I haven’t written about a movie in quite some time now. It’s probably because there is only a certain kind of movie that really gets to me – a balanced confluence of poignant story-telling and moving cinematography. That’s really all any movie is, I guess.. narrative and visual. But there’s something else movies do too; they serve as reflections of our humanity, both beautiful and desperate. Her is a beautiful exploration of that humanity, asking us so many questions about what it means to be human and what it means to be more.
Now if you’re not the artsy type, if you don’t go to movies for poetry (rather for humor or thrills), then you definitely will not enjoy this movie. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that at all. I’m sure its acclaim is coming from others in the film and arts communities who are willing to subject themselves to quiet and intense introspection, which even I’ll admit is not always enjoyable. Enjoyable isn’t a word that I would use to describe this movie. In fact, I’ll go so far as to use “unnerving”. Unnerving in a sense that it is a futuristic movie about romance that seems all too possible.
If I were to become a filmmaker, I imagine that my work would look something a bit like Sofia Coppola’s. Though I’ve not seen all of her films, I hold a deep reverence for three in particular: The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette, and now The Bling Ring. They make up a perfect trifecta that represent the limited and liberating prison of feminine youth. Dressed in shiny pretty things, all of Coppola’s main characters are archetypes that we see and recognize as ourselves and therefore both love and hate.
In terms of simply “liking” to “disliking”, my preferential order of the three would be parallel to the linear order of the historical settings – Antoinette, Suicides, then Bling. Perhaps this is because the farther removed I am from the context, the more willing I am to buy into the romantic or poetic notion of the characters’ stories. Marie Antoinette is a visual feast for my eyes which makes me completely oblivious and almost ignorant of the actual truth of the history behind the character. On the flip side Bling Ring is similarly attractive to my material desires, but completely sickening for me to indulge in. The disparity in pure viewing pleasure is inversely related to how easily I can envision myself in their respective conflicts. For the purpose of staying focused I will try to remain on the topic of the Bling Ring.
The reason you want to go see The Bling Ring is two-fold; the first being that you love Emma Watson and you want to see her embody what you think is hopefully the antithesis of her real personality. The second being that you still have that teenage (20-something, middle-aged, whatever) girl inside of you who wants to just surround yourself with pretty and luxurious things in order to feel valuable and admired. Add these two together with the fact that I love Sofia Coppola and there was really no way I wasn’t going to see this movie.
Amidst summer movie madness pushing films like Iron Man 3, Great Gatsby, and The Hangover 3 (none of which I’ve seen), a movie like MUD reminds me of why I love movies in the first place. It was a poignant cinematic composition that was equal parts romance, suspense, and humanity. I usually only expect one of the following to satisfy my movie-going experience: mesmerizing cinematography, universally relatable themes, or incredibly convincing performances. Luckily for me, Mud has all three of these intertwined in an unassuming tale of Southern heroes and their desperate aspiration for greatness (or perhaps just peace).
It’s extremely uncommon that my entire family and my boyfriend and I all enjoy the same movie, but this was one of those times. I feel like I have so much to say/feel about it that it’s difficult for me to even figure out a structure to this blog post. So for my own sanity, I’m gonna break it down to these three elements. [Potential spoiler alert.]
So many lovely movies slip quietly under the radar that it blows my mind, particularly when I get caught in a YouTube hole of watching indie movie trailers. Robot & Frank is one such example of a film that deserves a closer look.
Set in the not too distant future we meet Frank, an elderly man whose routine includes sugary cereal for breakfast and daily visits to the library (with printed material on the brink of extinction). The conflict begins when