Saturday, January 03, 2009

Twilight pale by comparison

No matter what it costs to make a a brilliant film - whether it is the sort of thing that appeals to the 'Academy' or the judges at Cannes or Sundance or Berlin - or one that simply has you on the edge of your seat for ninety minutes - the cost of seeing the thing is the same as it is to see an absolute stinker. Yesterday I saw the much hyped Twilight, a vampire tale reframed for angst-filled teen millennials. A lite retelling of the classic genre where the motif seems to be more about experiencing difficulty with members of the opposite sex and meeting family expectation and approval than dark Nosferatu horror. Dawson's Creek meets the Addams Family. If engagement with characters, thrilling pace and storytelling are the lifeblood of a great movie then Twilight was pallid and as much in need of a transfusion as its vampyric antiheroes. But the kids enjoyed it - so the small fortune it cost to treat then and torture me must have had some value.

I have decided that this year, call it a resolution if you will, I will only attend movies with some kind of substance - kind of like avoiding junk food. If I am going to be sucked dry by exhibitors then I want to be a happy husk at the end of the experience.

These looking interesting:

A Christmas Tale:

Arnaud Desplechin makes films about intellectuals that thrum with emotional (and cinematic) life. The story of a matriarch with a rare blood disease (Catherine Deneuve) seeking a transfusion from one of her three angry, resentful grown children (the craziest of whom is played by Mathieu Amalric), A Christmas Tale is a glorious feast of a movie, with the bitter served right next to the sweet.




Werner Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World:
Though it lacks the conceptual purity of his masterpiece Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog's account of his visit to the McMurdo research station at the South Pole is an invaluable tour of one of the weirdest spots on earth, as seen through the eyes of our weirdest and wisest documentary filmmaker.



Quotes from Slate's Movie Critic Dana Stevens

Via Newser

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