I’m gonna keep this ever-so-slightly short. It’s already after midnight…and I made the most of today. Get ready. I saw 5 films!!
First off, I saw Lars von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA. I’ll start by saying I love DANCER IN THE DARK and I’m quite fond of DOGVILLE. That said, I’m not a fan of MELANCHOLIA! There is some truly beautiful photography and there are a couple wonderful moments. In addition, the themes are compelling…but von Trier’s “meditation” on the collision of worlds (both figuratively and literally) is a serious story with lots of dark, comedic moments…and the two parts of the film (part one focuses on the marriage night of Kirsten Dunst’s character…the second focuses on the fear that Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character has about a planet crashing into earth) are actually quite disjointed. Ultimately, I felt quite aggravated by most of the time – and not in a good way.
Next I saw Nadine Labaki’s new film WHERE DO WE GO NOW (she made the film CARAMEL – which I love). Though there are a couple moments that caused me to raise an eyebrow, I ultimately found this film quite wonderful. The women are absolutely delightful. The story is about a small village that has essentially been shut off from the rest of the world (except for a small path/bridge that is quite scary to cross). The village, inhabited by Muslims & Christians, have learned to live in harmony. When they find out that there is unrest in the surrounding world, they begin to fight again…and the women decide they’ll do whatever necessary to keep their men alive.
Next I saw THE IDES OF MARCH. This will get a wide release in the coming weeks. I mostly saw it because I had time, because it was shot in Cincinnati, and because I’ll be at a party with George Clooney on Saturday night (he directed it). Except for the slight tabloid-feeling story, I actually think the film is quite solid. The performances are good (I love Gossling) and the dialog is well-written. For the first 30 minutes of the film, I was ready to vote for Clooney for president. (there is also a Dayton connection)
For the fourth film, I saw PINA. I posted a trailer to this film last night. PINA was today’s highlight. The film, under the direction of Wim Wenders (responsible for PARIS, TEXAS and WINGS OF DESIRE) is complete magic. I’ve been moved by dance before…but never like this! (Here is yesterday’s POSTING if you want to check out that trailer.) Wenders introduced the film, and he put the piece into perspective. He and Pina had been talking about making this film for 20 years. She died before it could happen, but people twisted Wenders’ arms and he decided to move forward. This film acts at once as a eulogy…and also a way to keep Pina alive.
Lastly, I saw RESTLESS – the new film from Gus Van Sant – starring Mia Wasikowska (from THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT and JANE EYRE) and Henry Hopper (Dennis Hopper’s son). The story is about a boy obsessed with funerals who meets a girl (full of life) with terminal Cancer. Mia glows at every turn, and there are a couple very good moments…but ultimately, this film had me sighing numerous times. It’s over-scored, it has a moment of archival footage that totally doesn’t work, and the characters seem to only exist in their quirkiness – there’s not a lot of depth. That said, some people really seemed to enjoy the film (it was a sold-out auditorium that seats 1250). Van Sant, Mia and the producer and screenwriter were there.
Other sightings today: Roger Ebert, Atom Egoyan, and one of my favorite film writers/critics – Peter Knegt of indiewire.
Well…it’s 1:30 now.
5 Hours sleep….then off again tomorrow morning quite early.
Thanks for reading,