Those have been busy days and although I try to keep posting, I still couldn’t find enough time to write about everything I wanted to write about. So here are some bits of different stuff:
– Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited. I have often written about my apreciation for Anderson’s movies. This is a director who is able to work in a purely visual approach in an age in which the visual element is almost ever reduced to illustration to the script. While I was impressed by the graphic humour of The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou, the absence of emotional content made me think of how longer he could advance into the abstraction from a “regular” plot in search of a purely plastic goal. I think it is not presumptuous to suppose he made himself the same question. While family ties is the recurrent theme of his films, the detachment adopted in Steve Zissou seems to be left aside and the right touch of involvement found in The Royal Tennembaums seems to be found again. Although much of what is shown in Darjeeling seems to be subject of mockery – the absurd spiritual journey, the Kafka-esque train, the over-the-top Indian exoticism – family relationships are taken seriously. Most cleverly, we are shown three American brothers who engage into a overwrought and artifficial trip to self-discovery in India portrayed in Anderson’s hallmark classically conceived frames with controlled use of colours to the point they are expelled from the train and are confronted to a real-life situation of a real-life family in India. From this point on, everything starts to look more “real” – India starts to look less fantastic, the scenes acquire a documentary-like approach, the feelings between these characters begin to surface. Masterly.
– Julie Delpy’s Two Days in Paris. I like Julie Delpy and I left the theatre after watching Before Sunset convinced that Jesse (E. Hawke)’s wife and kid didn’t stand a ghost of a chance after Delpy’s singing that song to her guitar accompaniment. As far as I understood, Delpy co-wrote the dialogues in Before Sunset and a great deal of the movie’s charm has to do with them. Reading that Delpy had written and directed her own Paris adventure (again involving an American guy in French “hostile” territory) seemed to be a must-see. All I can say is that she has talent for the writing and directing bussiness – the film would be perfect but for the last scenes. Until we get to these scenes, the dialogues are (again) witty with an almost Woody Allen-esque verve, the characters are delightful, some jokes are more than worth the ticket price, this is Adam Goldberg’s best piece of acting ever and Daniel Brühl’s tiny role is hilarious – but please fogive me the sexism, but everything was going well until Delpy had to “discuss the relationship”. When the movie is exposed to the sudden and drastic shift, the structual coherence is lost and the irresistibly cynical sense of humour that steers us through this story is replaced by voiced-over sentimental nonsense. Flawed but still worth the detour.