by Verena Kyratzes
The films of Wes Anderson don’t have it easy. Everyone loves them, at least as far a gross overgeneralizations go, but I don’t think many understand them. His movies are whimsical and funny, but all of them also have a deep, underlying seriousness, or even sadness. Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. All movies that I deeply love, but also all movies that carry some deep sadness in them. But they’re not depressing. The Life Aquatic is one of the most inspiring movies ever made. A feel-good movie if I ever saw one.
But I digress. I was about to write about Fantastic Mr. Fox. The reason why I began this article in the way that I did is that I know why Mr. Fox didn’t have much financial success. It’s not because the movie isn’t beautiful. Or because the story doesn’t touch you. Or because the actors aren’t up to scratch, or maybe (to use a more shallow arument) because they aren’t “big” enough. No, that’s not the reason, because The Fantastic Mr. Fox has all that and more. It’s because no one knows what to make of this movie.
by Verena Kyratzes
Cop Out is the new movie by Kevin Smith. It is also a rather large pile of horse dung, but let’s focus on the other bit first.
We saw Cop Out at the sneak preview here in Frankfurt a while ago, and although the experience can only be described as painful, I am still happy that we saw it. Why, you say? Well, the thing is: I like Kevin Smith.
…let me rephrase that. I think some of his movies are good. Dogma has some structural issues, but is all in all a very good movie. Clerks certainly deserves some of its cult status. I don’t remember enough about Chasing Amy to have an educated opinion on the matter, but the vague feeling that it was good has to come from somewhere. And I really liked Jersey Girl, which had the added bonus of being less… permeated with fecal humour than his other works (hold that thought). And then there’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Mallrats. I shall decline to speak of those movies here and now, because Cop Out has enough faults to fill an article all by its own and doesn’t need any help from them.
by Jonas Kyratzes
I’ve been a fan of Vincenzo Natali for a long, long time. It began with Cube, his terrifying and yet moving film about a group of people stuck in a deadly trap; continued with the genre-hopping thriller/love story Cypher, and reached its apex with Nothing, an incredible comedy masterpiece about two people stuck in… well, nothing. Natali is a filmmaker who can do a lot with very little, and I’ve always wondered what he could do with a bigger budget.
The answer to that question? He could make one of the most disturbing and yet intelligent films I’ve ever seen.
I’m not sure I have the words to tell you just how much this film disturbed me. I am not easily disturbed by films, but Splice left me reeling. It was a genuine shock.
And yet Splice is not really a horror movie. It’s not gory torture porn or boo-based bullshit. It’s not misanthropic or needlessly cruel. It’s not relentlessly dark and nihilistic. It’s just realistic and intelligent. And it makes me feel weird just to think about it.
It’s been quiet here at Commentarium for a few days, as we were both very busy with major creative projects – Verena finished typing the novel she’s been working on, and Jonas is getting close to releasing his new computer game. We’ve still been seeing a lot of movies, however, and have several interesting articles coming up.