February 21, 2009
I can’t review this film. I really, really can’t. It’s been eight hours since I saw it at the Glasgow Film Festival screening, and I can’t get my head around it. The normal process for me is to avoid reading, as much as is possible in today’s age anyway, about the film. I thought about the film, I considered what I might write over and over, and I couldn’t stop myself. This is a film that makes me want to plunge into the internet and greedily devour what people have written about it, which, as you might expect, is a huge spectrum of opinion. Self-indulgent nonsense that is boring with annoying characters. Amazing, a real triumph, this film causes people to drink themselves into oblivion just to cope with the personal chords it struck. From diatribes about poor, oblique construction to deeply intelligent ruminations on Jung and Buddhism. Whatever anyone says about this film, you can’t say that it isn’t absolutely fascinating.
February 18, 2009
I have always been partial to the romance of the Long Night. It must be something about the quiet of a sleeping city, or perhaps the onset of tiredness that allows defenses to crack combining with the dreamlike state of excitement that comes with being out and about when you’re normally not. Rules don’t seem to apply when you’re young and out late, and fittingly the night is always best when there is no immediate goal or straight line to travel. Meandering towards a vague destination only emphasizes the journey, and the discoveries to be made along the way. Also, I was pretty sure in high school that if I had one of these nights with a girl, she would probably really like me as she got to know me through the course of said journey. It is an adolescent fantasy of the indie-twee set: intelligence, wit, and sensitivity have a better chance of shining through at night, because when daylight hits they all go back to the popular ones. It is no wonder that, as a teenager and even today, I deeply cherish that particular indie sub-genre of the Long Night, a form that was ruled through the 90’s by Richard Linklater’s triple-hit of Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, and subUrbia. I’m not entirely sure if my being precious towards this type of film helped or hurt my viewing of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but if it was the former, this must be absolute torture for someone who doesn’t care in the slightest for these films.
February 11, 2009
“You gotta give em hope”
This is the refrain of Harvey Milk in director Gus van Sant’s latest biopic. And though it may seem like glib sentiment, especially when issued from the mouth of a politician, Milk’s story recounted on the big screen inspires hope in abundance. To clarify, I’m not talking about ‘hope’ of the Frank Capra variety: the stuff of warm fuzzy feelings and a spring in the step. I’m talking hope on a grander scale than the personal. The kind that lingers as the buzzword on people’s lips since Obama became elected. For part of what is so exciting about Obama is not solely the potential of the man himself; but the concerted espousal and assertion of equality involved to put him where he is now. In the world’s most influential country no one can deny this is more than a drop in the proverbial ocean of humanitarian progress. Alas, why then do they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like I love…Proposition 8? Read the rest of this entry »
February 6, 2009
He’s down and out. The world he has invested his life in has left him stranded. He’s just too damn old. He now has to pick up the pieces of what he left behind. Reconnect with the daughter. Make a move on the girl. Find meaning in things he didn’t pay attention to before. He discovers what really matters in life. The redemptive tale is well-trodden territory. The trailer for The Wrestler works very hard to give us the redemptive tale impression. The film isn’t strictly like that, but we can’t blame the marketing. After all, an action film trailer should show the exciting explosions, a comedy trailer should show the funny moments, and an “important, intelligent” indie film trailer should show why the experience will be palatable to a mainstream crowd. The Wrestler is better than your standard indie fare, however, and even though it falls into some pretty standard traps, I hope the trailer doesn’t put anyone off.