10/18/09

My Week in Film (10/12 - 10/18)



Dil Bole Hadippa! (2009)
(Directed by Anurag Singh)

I bring you 2009's finest crossdressing cricket musical romance extravaganza! I wish I had watched it in the theater to experience all the great colors in the musical sequences (which are basically glorified music videos doubling as montages) and because I like the ambience and just the experience of going to that theater but watching it at home turned out fine. I didn't have the greatest subs but the story was so cliched and typical that it didn't matter. I've pretty much given up expecting something aesthetically interesting out of these movies so I just focuses on the actors and how awesome they were and the big smiles and the cricket action (I still know nothing about this sport even though I've played). The search continues for a Bollywood movie that I can proudly say is actually good... This is still a lot of fun, though.

★★1/2




Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl (2009)*
(Directed b Manoel de Oliveira)

Okay, I've seen it twice now. And it's still very perplexing. However, I don't mind as much now. The first viewing was kind of filled with a bunch of nagging questions - where will this lead? Why does this even matter? What is the meaning of your existence, roujin? But that all went away this time around. What I noticed was the kind of old-timey morals of the thing: everyone acts by adhering to some sort of strict social code. The main dude defers to his older uncle; he asks the uncle for permission to marry and then is denied. While the story is situated in a modern city, everything else that happens seems highly peculiar. The characters end social gatherings in which a famous harpist plays Debussy and some random dude recites a poem. These are extremely fancy places and Oliveira pays as much attention to the artworks on the walls as he does to the characters. I think these sort of throwback morals (along with the literary dialogue) are what explains the ending; and, also, a slight foreshadowing (?) with that first encounter in the store. Whatever. I was transfixed throughout. Just thinking of that lateral tracking shot going over the incredibly furnished rooms as it enters the room where the harp's playing gives me goosebumps. Maybe that's all I need; just lush furnished rooms and interesting framings and hot kleptoroujins.

★★★




Nosferatu (1922)
(Directed by F.W. Murnau)

This was boring. Sorry.

★★




Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979)
(Directed by Werner Herzog)

This was unexpectedly great. Follows more or less the same story as the original one with several deviations that I found to be worthwhile/better or whatever. It takes its time to get going. Herzog relishes Harker journey to Transylvania and spends a great amount of time on it; these are the film's best moments. The Popol Vuh score takes over and it's just one great image after another. Herzog also finds room for the gypsies and finds room for lengthy admiration of space and setting and all this awesome stuff. What monkeys are to Aguirre, rats are for Nosferatu. I like Adjani a lot. She's extremely pale and beautiful, but her eyes pop out in this bizarre way sometimes and it kind of grounds her for me and doesn't make her seem as ethereal and all this other obsessive roujin nonsense that is going on. Kinski is pretty great. He plays Dracula as this little wounded thing. When he finally gets Adjani all alone, he asks for only a little love and when she rejects him, he makes this little face/noise like a wounded animal. That's more interesting to me than Orlok in the original, who is more or less just a creepy... thing... that walks around. Herzog's documentary impulse and penchant for capturing strong images is also really great and is a good anachronistic touch for the story's gothic roots. He incorporates a child's sneeze into the scene where the townspeople board the boat. When pigs overrun the city square and they casually wander into the frame, he doesn't cut until he sees one shit ( :D). When Harker roams about Dracula's castle, there's none of Murnau's expressionism or whatever, Herzog just follows him around in mostly unbroken handheld takes. Very interesting things. Very interesting things. roujin, what do you do now? Ride off!

★★★1/2

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... PHANTOM DER NACHT

1 comment:

Bill Thompson said...

Your boring comment on Nosferatu hurts, but only a smidge.