I have no idea how she does the things she does but by the time she gives her direct address thing and we get closer to her face... I'm just... The film also has Jeanne Balibar and Chiara Mastroianni and... a very young and naked Marion Cotillard. gotta love the French. JERRY LEWIS


We Won't Grow Old Together (1972)
(Directed by Maurice Pialat)

God, what a painful film. There's this one sequence earlier on where Jean just unleashes on Catherine. He tells her all these horrible things and she just sits there ash-stricken. He forces her out of the car. After a while, he comes back to the car. She's still there. They continue being together. They go out of town on the weekends. They go to the beach and they have fun. But the good times are not many. Mostly, both of them are miserable. They say they love each other and maybe it's true or was at some point, but now they're just... existing together. It's just so damn bitter and sad... goddamn, Pialat, what a beast.


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... We Won't Grow Old Together

No comments: