Over the course of a week I watch a lot movies and neglect my responsibilities and personal hygiene, all for your benefit. Here is the list of movies I have seen this past week. Try to keep up:
The Headless Woman – This movie by Lucrecia Martel poses questions, makes suggestions, eludes to answers, but at the end of the day it is up to us to decide what has and what will happen. We are witnesses to an event. How big or little that even all depends on what you believe. What Veronica believes is worst case, what really happened could be much less damaging. Regardless of what really happened we begin to see a woman unravel at the potential of her actions. Her mind begins to either fail her or block things out as a defense. (I would like to see the analysis on her mind blocking out this one traumatic event, but still let her bump all kinds of uglies with her cousin. The mind works in mysterious ways.) I loved the pacing of this movie. It was shot well, and only showed us what we needed. We know only as much as our protagonist, and that isn’t a whole heck of a lot. We are kept at an arms length to the facts and we have to believe what we want to believe. The Headless Woman requires an engaged and proactive viewer. It starts as quickly as Veronica’s psyche unravels.
Cache – Making my way through Michael Haneke’s movies I picked up Cache. I am going to say that so far he may be one of the most methodical director in recent memory. He allows each image on the screen to wash over you and creep the bajesus out of you. We start and end in the same spot, outside a house. Each moment that passes outside of this house we begin to feel worse and worse as we watch. There were moments where I felt like I shouldn’t be seeing what was on screen. I felt like I was part of the problem, peering into the life of this man, Georges. And that was the brilliance of the film. Haneke made you privy to a facets of lives we should have never known. His methodical camera work built up tension by lingering in a room where we shouldn’t have been. It slides along and pauses where it probably should keep moving. What we learn by doing this is that we are all voyeurs, observing clips of other peoples lives by watching television, movies, reading the details of privates lives of celebrities in $2 checkout counter magazines at the grocery store, Haneke also lets us know how creepy it is. He answers nothing, just points to possibilities. At the exact moment you want to pry a little further to get an answer, learn why these events unfolded they way the did and how they unfolded, Haneke pulls back. We are voyeurs no longer. He does not give us the satisfaction. And that’s what makes it so satisfying.
Fletch – Reminiscent of Groucho Marx’s style of linguistic Tom Foolery, Chevy Chase unleashes a barrage of one liners and verbal two steps that beg to be repeated. I am bursting at the seams to go to an interview so I can say, “Hey, don’t talk to me that way, assface. I don’t work for you yet.” (Career Tip: Saying stuff like that gets you raises and corner offices. Also, if you call someone a “shit-tard” within the first five minutes of your first day that will make you the winner of work and you can retire. Fact.) Unfortunately for Fletch, the story was not strong enough. I felt my attention starting to wane towards the end. The one liners were still funny, and I overall enjoyed the movie, but I don’t think I should thought that the movie could have been 20 minutes shorter when the runtime is only 90 minutes. Can Chevy carry a movie? Yes. He was at his peak here. A comic Goliath that is currently trying to recapture this Fletch magic. Unfortunately the movie could not carry Chevy Chase. It hit a lull and didn’t recover. When the story didn’t get in the way the jokes popped. Its comedy was random and confusing and Chase’s brilliance will make you a bit envious. I would definitely recommend seeing this film, in spite of the story slip. It is one that I think could be watched over and over, but these repeated viewings must be accompanied by the scene select menu.
In the Loop – Two things the British do well: accents and comedy. Both were in full force for this film. This movie isn’t just about a lack of communication, sometimes it is about too much communication and knowing when to shut up (especially when you are talking about something you really don’t know too much about). Tom Hollander was my star of the film. His ability to bring together a character that was self aware of his idiocy, his relative unimportance, except as a pawn, and his uncanny knack for royally messing up even simple situations by not keeping his mouth shut (unfortunately for him, he was aware of his verbal mistakes about 30 seconds after he should have been), was beautifully blended with a character that was also a well meaning servant of the people who was actually full of integrity and wanted, very much so, to be relevant, was amazing. This movie was brilliantly acted and the pace, well, the pace was fast. Trying to keep up was tough, knowing who to keep up with was even tougher. Everyone had an agenda, everyone was looking out for themselves and their career, the only problem was nobody really knew what was going on, they just knew they had to act, and fast. Good thing that the only thing at stake was a war. This satire brought to light the insanity of politics and the power of controlling your image in the media. I would put this on par with a Dr. Strangelove for its ability to comically put its thumb on the ridiculousness of politics and how things can get out of hand even when concerned with something as serious as war.