Saturday, October 09, 2004

"Hide the Knives" double-feature

Subject: Cinema
Oh no, a non-anime post!

While I've been sampling plenty of anime lately (which I keep promising that I'll review, no really!), I thought I'd take a break (finally) and watch real-people movies. My choices this evening were a little suspect, though.

Friday night I watched "The Empire Strikes Back" and "The Last Samurai". "Empire" is the only laserdisc of the three that I thought worth buying back in the day, and the new remastered DVD is probably the best looking DVD I've ever seen! If I could buy that without buying the rest of the trilogy, I'd jump on the chance. But I really don't want to own "Return of the Jedi", and the original "Star Wars" with all the changes just doesn't interest me either. "Last Samurai", while a good-looking film, was a bit weak. Probably because I've been watching a lot of, shall we say, "authentic", Japanese work, but more likely, because it was Tom Cruise being the usually lame Tom Cruise.

But really this post is about this evening's fare. When I stopped by Blockbuster to pick up the aforementioned eye-candy, another movie crossed my path, and I remember hearing about it, and that I wanted to see it. So I grabbed it.

Yeah, I still watched plenty of anime today, and I'll post about it later. Old-school Mashimo stuff. Tonight, I subjected myself to a little heartbreak.

I used to regularly alternate between forced "heartbreak" and "ooh-I'm-such-a-film-major" films. Both are good excuses to drink a bit excessively and become immersed in the experience.

Tonight was "heartbreak" with "film-major" as the excuse for, shall I say, "bringing it on".

First up I unwrapped my copy of "Lost In Translation". I mentioned before that when I've been drinking, I think Sofia Coppola is brilliant. I hadn't quite built up a buzz for this go 'round. But I still really like this movie. I've talked many times about "moments" and "poetry". Plenty of "moments" in this one. Poetry, maybe not so much. I was a little less forgiving of some of the more obvious attempts at manipulation, but overall, her choice of soundtrack, and a healthy dose of the raw expressiveness that appears in the "moments" really strikes a chord with me. Maybe more than it should. Anyway, the overall melancholy and thought about relationships-past that it evoked was exactly what I expected (having seen it once before), and exactly set the mood for what I picked up from Blockbuster.

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".

A man and woman undergo a procedure to erase the memories of each other when their relationship gets rocky. The bulk of the movie is the the man (Jim Carrey, who I really like in serious roles, but don't like so much in silly roles) trying to cling to the memory of her while he's undergoing a procedure to have her memory erased.

When you experience a, shall I say, "painful", bit of something in the past, it's pretty much natural that you want to forget it. And often, you manage to forget it pretty well on your own, after a lot of time, and suffering the occasional moments where every memory rushes back as clear as day. I've done a lot to try to forget a few important things about the failed relationships in my past. Where I live (out in the sticks on the lakeshore), and what I do with my spare time (watching movies, and now, a lot of anime) is a rather blatant escape from that.

Every now and then, though, I touch on those memories. Like it's a toothache or something, I can't just leave it alone; I have to keep prodding it. Doing this double-feature was just that.

The movie itself, especially how it treated the encroaching memory erasure, was wonderful. I really liked how it worked, even the cheesy "hiding in childhood memories" sequences. But I don't think I was really ready to subject myself to that kind of introspection right about now.

I've had a few pints of Guinness, so I'm a bit more "primed" to take this a little too seriously. But still, overall, it's no wonder I've been escaping into these cartoons I've been obsessing so much over. Watching this kind of "real life" stuff makes me think more than I want too.

No, it's not all that bad. I've got a lot going on that keeps me occupied like my job and home renovation, and I am really enjoying my "research" into what I may have been missing in regards to animated Japanese storytelling. It's just every now and then I need to subject myself to a round of intentional heartbreak, so I remember that I'm just a normal guy like everyone else.

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