Nothing feels better than a Rome Prize winner describing your project as “excellent.”
It happened again! Except instead of directly saying excellent he praised my use of what he deemed one giant shadow gap. Also last time it was Sean Lally, now it’s Thomas Kelley.
L’Année dernière à Marienbad (1961)
Hey everybody, Terrence here. So a little backstory about why I watched this. I’m researching Bernard Tschumi’s design for Parc de la Villette in Paris (1982), and my professor recommended I watch this to get an idea of traditional geometric Frech parks, which Tschumi deviates from greatly, so I could understand the historical context. Did it help in that regard? Honestly no. Is it related to French park design? Vaguely. Did I enjoy the film? More or less.
Last Year in Marienbad follows a lonely guest at a spa/mansion in an undetermined location, and tries to convince a woman that he met her last year at another ill-defined spa/resort. Awkward romance ensues. He is also repeatedly beaten at a parlor game by her [possible] husband.
The plot is paper thin, but it’s all the film needs progress. As the main character’s memory is cloudy, scenes from the past change over the course of the film as they are brought up, sometimes slightly, and sometimes in a completely different set. The plot can be confusing, and at times seems even arbitrary, but the bizarre spectacle more than makes up for it. The camera work is incredible, with a montage 20 min. into the film, which can only be described as existential bullet time, as its highlight, using the simple act of standing still to create something way ahead of it’s time. The dream-like visuals and surprisingly stark baroque environments (stark and baroque in the same sentence, HA!) almost give off the vibe of a precedent for Inception (2010).
The movie isn’t all avant garde brilliance though. The soundtrack, consisting of 90 min. of almost constant solo church organ, loses its spookiness very quickly.
All things considered, it’s definitely worth a watch, as there is nothing like it.
I give it 3.5 pre-inception BRAAAAAAAMMMs out of 5.
Nothing makes me contemplate my place in the universe quite like Rolie Polie Olie. Am I a square in a round world???? William Joyce asks the tough questions. I give this series a 5/5.
Hey tumblers, Ian here. I’m the one on the podcast that talks over everybody and thinks he’s hot shit because he can talk louder and faster than other people. When I’m not listening to my voice on the podcast for hours on end, I watch movies! A lot of movies! Mostly old ones, but sometimes I take off my black and white tinted glasses and go see something new. This weekend, my friends, was one of those times; I ventured to the multiplex and saw Wreck it Ralph.
Wreck it Ralph is the latest production from Disney Animation Studios, staring John C. Riley, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, and a bunch of other celebs. John plays the main character, who is the villain of an arcade game modeled after Donkey Kong Jr., who strives to break the mold and be a hero for once. The plot is pretty predictable, but I can’t really fault it for that since I am well over the target age for this movie. The animation isn’t going to blow your mind, but it is still very well done.
One thing I do give this movie major credit for is how it handles the video game subject matter. A lot of movies struggle to present video games in a way that make it interesting (or even fun) to an audience who doesn’t play them to watch. That was fine in the eighties, when the only people who really understood video games were still kids, but over the last thirty years, no one really ever solved this problem. Video game to movie adaptations have historically been sub-par, and movies turned into video games have never been much more than quick turnaround cash-ins. There are some notable exceptions to both cases, but when I first heard about Wreck it Ralph, I thought the only thing it was going to wreck was Disney Animations Studios track record. After having seen the movie, though, I can say I’m pleasantly surprised with how well it’s handled. The people who wrote the script clearly have respect and knowledge of video games, but don’t get too deep into it so that a non-gamer couldn’t follow what was going on. It also helps that Disney can buy the rights to use all of the characters people would recognize. If you go and watch the trailer, you can see Bowser, Pac-man, Sonic, Zangief, and basically every video game character the public is familiar with. This doesn’t stop them from putting some more obscure references in though, which the parents of the kids who would take them to see this can appreciate. I don’t think kids are going to know who Q-Bert is, but I’m sure some father somewhere nodded his head in appreciation of the inclusion.
Overall, Wreck it Ralph is a solid kids film. Parents who see it won’t be bored, post-ironic 20 something’s can see it and not hate it, and kids will enjoy it for sure. As someone who plays video games I didn’t cringe like I usually do every time a video game joke is made in a movie. That being said, I didn’t really have any extremely positive reaction to it either. It’s probably not going to make it on my end of the year list, but if you have the time and money, I’d say go see it.
TRADD MOORE: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
Written by Paul Tobin and illustrated by BNN contributor Tradd Moore, comes Legends of the Dark Knight: “Carved”. The new crime wave in Gotham is stranger than ever: people and objects all over town are being stolen…and replaced by meticulous mahogany replicas. Will the Dark Knight solve the puzzle in time to save their lives? Only $0.99 on Comixology!
Get this. Tradd Moore. Batman. I’m dying. words cannot express the awesomeness contained in this one shot. seriously. Tradd Moore.