Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blockbuster or No?

Movies I’ve seen since I’ve been here (probably more subtitled than not, we’ll see):

  • The Departed [with—at that time—nameless Holland House Americans, early in my stay]
  • Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind [with Fluf]
  • Night at the Museum [with Angela and Michelle
  • Closer [Sophie’s movie, with Fluf]
  • Amelie --in French ([with Fluf]
  • City of God --not English, anyway [with Fluf]
  • The Edukators --in German [with Fluf and his German friend]
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest [with Fluf and Adam]
  • Mr. Bean episodes (okay, this isn’t a movie, but these count—they’re British exposure) [with Sophie, Andreas, Adam, Anna, and Urvi]
  • Talk to Her --in Spanish [with Angela, Melanie, and Kimberley]

    My favorites of the list were probably The Departed, Eternal Sunshine, City of God (my second-and-a-half time seeing it, I might add) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Jack Nicholson plays major roles in two of those films—coincidence? I doubt it. So much for developing a taste for foreign films over here. Although I still have five months.

    They’re definitely different; they view the world from different angles than the typical blockbuster, I will give them that. That was part of the reason I absolutely adored City of God. It took what could have been a conventional “street gang” tale and told it in a most unconventional way that made you, as the audience, truly engage in the film. I love that. Amelie was a gorgeous film—with really neat cinematography and truly stunning color schemes woven throughout the entire picture—but I am simply not a big fan of characters studies for the sake of character studies. The Edukators just beat its audience over the head with its ideals way too much. The plot turned out to be just as trite as it set out to be, which was a major disappointment, and the movie’s only saving grace was the simple, almost documentary-style way the director had of filming young German rebels living on the fringe in both urban and rural Europe—which, living in Europe at the moment, somewhat spoiled the effect for me. (Silly Americans—don’t buy into the movie just because it’s set somewhere pretty and foreign!) Finally, as for Talk to Her, I liked the movie most when it raised its important questions. Unfortunately, it then attempted to offer answers for some of those questions right at the end of the film and tried to raise other questions that didn’t matter nearly as much. I think that’s what ruined it for me—the ending is always what the audience remembers most, or at least it’s what leaves a lingering effect.

    Writing down every movie I watched and with whom makes me realize what a social event watching movies is for me. I’ve always known television- and movie-watching is a social activity for me—I never do it alone anymore—but look at all the people with whom I’ve engaged by simply watching movies: there are eleven on this list alone! Granted, I usually don’t watch so many movies when I’m at school in Rochester, but nevertheless . . . . I guess this is just one more thing I appreciate in life: taking the time to watch a movie with friends, rather than watching a movie OR being with friends.


    Julie said...

    I'm glad you're writing more, even if it's not school work. The only ones on your list that I've seen are Amelie, Closer (recently with my mom) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (thank you 11th grade english). I also enjoy zucchini and eggplant. Live it up!

    Emily said...

    Yea so I just figured out that I can comment on here....Interesting that you think of movies as such a social event. I think of them as the opposite. Probably because I get really absorbed in movies and forget about my companions, whereas you are a talker extraordinare! I don't remember the last time we watched a movie together? I've seen and really like Eternal Sunshine...(I saw it with Andrew, J.J. and a few others) and you really intrigued me with City of God and of course Amelie. J'adore l'accent de francais. It's snowing a ton here, afternoon classes were cancelled. Yay for snow!!!