Monday, September 12, 2011

Quiet City

You know that one spot in the hallway, or the corner of the room--the spot where you decided to put that little framed picture you really liked? And then once you put the picture there, you knew in that moment that the picture could never go anywhere else and that nothing else could ever go in that spot? And you don't know how you missed that potential for so long? That's what Quiet City was for me. I don't want to say anything more about it, because if you don't know about it, you shouldn't before watching it. So I hope you do watch it and let me know what you think. Lisa, I'll especially need your validation on this one (Ben, too, perhaps), because I'm not sure how the rest of the cynics and atheists in film club will interpret it. And if nothing else, maybe calling them cynics and atheists will pique their interest in the film. 

I don't want to hear it, John. I know, I know, you have a mild and grudging something-approaching-respect for mumblecore.

Dance Party USA was also a very good film, but it reminded me too much of Kids, though it wasn't nearly as depressing. Not nearly, thank God. However, if there's one kind of character I have a hard time sympathizing with, it's the womanizer. I have little to no respect for womanizers, and if one decides he's suddenly going to develop a conscience, my instinct is not to feel happy for him, and supportive of his journey towards wholeness, but to say to him, "Welcome to the f%$#ing human race, you neanderthal." Gus was far too despicable to me for the movement his character made over the course of the film to mean much to me--especially for me to think that he even remotely deserved someone like Jessica, who, rootless as she is, already knows what she doesn't want for her life, at least. Then, the other part of me kicks in and reminds me that everyone deserves a chance to change for the better. And I can appreciate Gus's visit to Kate and his desire for real contact with his friend (who, while seeming to be the more evolved of the two initially, turns out to be just as much a neanderthal, albeit one with less opportunities to indulge it than Gus). But if you disrespect women so much that you would do to one what Gus did to Kate, you've got a loooooooong way to go before I'll give you some credit for your growth. I'll admit that I am judgmental about this, and I'm not proud of it, but it's where I am.

So now I've seen two Aaron Katz films and I have to say I like his stuff better than the Duplasses' thus far. I really, really, really want to see Cold Weather now. I got Puffy Chair for cheap at Record Archive a week ago, so it looks like I'm wading deeper into the mythos and mystery of this style of filmmaking.

I also saw a Film Movement film, Fraulein, with my wife a few nights ago. It was your standard moody/heartwarming/brooding European film, which I'm typically a sucker for. But I actually kind of hated the ending, and it caused me to distance myself from Ana's character, and almost undid all the positive things the events of the film had accomplished thus far between her and Ruza--as well as among all the characters, generally speaking. There's got to be some middle ground between bleak European realist endings and syrupy American optimist endings. A few films get there, but I don't see it nearly as often as I'd like.

Oh, wait--Quiet City, anyone?

"If you like...
...gratuitous strings of vulgar language (for the sake of cheap laughs rather than honest character exploration), pseudo-science, nerd ignorance and prejudices, cheap shots at fundy evangelical caricatures, anal probe jokes, notorious product placement, hit-you-over-the-head-obvious-because-you're-stupid film and pop culture references, dumb road trip conventions, bromantic deconstructions of male friendships, cardboard characters, and a lame plot that doesn't do much to transcend any of the weakest of the above...

If you like all of those things, you'll love Paul."

John, I LOVE all those things, especially when Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are participating in them! I'll have to see Paul right away! Thanks for the recommendation!

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