Sunday, March 29, 2009
I watched what is probably the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. It is a French film called Martyrs that came out last year. It is a existential journey into the heart of depravity and pain. Though it is truly horrifying, it is not a "horror movie." There is nothing supernatural in the film and there are no obvious scares and starling noises in the dark. The story is told in a cold, calculated, detached manner. It is about the bad things humans do to each other and the motivations behind their actions. I won't get into the plot here, it would ruin it. But I'll say it concerns confinement, transcendence, and ritualized beatings. The director, Pascal Laugier, wrote it in a bout of depression and has been apologetic to the films haters and thankful of its appreciators.
I watched it alone at night and I still I can't get the images out of my mind- and I'm having nightmares about it. The only other time I have been actually been truly scared by film making was in 8th grade when they revealed who Bob was on Twin Peaks. Remember the scene right before Bob/Leland kills Maddy when hes putting on the gloves in front of the mirror? That got to me. Martyrs did too.
This is a serious film not for the light of heart. If you are interested in the darker aspects of human nature and can handle un-glorified violence, I highly recommend Martyrs. This is a movie you will never forget, the power of cinema in full force.
Edit 5/2: This film is on DVD now. Don't get it from Blockbuster! Those Christian idiots censored it.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I found the entirety of this classic Jeff Mills DVD on Youtube. If there was a musical hierarchy, Mills would be at the tippity top... truly intense music from a master. I suggest headphones or a good sound system to hear this.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I've been watching new releases and semi-new releases online at home. In case you are wondering what to see, don't have a lot of time, and trust my opinion, here are some one line reviews.
Revolutionary Road- The film has some good things to say about the price of conformity but its delivery is a little heavy handed and its basically two actors arguing a lot.
Slumdog Millionaire- Couldn't get through it but I'm glad the amazing Anthony Dod Mantle won an Oscar for his cinematography.
Man on Wire- Kind of inspiring.
An American Crime- Could have been awesome (Ellen Page tortured to death by kids) but just didn’t work due to bad direction.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall- Pretty funny but I’m sick of these people.
Appaloosa- Jeremy Irons, Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen in a western, rad.
Savage Grace- I turned this story about rich gay people in the 50's off about half way, even though I heard there was incest involved.
Taken- Suspend your disbelief and this is a fun trip into the world of sex slavery.
Gran Torino- Clint Eastwood ends his acting career on a seriously racist note, he even calls white people “Ofays” in this film.
Baby Mama- I seriously regret stealing this movie, it was terrible.
The Last House on the Left- Way toned down from the classic 1972 version but still slightly disturbing fun.
Stuck- Girl hits homeless man and he gets stuck in her windshield and she leaves him to die in her garage.
Rachel Getting Married- Intense moments of sadness as well as insights into the emotional complexity of family, addiction and grief makes this one of the heaviest films I've seen in recent memory.
Burn After Reading- The Coen Brothers present a bumbling comedy of errors in which John Malcovich and Brad Pitt are particularly hysterical.
Role Models- I found this surprisingly funny, I recommend it.
The Reader- Corney classical music plays over the entirety of this contrived and emotionally manipulative Oscar-hungry Holocaust drama.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
This is weird: ever heard of Chris Gaines? In 1999 American superstar Garth Brooks created an alter ego for himself in order to have a parallel career to his pop-country one. He claimed he created the character for a film he had written and was to star in called The Lamb. The bizarre thing is, well, look at the guy! Your supposed-to-be-cool alter ego is a cheeseball emo rocker dude? What the fuck? Brooks created a fictional back-story for Gaines, complete with 6 different record covers. He played SNL as Gaines and released the one and only Gaines record as a “pre-soundtrack” to the film. A god-awful single from the record actually charted on the pop top 40 charts. But when the film never materialized the public got a little weirded out and, as Wikipedia puts it “the majority of the American public was either totally bewildered or completely unreceptive to the idea of Garth Brooks as anything but a pop-country singer.” Brooks didn’t really get famous until his forties and after becoming the highest selling solo act of ALL TIME he probably felt he could do anything- even become a shitty rock singer. I guess Chris Gaines was just a byproduct of a mans ego gone haywire.