Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Donnie Darko, director's cut

A series of straw dogs, a world in which the adults are clichés, more appropriate to Fast Times at Ridgemenont High or American Pie than a movie that believes in itself as much as Darko appears to; a film that hides its shaky philosophy in post modernism, the idea that if you reference enough, everything will seem to add up, the worst case scenario of a society in which information is easily available, these scratch the surface understandings of things that need to be studied. This is an 80’s film that works best not as the film, but as the “Mad World” video available on the first disc; a film like those of JT xx that is a better soundtrack. Proof positive that Drew Berryman really can’t act; either that, or she is under directed. And yet, a film not devoid of charm, alternately watchable and unwatchable. Whereas Napoleon Dynamite doesn’t mind feeling like it was made by a kid, this film tries to hide it, but unsuccessfully, behind all that cleverness appropriate to sophomore coffee table discussions. Want teen angst with a real edge, watch Heaters. Want a movie that acts as a puzzle with its own built in clues, Watch Greenaway, watch Lynch. Want something with interesting visuals, an excellent rabbit, and a lot of pop metaphysics? Donnie is for you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

White Dawn

Like Mutiny on the Bounty and any number of films with American Indians, it gives you masturbatory fantasies about indigenous women. And like many of those films, it means to glorify that simple life and suggest the evil of the progressed. Though in that polar world, not all the innocence was born in the garden, Bottoms in perhaps his best role, that Christ figure, walking on frozen water. That claustrophobic world of igloo insides, that cold world of snow and rain; that bloody world of torn out hearts and seals. A simple, straightforward story, mishandled at times and taken overly seriously by its director, but a worthy watch, that red and white story, those gray skies.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Little Prince

It’s a shame about the music, this surreal film that most certainly some day soon they will remake, the little blond boy in the desert, the lost pilot, the flower faraway and the snake, and the fox, these lonely and long journeys, that devastating image, the blurred white, frozen, and then the fall, as impacting as anything in film ever; a strangely tone film, one that you sometimes suffer for those moments when the image absolutely combines with the text, so that by the time the credits roll, you feel it is transcendent.