Archive for January 8th, 2009

08
Jan
09

Three Films Everyone Should See

I’m back in Ireland now. The plane rides were miserable, as they tend to be. I don’t mind airports, but planes, good lord, like hell in the sky. My first flight was supposed to leave at two pm on Friday, the second, so i arrived just after noon. Well, flight gets delayed to 330, not too bad, but then it gets delayed until 530. Such a miserably long time waiting for a plane that was delayed and possibly schedulaed to be delayed even later. Well, i leave Minneapolis at around six pm on a plane with a young indian girl who would not stop screaming. And i mean screaming, not crying, but high pitched shrill screams that cut through your soul. Honestly, flights with children are a good enough reason to never want them.

Arrive in Newark fifteen minutes before my connecting flight to Ireland is supposed to leave, so i make a mad dash to the terminal only to find that this flight, too, has been delayed. Only about an hour, though. On the plane, an overnight flight, i’m sitting next to a nice young lady who’ll be studying in Ireland this semester. I forgot her name and forgot to get her number, though. Anyway, watched Toy Story on the plane, which i hadn’t seen since i was a wee one. So good. Flight continues on, super tired, can’t sleep, no crying babies, though.

In Ireland i had to wait in the obscenely long and slow line to get through the Garda, which was really annoying as i’ve an immigration card and should be able to waltz right through as i’ve done every other time. But no, i must wait since i’m not a citizen of the EU, that ghastly economic union that makes good people wait in bad line. Anyway, i eventually get through and step out into the Irish air.

I immediately felt better here. The depression that had been following me in amerika disappeared. Ireland, it’s a good place. I’m not sure what it is about here, but it feels like home–likeĀ  home i’ve not had all these years i’ve been wandering about. Maybe it’s just that Ireland has a soul, a spirit. Amerika is a lost land without feeling. Soulless.

The good times were not to be had, though, as i’d three essay due in, well, four days and no internet the first day. So, yeah, been underground writing and researching, but i’m done now and able to breathe easy. My program has fourteen new kids, too. We’ll see how i like them, but they seem like good people, if nothing else. And usually, that’s all you can ask for–all that’s worth asking for.

But, yeah, three films you should see. They all came out recently or are about to come out wherever ye be.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by David Fincher: That’s right, David Fincher–the man behind Seven, Fight Club, and Zodiac–directed this. From the sinister Seven to the mayhem of Fight Club, Fincher’s a master of technical filmmaking and injecting the world with a darkness all his own. Here, though, he creates something beyond what he’s previously attempted. And i don’t just mean the shift in tone from darkness to a story of beauty, but i mean the way in which he captures Benjamin’s world on screen. Some of these shots are just perfect. The pacing was perfect, too. A long movie–nearly three hours–but it doesn’t feel like it. Really, one of the most beautiful looking films i’ve seen in a while. At times funny, heartbreaking, and exciting. Can’t remember the last time i saw so many crying eyes. Check it out.

Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle: Yep, more surprising things, Danny Boyle–Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine–brings something quite different here. I really think Boyle’s one of the most talented current directors, and here he truly shines above everything he’s done before. Even more so than Sunshine, which i thought was as perfect as science fiction could get. Nothing sci-fi here, just a beautiful story about a poor young indian man in love. Really, a truly heartwarming film that deserves all the praise it’s receiving. I felt so good after seeing this movie, i mean, this is what they talk about when they say feel good movie. Must see.

The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky: I know, another jawdropping moment when you realise who Aronofsky–Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain–is. Maybe the most surprising of these three surprising films by these amazing directors. Aronofsky really blows it out of the water by taking so much back. The unimagineable beauty of The Fountain is absent, the starkness of Pi sits elsewhere, and the heartbreaking intensity of Requiem is nowhere in sight. here, we have a very accurate portrayal of a man far past his prime who knows only one thing. We see his small ups, his constant downs and disappointments, and we’re there for him. The talk about Mickey Rourke here isn’t just hype. He is this movie. He breathes it every second he’s on screen. Marisa Tomei adds a nice touch here, and remains a very hot old lady. Might be worth it for some of you just to see her about as naked as you can get without being naked. But really, this film will not disappoint.

I don’t usually watch the Oscars, but if these three films don’t sweep, then there’s no justice in the world. Hard for me to pick one for film of the year, but i think i’ll go with Benjamin Button. Fincher really grabs something here, and propels himself from one of the great directors of our time to a true artist.

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