Monday, January 5, 2009

At the movies. Many Thumbs UP

I have been bringing in the New Year one movie at a time. Here in Nelson we are lucky enough to have a rather broad range of movies at our local rental shop. It is kind of a pride factor for us that we spend a lot of time rubbing in our city friends' faces with " Oh, you really should try to track this down," knowing full well that Blockbuster or whathaveyou thinks that foreign means something involving Gerard Depardieu or Tom Cruise's Last Samurai. Anyhow, I digress...

I just finished "Roi de la Coeur", or King of Hearts which came out in 1966 and bombed in France. I would suggest perhaps that it wasn't very PC at the time to point out how ludicrous certain behaviors are in wars. (A year later it was released in the US and became an instant cult classic, running for five years.) The war has just ended and the Germans are leaving a "surprise" as they pull out of a small town in France. A local overhears the plan to blow the town sky high come midnight the following day and sends word to the approaching "good guys". The poor soldier chosen to diffuse the situation, Charles Plumpick, accidently leaves the gate to the assylum open when running from the German soldiers and sets the scene for a bit of a walkabout by the colourful inhabitants. As the townspeople have already evacuated themselves, these crazy characters are free to explore their "true" personalities with the "real world's" props and costumes. What a fantastic pageant ensues that truly blurs the lines with regards to what "crazy" really means! See this movie.

"Enlightenment Guaranteed" is the (subtitled) story of two German brothers lost in Tokyo ofter drinking away $600 (or possibly pounds) in a downtown bar. In this case lost refers more to their spiritual state than their geography, although the fact that they can't find their hotel by a longshot leaves them sleeping in cardboard boxes for the night. The one brother has been left by his wife and kids and can't for the life of him figure out why, although it is obvious to everyone else. The other is desperately trying to find a zen way of life by sitting on a meditation cushion daily. They spend some time in a monestary in the end that shows both of them what they have been searching for in a rather refreshing sense. A really beautiful story that has some of the funniest bits I have seen in a long time. (Sidebar: LOVE Ulwe's home, right down to the coathangers!) See this movie.

I don't have time to write about "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" but don't see the movie. Read the book. Then see the movie. It is so beautifully done. I am going to track down the book now online and read it. Then I will write about it next time I can take a computer hostage.


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The Lil Bee said...

I would love to see The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Paul and I are so bad about getting to the movies, even though we always enjoy ourselves when we go. Last night we went to see Gran Torino and it was REALLY great.