Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend viewing

The Ballad of Jack and Rose (Rebecca Miller, 2005)
I wasn't crazy about Miller's last film, Personal Velocity, but N.P. Thompson's rapturous review convinced me to check this one out, and it's...well, about as good as Personal Velocity. Miller's got a good eye for striking natural landscapes, and she creates some potentially interesting characters, but they just sort of sit there, inert, looking thoughtful amid the pretty scenery. There's also a little too much precious symbolism in this movie for my taste, but the performances are generally strong, even if they are sort of creating something out of nothing.

Delicatessen (Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro, 1991)
Jeunet fascinates me even though I often leave his films sort of baffled. This is his first feature, a dark but strangely sweet post-apocalyptic sci-fi weird-o-rama, which I nevertheless found more comprehensible than City of Lost Children. The best thing is to kind of surrender to his films' internal logic, and eventually the pieces fall into place. Like Terry Gilliam, Jeunet never bothers to explain the surrealist worlds he creates, but lets them engulf the viewer until they feel just as natural as any realistic indie drama. Or close enough, at least, to have a genuine interest in whether the sad ex-clown gets killed and eaten by the butcher or saved by his cello-playing daughter. You know, just your average everyday stuff.

No comments: