Friday, February 15, 2008

Sean's DVR-O-RAMA Day 3

This is taking a toll on me. Maybe it's the two days of medication catching up or all the subtitles but today was the first time I'd fallen asleep during one of these movies. This was even after three cups of coffee and taking no meds.

So we started off with catching up on last night's Lost. What a fucking season this is already. I love Sayid-centric episodes and this one rocked hard. I hope and pray that the show gives us a Sayid and Lt. Daniels showdown. I'm guessing Ben isn't one of the Oceanic 6 -- but with Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sayid, I'm guessing Sun and Jin are the other two since they're reported to have their own centric episode in a couple weeks. I'm still going to say it's Juliette in the casket though. And lordy, do I love the Freighties. Jeremy Davies, Jeff Fahey and Ken Leung are perfect. All three doing their own job at deceit in their own sweet little perfect ways. It used to be I got excited for the weeks new show that day -- but now it's goddamn torture waiting for the next episode it's gotten so good.

After Lost I went back to the bottom of the DVR queue and hit Play on Louis Malle's 1971 Murmur of the Heart (at least that's what it's called here). A 1950's coming-of-age story set around 15 year old Laurent. The son of a successful Parisian gynecologist and an Italian born mother who looks pretty good for her unspecified age. Laurent has two inseparable older brothers -- their father calls his kids the two idiots and the genius and is not pleased with things either way. Laurent does well in school and is a through and through mama's-boy. He occasionally smokes, drinks and steals jazz records but for the most part is a good kid.

Whatever happened to the swinging jazz film score? Is Woody Allen the only guy out there keeping this alive? After Knife in the Water and the opening scene to Murmer I think every movies should have at least one scene set to a be-boppin' tune.

Well, shortly after Laurent's brothers have him de-virginized at a nouveau brothel outside of town he develops a heart murmur. He's soon sent to a upscale health spa with his mother in tow. It's practically like coed dorm life without the classes and more tennis. Some of the older kids start flirting with Laurent's mother and soon the Freudian undercurrent of Laurent's affections start becoming overcurrents.

But it's all handled with a deft and tender touch by Malle. Benoit Ferreux's performance as Laurent is great in a Antoine Doinel in 400 Blows kind of way. Lea Massari pulls off a difficult role as the mother. Their relationship is a high-wire act for these two performers and basically the movie would fall apart if there's a misstep. They deserve a lot of credit but i think this is mostly the magic of Louis Malle who keeps it all soulful and innocent.

I need to see more Malle. I love everything I've seen from the guy but I only think that covers Elevator to the Gallows, Atlantic City, My Diner With Andre, Vanya on 42nd Street and this. More work needs to be done.

But that will have to wait as next on the list is Luis Bunuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Another of cinema's classics that I can cross off my list. Some people call Bunuel one of the greatest film makers ever. Prior to this I've only seen Belle de jour so I can't exactly call myself someone with an informed opinion but he hasn't made it ti the top of my list quite yet. But it was interesting to see how much Gilliam cribbed from DCB for Brazil. But I'd still rather sit down with Brazil than watch DCB again. Like I said, maybe it was this schedule of back to back movies I've created for myself but about 90 minutes into the movie I'd had enough.

Don't get me wrong -- this is probably the king of satires. And there's so many classic lines of dialog in the movie that you could sell the script itself as a great work of literature. It just wore me down. Not sure if it was that I found it to get repetitive or redundant after while or if I just needed to step away from the tv for a while but I felt like Bunuel was beating me over the head towards the end and I needed release.

I haven't deleted DCB yet and I'll re-watch the last ten minutes sometime this weekend and maybe give some digested thoughts on it then. Not sure how much reporting I'll dispatch this weekend. I might drop in on Sunday and then deliver a final one on Monday. I have a much needed change of pace awaiting me on ye olde DVR so I'm looking forward to getting away from this prestige stuff. Ok for now.

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