Wednesday, 19 March 2008

My Week in Film - Messing with Memory


It's been another unintentionally themed week, this time round it's 'Messing with Memory'! I'm still surprized at how often a the theme prevail though the randomness.

First up we have Looking for Alexander / Mémoires affectives, this is a 2004 award winning Canadian film. I was very impressed with this film as it takes you on a journey with the protagonist Alexander, played by the formidable Roy Dupuis, as he explores his relationship with his own memories. It’s a touching and astounding drama that is well deserved of the 7 awards (Genies & Jutras) it has won.

Moving right along with the theme of memory is Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, which is a bit of a cult classic I would say. It’s told from the perspective of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern from Hamlet, but they appear to only have knowledge of things that happened in the play. It’s a brilliant concept fuelled with fantastic wordplay delivered with expertise by Tim Roth and Gary Oldman. This is a complete treat for English Lit, Drama and Hamlet fans.

Next up is 2046, which is Wong Kar Wai’s follow up to In the Mood for Love. This film is filled with memory and emotion of the lead character played by Tony Leung. It blends reality and fantasy in beautiful settings with compelling characters. Although I did not enjoy it as much as In the Mood for Love, it is a wonderful visual exploration and emotional journey.

Staying over to visit on the other side of the world I found myself watching Bullets Over Summer / Baau lit ying ging, directed by Wilson Yip whom previously I’d only seen his martial arts/action films. This has a bit of that flavour considering it is a buddy-cop movie but the crux of it is more along the lines of a drama and plays with one of my favourite themes: unconventional relationships. It did have a smattering of gender crap, but I forgive it as it didn’t feel overt and I found that overall the film was quite touching. I will leave the memory connection a mystery as it is cute minor piece of the film.

Premonition ironically took me two tries to get through it, and I’m surprized I finally did make it all the way through. This was billed as a supernatural type thriller which is misleading as it is really a drama with barely a hint of the possibility of the supernatural. I was disappointed and a to be honest a bit bored, there is a lot of repetition of scenes and sequences which truthfully were not that interesting to see the first time round.

Next I watched The Return which I barely remember it being released back in 2006. Can we even say ‘back in 2006’ yet? This film delivers where Premonition did not. It is a supernatural thriller and although it was quite dark and sometimes disturbing I felt it was a solid movie. I even watched it twice in one weekend. Sarah Michelle Geller does a good job in the lead role and I was impressed with the performance by Peter O’Brien as the hard to read stranger. It’s a solid rental.

I’ll close with the two films that all I can say about memory is that I just want to forget them. First is Slither, a Canadian/USA monster film and it was ridiculous on most counts. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was hoping to enjoy at least something. It’s always good to see Nathan Fillion, but that wasn’t even enough. There was also huge amounts of gender crap in this, I’m surprized I ended up watching it the whole way though. I did not make it all the way though the last film which was Romper Stomper. I knew this was a risky choice going in, I wanted to check it out to see Russell Crowe’s performance but the content (skinheads) and level of violence and hatred was too high for me. I turned it off after 10 minutes or so. I did get the sense that it was a well crafted film, but I couldn’t watch it.

Recent theatre memories include The Bank Job and Doomsday, feel free to click through to read my full reviews!

How about you? Made any good movie memories this week?

Up next week I’ll be mixing Current & Classics films with: Sleepwalking, The Savages, Starting Out in the Evening, The Kingdom, The General and Night of the Living Dead.



Anonymous said...

I need to get to Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. I've had it sitting here for months and still haven't seen it. May just give it a whirl this weekend.

I remember seeing 2046 a few years ago and thinking it looked fantastic but not really understanding it. I've been meaning to get back to it for a while but time has been extremely limited.

Sounds like it was a great week! I can only hope I manage to get through half of my planned schedule for this weekend!

Jamie said...

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead is such a treat - particularly to see an absolutely different side of Gary Oldman. This movie changed my opinion of him forever.

I have to say that I'm with you on Premonition. It's not at all like they promoted it to be and far less interesting.

Another fascinating week in film, Movie Moxie!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

It took me a few tries to get through 2046 and some if it still feels like a mystery to me, but I did enjoy it.

Jamie - we saw some of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead together! It was so long ago, I can't believe it took me so long to revisit it.

Jeff McCord said...

Love that there's another moxie who has devoted her moxieness to moxie movies! I have as well! Would love your support/ideas/critiques on my website - - Defining the Moxie in a Digital Age

Keep up the good work!
Jeff McCord

Suzie Ridler said...

R&G are Dead is one of my favs too, but then again I love Hamlet. Who knew Gary Oldman could be so adorable? I hadn't heard anything good about Premonition which is a shame, I thought it would be good too. Sounds like one I should keep on the shelf.

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