Online clinic for a Chronic Amnesiac.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Great Big Movie Review

I've seen so many good movies lately. Sky Box Office did a deal showing two Walter Salles films for the price of one. Sadly, I barely made it through the Motorcycle Diaries without nodding off, although that wasn't because it was boring or anything. I was just knackered. I didn't even get to find out what the other film was. From what I did see though, the Motorcycle Diaries is beautifully filmed and Gael Garcia Bernal's amazing performance provides a memorable insight into the compassionate nature of the infamous Che Guevara.

Whilst Lando C was away, I finally got round to watching Pot Luck that had been lent to me by my neighbour months and months ago. I wasn't sure what to make of this one. I really enjoyed watching the interaction between the characters who all come to live in Barcelona from across Europe. It reminded me of Ultimate in many ways, the respect and tolerance for people from other nations running in parallel with the sustained belief that where you come from is best. I also enjoyed how the film was put together, some parts seemingly influenced by Jeunet and Caro. I did feel uncomfortable with the character "William" though, played by Kevin Bishop. His whole purpose in the movie was geared towards representing the British male as an ignorant, almost xenophobic, loud-mouthed, free-loader emphasised with a drunken vomit and piss in the street scene. And a great job he did too. Perhaps the whole character leaned too heavily on a cheap shot at a stereotype for my liking. Or maybe the representation was a little close to home.

Over the weekend, we watched three fantastic DVD's in an attempt to escape the real world but in a completely challenging and thought-provoking way. No guns, bombs, car chases, terrorists, JLo or drug wars here. The Aviator, Garden State and I Heart Huckabees took over instead and they were all brilliant. Since Titanic, I've (probably unfairly) given Leo a wide birth, but in The Aviator, I totally forgot about him as his portrayal of Howard Hughes was not only convincing but completely compelling.

As ever, I fell asleep during I Heart Huckabees and watched the second half the next night. I think that was a big mistake though because maybe, somehow, I missed the vital part of the movie which helps it all make sense in the end. However, I dig any film that tries to deal with existentialism in a totally humorous and straightforward manner without over doing it on the special effects and left-of-field plots. Maybe a second viewing is in order.

My favorite of the weekend was Zach Braff's Garden State. It reminded me of when Lando C goes home to Sault Ste. Marie every couple of years and how far removed he must feel from his friends and his parents who rarely, if ever, leave town. Apparently the movie is part-fiction and part-biographical which is marginally disturbing, especially as there is no obvious way to tell which part is which. I would like to think that Zach's real life hasn't been so tragic as this, although it is also wonderful to think that the nice parts may have really happened to him. Whatever the truth, he has come through the other side as the most talented young actor and director with many stories to tell representative of our lives and our generation. One for the Christmas list.


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