Saturday, August 13, 2005

Double Feature Samedi

While out and about today, I ran into Festering Face Wound Guy again. Twice. It looks like he went back into the doctor, because he had new stitches holding together his oozing skin. Someone had also shared with him that it is a good idea to keep his greasy blond hair out of his wound, which has now been cornrowed-- his hair not his wound. The first time I saw him, I was walking out of Gibert Joseph on Boulevard St. Michel (great place for new/used DVD's and CD's). He was once again yelling into his cell phone-- someone should warn him that, like his hair, if he keeps his phone next to his face for that long, that infected gouge will just heal around it. The second time I saw him, I was waiting for my train and he was yelling at what I assume to be his small child. The kid was trying to play with/touch daddy's face (which was met by a collective squirm from everyone else on the platform--ick!).
And that little nugget of gold is why I moved to Paris.

Today was double-feature samedi. I saw Land of the Dead and My Summer of Love.
I love zombie movies and this was good, but felt like merely a shadow of Romero's previous masterpieces. I really didn't like any of the characters, didn't hate any of the characters, and the fact that at the very end-- the zombies were not enemies as much as they were just looking for shelter (a place to call their own). THEY ARE ZOMBIES!!!! Even if they are thinking for themselves now, they eat people. Don't let them go! Shoot them! Aarrrgh! Dennis Hopper was the bad guy in this one and much like Dr. Doom in The Fantastic 4 he just wasn't villainous enough. In fact, I think that is what I didn't like about Land of the Dead: it wasn't enough. Enough gore, enough biting social commentary, enough characterization, enough bad guys, enough good guys, (and the worst) enough humor. Romero has earned the right to rest on his laurels-- I just wish he hadn't.

My Summer of Love was a film I'd been looking forward to seeing for a while. It did not disappoint, but it didn't exactly rumble my seat, either. A friend had described it to me as a Heavenly Creatures in which no one dies, and I really couldn't agree more. It wasn't as highly stylized as Peter Jackson's drama either. No fantasy sequences, just foggy, jostled camera shots and haunting music. What I didn't expect was for this film to be funny; but it was. Darkly so. I know people who just did not get this film. Several wondered what it was they were trying to say about Christianity, what were they trying to say about homosexuality and lust? I have my own thoughts (and because I am tired and feeling a bit lazy I won't write them all out) and I am curious to hear yours-- if you've seen it. The acting in this one was phenomenal-- subtle, quick, and very affecting. The three main were simple amazing, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of them receives some attention during awards season.
I recommend both films. Especially if you are in Paris between the 20th and 23rd of August: 3 euros for all movies. ALL MOVIES. 3 EUROS! (I would like to show you the oh-so-Parisian video they've created just for the festival but I am not that computer savvy. Click here and scroll down to the Windows Media icon. Enjoy).

Now, in regards to those of your comments that 7 euros does not equal 40 US dollars I say this: it sure feels like it when everytime I buy something the euro forces me to bend over and grab my ankles!


Blogger UrbanCannibal said...

Not surprisingly, I loved Land of the Dead and though it was most certainly not the best of the series, I thought it was a better entry than Day of the Dead – but that could’ve just been the anticipation talking (Dawn is #2 of my all time favorite spook shows). An unrated cut is on its way to DVD in the very near future, and since this was a studio financed film, it was understandable that some gore was dropped from the print to avoid theatrical hari-kari (even though it happened anyway). Romero’s social commentary was ever prevalent as was the fact that even after all this time he showed me things I’d never seen before. Land was a hard sell but I bought into it.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Serena said...

Social Commentary present? Yes, it was. But Romero's thoughts were not as clear as they could have been and like the rest of the movie, I felt as though he was adding a few political elements-- relevent to today's world--just to be adding them. His POV neither fueled the story nor added to the characterization. Instead, we were just to assume that he, once again, had a 'bone to pick' with America/the world. Also, the delivery of his 'thoughts' wasn't funny and it wasn't enlightening. It pains me to say it, but this was just really expensive mediocrity.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

Awwww... I haven't seen either of these movies.


12:19 PM  
Blogger JgStephan said...

Thank you for your comment in my blog. I'm sorry to hear that. The best people die young...

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12:24 AM  

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