22 December 2005

I don't believe in God, but if I did, he would be a black, left-handed guitarist.

So it was a Netflix night tonight. Two movies today:

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)
Hmm. Not sure about this one. I basically liked it, but found it a bit predictable and a tad too melodramatic. It's anime, set in an alternate Japan sometime like the 60s or so. Interesting storyline, with secrets within secrets, but it's one of those movies where people spend a lot of time with their hands in the pockets of their trenchcoats, staring significantly at walls. A member of an elite special forces team is haunted by the death of a young, female guerrilla, a death that takes place before his eyes. What follows is lies and deception as factions of the police battle to one up everyone else and take control of the whole shebang. The animation is beautiful and well-done, though nothing original or new. The story gets rather confused in a few places, and is made confusing by the fact that we are supposed to apparently see the guerrillas as people, but we're never sure exactly what they are about, really. And the whole special forces thing gets a tad confused and muddled, too. Worth watching, but not my favorite anime by a long shot.

The Dreamers (2003)
I had to rent this one simply because it's Bernardo Bertolucci, he of Last Tango in Paris fame. The movie is a nice homage to movies, particularly to the French New Wave, and here I found myself probably not appreciating subtleties, since I'm sadly deficient in my knowledge. I've already added some Goddard to my queue to take care of that. Michael Pitt gives a great performance as Matthew, an young American who is in Paris studying in '68 when he meets the twins Isabelle and Theo (Eva Green and Louis Garrel). What follows is an intense relationship as he spends a month with them in their apartment while their parents are gone, with many mindgames and frequent nudity. I did mention it's a Bertolucci film, right? If nudity bothers you at all, give this one a pass, because you will see everything. The movie has frequent references to movies from the 30s to the 60s, and a soundtrack that totally rocks (Dylan, Joplin, etc). The "dreamers' aspect of it, as is usual with Bertolucci, works on several levels, from the unreality of these people's lives, and each's private dreams of what is going on, to the theme of the movies that underscores the whole film, to the students taking to the streets in the protests that consumed Paris.

It's a good one. Give it a whirl.

And now, of course, I'm all gung ho to watch French New Wave. Just what I needed -- another realm of film to obsess me.



Anonymous Melina said...

Hi Greg! Hey, would you kindly "recommend" The Dreamers via Friends/Netflix?

You said "nudity"! Hee hee hee hee hee!

Sorry, acting 12 again...

12/25/2005 3:19 PM  

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