Most weekends find me tired, spent, and lazy... This weekend was exactly that, but I had somehow managed to drag myself out of bed earlier than usual on Sunday. I showered, dressed, and grabbed some lunch before hitting the local film rental outlet. With determination to find a good film festival that both suited my mood and allowed me to catch up on movies I've been wanting to see.... I picked four wonderful gems. All four films have a dreamlike quality, you feel as though you are floating through the story with the characters.
I began my film fest with a great film called "Cashback."
This film was first brought to my attention by Scott over at SardonicBomb. It is a sweet, funny, chaarming, and extremely creative film about a young art student that uses his insomnia to his advantage by working nights at a 24 hour grocery store. It is part love story, part experimental film, part 3d photograph, and gives the viewer the same feeling that every artist has when studying something they find beautiful. I highly suggest seeing this.
Next up was the most recent film by John Cameron Mitchell of Hedwig fame: "Shortbus."
This was one fun ride. This film did kind of shock me in the first 5 minutes, where you see actors actually copulating.... yes, it was Mitchell's idea of commitment to the storyline and I have to say, as much as many people took issue with that choice saying it was purely for shock value I have to side with Mitchell. The sex was what the story was about. It was real, unedited not perfect and sexy, it was just as awkward and frenzied as sex can truly be. (You have to see this film if only to see someone sing the star spangled banner into an asshole.) He pushed the envelope wildly left and right with this movie, but the heart of the film is its sweet characters that with all their faults, omissions, and sideways intentions. You will love to go on this journey with them. I really enjoyed the movie, I laughed, blushed, and in many ways felt kind of at home. There is something about that crazy artist collective in this film that reminds me of undergrad and the sweet random exclamations of freedom we too shouted to the skies.
After the first two films, I was primed for my next adventure. I am a huge David Lynch fan, and was kind of sad I never got my ass in gear to see this in the theaters, but I had saved it for a grey day like Sunday and therefore picked up my copy of "Inland Empire."
Laura dern has the perfect face for this roll. She has ways of expressing such a strong sense of emotion with just the smallest of muscle movements and a slighly open jaw. This is a dream world that is best seen and not necessarily talked about. Lynch has such a great hand at creating dreamscapes that you can just lean into it and accept it as a whole. He is not for the faint of heart, and this piece is just as dense if not more so than Mullholland Drive, but it is an experience I think everyone should brave at least once. Check it out, you may even like it.
To end my day of movie watching, I concluded with a film I enjoyed more than I ever expected to: "Paris Je T'aime."
I've been to Paris, and i've seeen all those films with skinny actresses from america wandering streets, getting lost in love, eating bread.....um yeah... check please.... This was something VERY different. This was a grouping of many smaller vignettes around the city, each with a different director taking the helm and putting their stamp on a story they saw as truly part of Paris. It was great! Each story so very different, but the look and feel of the film was beautifully seamless. The film was sweet, melancholic, funny, strange... in many ways just perfect. It's a great date movie or something to toss in on a cold lazy day. For those of you who might be scared off, I should mention that it is subtitled (not very well and a little too intrusively...but nonetheless.) and includes spanish english and french in its dialogue. See this film if only to see Wes Craven do a love story that doesn't involve murder or blood. My personal favorite was one scene entirely narrated by a woman in bad french acccent of her trip to Paris as if she is presenting her report to her French class. Its more touching and fun than you can imagine.