Saturday, June 16

Foreign film log

Lately, because of my lazy Netflix technique (adding a whole bunch of films from one genre at once), I've been watching a lot of foreign films.

I wasn't too crazy about On The Edge, and it may have finally cemented my creeping apathy toward Irish filmmaking in general. I really liked Fat Girl for its deeply complicated nature (I wish I'd found this film while still in college because I would have milked it for every film-class paper possible) and its complete Frenchness (whatever that means). Amores Perros is full of anger and grit (sadly, I was unable to get through the last of the three stories because the disc was being a real jerk and skipping around) and is made in with the same sort of hypersaturated, urban/decayed style as Alfonso CuarĂ³n's Children of Men (where greens are scarily green and it seems like a thin layer of soot coats nearly everything), which makes me want to further check out the work of contemporary Mexican directors because I really like the regional style that's developing (or has developed; I'm late to the train as always).

Yesterday I finished The Motorcycle Diaries and I can say without hesitation that it's my favorite of the four. The cinematography is absolutely stunning. Of course, you probably don't have to do that much work to make South America look beautiful, but the effort is still appreciated.

I'm a sucker for road-trip films and coming-of-age films. Put the two together and I'm usually hooked. (Perhaps I should explicitly except Crossroads at this point, though I've never seen it.) I think lives are changed by the mere act of traveling. Traveling, ideally, forces you to transcend, to see what was previously hidden from you, to consider that which you've never had to think about. The world is too big to stay in one place. Fates are unraveled on the open road.

Then there's the (fictionalized, of course) historical element to the film that makes it a bit more intriguing. I'm not a big Che Guevara fanboy, so it was interesting to see the roots of his radicalization, and his transition from aspiring doctor to revolutionary. Funny that it's so hard for me to imagine a young doctor-in-training nowadays taking a road trip with a pal and ending up a reviled/revered revolutionary, perhaps taking on the healthcare establishment and Big Pharma? It's just a different world now. Gas is too expensive and no one can get that much work leave.

Naturally, when the film was over and we were treated to a shot of the real Alberto Granado, Che's travel companion, his face carved deep with wrinkles and wear, I cried unexpected tears. Such beauty in those age spots. And such pain. What stories he must have to tell.



Blogger LeBlanc said...

What!!? I love Crossroads...unless you mean the Britney Spears version...I mean the Karate Kid version.

Sat Jun 16, 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

I love any genre that transverses into the nether-regions of Flying J Travel Center.

Sat Jun 16, 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger mike said...

Seriously, go out right now and rent "Tokyo Godfathers." It's an animated film (not anime!) from Japan about three homeless men trying to rescue an abandoned baby, and being saved in the process. Beautiful to look at and a joyous, wonderful story to boot. Really funny, too.

I just cannot recommend this movie highly enough. Beats 99% of anything you'll see from Hollywood.

I love foreign films with a passion, but I suspect our tastes diverge pretty sharply.

Sat Jun 16, 11:21:00 PM  

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