My Week in Film (10/26 - 11/1)

It Felt Like A Kiss (2009)
(Directed by Adam Curtis)

America. Crazy place. Curtis shows us some of the key events of the late 50s and early 60s through a bunch of found footage, awesome pop songs and occasional on-screen text. There's no narration at all. Just footage and music and awesomeness. Curtis links certain things together: Osama Bin Laden loved the show Bonanza as a little boy. Later on The Manson Family would move in to the ranch where the show took place. They are interviewed and are seen preaching peace. The CIA repeatedly tries to assassinate Castro. The AIDS virus is first passed from a chimp to a human. Other chimps from central Africa are being trained for space flight. The CIA engineers coups in other countries that are questionable. Fragments of the culture; half-forgotten dreams. The story of the takeover. I'll be your mirror. It makes no sense. It makes perfect sense.


Deep Red (1975)*
(Directed by Dario Argento)

Watched this again on the big screen. Good news, all the awesome things about it are still awesome. Those incredible closeups of the piano keys, the objects on that one table, the eye with the crazy shadows, those fucking dolls. The camera moves and the great compositions - when it pulls all the way back to have the two characters on opposite ends of the frame while the huge ass fountain covers the gulf in between. That shit is awesome. The bad news is that they played the American cut which apparently removes like 30 minutes. Granted, the plot of the film isn't really the point, but it would be hard to judge it from this version. Character relationships, plot points and other stuff are almost totally jettisoned in favor of the bigger set pieces (and the weird humor that creeps through sometimes). I think the film loses something in this shorter version. It's no longer the drowsy, draggy film I remembered it to be. The print was pretty beat down and sometimes the sound would just blow out for a few seconds (the score is so badass that it overwhelms everything else). There's no logic here. There's only awesomeness. Now, everyone else, they can all die.


Aladin (2009)
(Directed by Sujoy Ghosh)

It's hard to say where I should start with this one so I'll just dive right in - it's not very good. Good, in the sense, that if I compare it to other films that I've seen this year, it just doesn't add up. But when I say that I laughed a lot and generally had a good time, I'd probably be calling the film good. Maybe. I don't know. It's not that I don't trust my opinion regarding the film (it's pretty faceless stuff, inoffensive and largely inconsequential), it's just that the experience of watching the film is too singular. It's become a ritual to visit the theater, read the same ads before the movie, see the trailers, go to the restroom during the intermission. It's something that's beyond the movie. Anyway, the story's pretty dumb stuff. Aladin finds lamp. Rubs it. Genie comes out. Grants three wishes. Love interest is introduced. She might be attainable with the lamp. Evil dude (The Ringmaster played with great gusto by Sanjay Dutt) is introduced. The genie and him have a history. Amitabh Bachchan plays the genie in a genuinely winning performance. He gets to do some pretty goofy shit. He constantly slips between Hindi and English to drop some cheesy lines (constantly refers to Aladin as "brother") and one of his numbers could've been directed by Hype Williams. The song itself is one of the most painfully cheesy thing I've ever heard. But Big B is cool and by the end I was pretty charmed by him. I only wish I could say that I liked the whole thing without any of the annoying qualifiers I have with these damn movies.


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Deep Red

No comments: