Sunday, July 18, 2010

Viewing Log #51: Vanilla and skunk [7/13/10 - 7/18/10]

by Ryland Walker Knight

Here's another quick narrative for you. Spent a lot of this last week running around town, which seems to be a common theme as I continue to move my life more and more offline, but this was just tiring. I also started a couple new books and saw my sister perform in a play (that she wrote) at Berkeley Rep (in a summer school program); she's 13, if you need to know. I also saw just the one film, the opening night film (John Ford's The Iron Horse from 1924), at the SF Silent Film Festival. This bums me out. I missed Friday because of work and the sister, and was fine with that, but Saturday got away from me and today I couldn't move I was so tired and my throat was so closed. Somewhere in there I made time for a nerdsville 9:30am matinee of Inception, but I'm going to have more to say about that in conversation with my old friend Jen Stewart shortly. (You may remember she and I traded some ideas on The Dark Knight a couple years ago here and here.) The short of it: I enjoyed myself but I don't think it's good or actually smart and, again, I don't think Nolan can direct action at all, which is surprising given his eye for symmetry (and geometry in general; though not "architecture"). In any case, stay tuned.

Earlier today, instead of seeing awesome silent movies in the best theatre I know, I drank a lot of tea and grapefruit juice while watching The Hangover a year after the fact. Zach Galifianakis is great, clearly doing his own thing, but everything else is everything I hate about dudes; what's more, everything comes from fear and/or hate. No wonder it was a hit, eh? The conceit's great, of course, but the movie has no interest in what's interesting about a hangover's lacunae. Like Nolan, actually, Todd Phillips seems to prey on those fears we harbor; except he's a literalist of a different stripe. Nolan's got a thing for writing bad dialogue the way Phillips has a thing for making women intolerable or invisible or, well, whores. Lad mags haven't failed, they've simply been turned into movies. (For that matter, as I txt'd with Danny, Inception's a GQ subscriber's wet—you guessed it—dream; that's the advertisement film, not I Am Love; but I'll table that for now).

Later, I watched The Invention of Lying and, though it's simple, I liked its fantasy. I wish there were more comedies of morals that live in the realm of the concept. You can always count on Ricky Gervais for some teetering-near-mawkish-territory sentimentality, but you can also count on him for honesty. It's not exactly great filmmaking but, as with a lot of comedies I appreciate, its spirit (its philosophy, if you must) is something I respect and admire. That is, the film's moral position (cough) is one I can get behind. However, it's pretty sad that such a thing as thoughtfulness is a rarity; I take it for granted that most thoughtfulness is stuff of stuff like, say, a book (or a "puzzle film") and not a joke. Which brings me back to Nolan, again, and one last gripe before I go to bed: dude's got no funny bone. I have no idea how to imagine how Nolan has fun. Does he play a lot of video games? Seems likely? Ad hominem what!?

1 comment:

  1. Want To Increase Your ClickBank Banner Traffic And Commissions?

    Bannerizer made it easy for you to promote ClickBank products by banners, simply go to Bannerizer, and grab the banner codes for your picked ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the ClickBank products.