Monday, January 9, 2012

Dark City

So people have been recommending this movie to me for well over a decade. So much so that I bought it when I saw it for a couple bucks a few years ago. Still even with it sitting in my room it took me a few years to watch it.
Well, I can see why people think I would like this as it is clearly influenced by things like Metropolis & City of Lost Children & Brazil visually & it has the dream life plot that I’m often pretty into. To be honest, maybe if I’d seen this when it first came out I would have liked it quite a bit more as this pre-dates The Matrix & the countless other films making the dream-life plot trite & of course some of the special effects are a little dated. What’s weird is watching this I actually think it would’ve worked better stretched out over a much longer format. I could see this working really well as a six or eight hour thing with the mystery solved a lot slower. I don’t know, it doesn’t quite work for me & I can’t quite figure out why. I think part of it is the lack of proper explanation or even hints of what the city they live in is (seemingly a space ship) & how the reality of the city works nor why the lead character can control reality in the city much less control it to a greater extent than the Strangers nor how understanding the human soul will fix the dilemma of their dying race. I don’t know there’s nothing to make this movie particularly bad nor particularly good. I think in the end it might be that when you are trying to make a movie about something a little weird & out there you’re probably better off not needing to dumb it down enough to fit it into the Hollywood system.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

So this is a silent movie from 1927, which already means a ton of people won’t like it & that’s fine. Personally I really like a lot of silent movies, but because my general movie watching experience is letting something play in the background when I work on something else, that really doesn’t work at all with silent stuff & so I haven’t really seen as many as I feel like I should have. This one I stumbled across because it was listed as one of the greats by American Film Institute.

It is pretty great. I like how this movie (like a lot of silent films) combines a couple of film styles that don’t seem like they’d fit together. This movie starts out about a man planning to kill his wife so he can move to the big city with his mistress & I thought it was going to be too dark for me to take it & then it goes into some comedic bits about going to the city for almost an hour before twisting back around to things involving the wife murder plot. I really like how they do the intertitles where at times they are semi-animated instead of just being typed out.  If you like silent movies in general, I’d say this one is unquestionably worth your time (though it wouldn’t be my top pick for a silent film, that honor goes to Laugh Clown Laugh). If you complain about the acting style of the era, this is not the one to change your mind.

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