January 18th, 2010

Yellow and Red Vertigo

More than What Things Are

I've just gotten back from my parents' house where my sister and I watched half of La Vie en Rose. I feel bad about abandoning a movie halfway through, even one as lousy as this movie had been, but I got to thinking about the other things I could be doing with my time. Focusing on the life of Edith Piaf, the film follows her childhood growing up in a brothel and being uprooted various times by her parents before becoming a street singer, all of which proved that a movie needs more than subject matter to be interesting. Director Olivier Dahan somehow managed to make everything as dull as dishwater, totally lacking in point of view. Little Edith's temporary blindness, the prostitute who cared for her like a mother being torn away from her, everything was flat and limp as a cellophane fish on a plate. Not to mention it's another movie that sees fit to go crazy with blue filters. I'll be so happy when modern filmmaking parts ways with this fad, but I suppose unimaginative filmmakers will just find new ways to be boring.

A couple nights ago, I watched Kurosawa's adaptation of The Lower Depths again, and thought about how, even more than Mullholland Drive, The Lower Depths is a story about how dreams can be both destruction and salvation. In this viewing, I found Bokuzen Hidari's monk character a little shadier, and I could believe he might be someone with a dark past, but as he says, also "a stone whose rough edges have all been smoothed". My original review for the movie is here.


I think I'm finally starting to understand the actor's suicide at the end of the movie--the prostitute runs off saying she's going to commit suicide, but doesn't. Seeing her life in large, tragic terms is the prostitute's way of coping, as we see in her story about the lover who supposedly told her her heart was as pure as a virgin. But the duty of an actor, or any artist, is to bear dreams as reality. Everyone uses dreams to cope, but no-one really buys their own delusions quite like the actor, as we can see from the gambler's statement at the end, about how they were all having a nice time until the actor decided to ruin the evening with his suicide.

I watched the second episode of Baka to Test to Shokanju with breakfast to-day--another good episode. Looks like this is definitely the best new anime of the season.

Last night's tweets;

Wild horses will relax when you're cloaked.
Time for the belle minotaur to decide.
The round track architect was always coked.
It's the same cardboard cylinder inside.

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