Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Celluloid #50

In Theaters

Up (2009) Docter - An old man decides to move his entire house to Paradise Falls; a place he and his late wife had dreamed of adventuring to since their childhoods. Carl is accompanied by a young wilderness explorer, a giant bird, and a dog that can speak in a human voice. I felt a little silly crying at least three separate times behind my 3-D glasses, but when it comes down to it, the film is dealing with pretty universally sad situations...losing your loved one, not fulfilling your dreams, etc. 4/5

In Home

Fat Girl (2001) Breillat - Anais and Elena are sisters. One is 12, the other 15. One is overweight, the other thin. They love and hate each other the way sisters do. Elena meets a guy in college who is determined to claim her virginity...a goal he eventually achieves, with Anais in the room. Anais is a fascinating character and the film ventures into unexpected places. 4/5

Five Easy Pieces (1970) Rafelson - Bobby comes from a family of musicians and upper class values. He abandons them and their Washington island to work on oil rigs. His wife, Rayanne, is nice but clingy, dense, and decidedly lower class. Bobby treats her terribly and frequently cheats. He discovers that his dad is dying and goes to see his family again, realizing that he doesn't really fit in either way of life. 4/5

Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) Leigh - Poppy is always bubbly and cheerful. She has her group of friends and a job she likes. Not everyone appreciates her happy demeanor, but she lets their negativity roll right off her. I appreciate that this film champions a nontraditional path (you don't have to get married or settle down to have a good life), but I found Poppy pretty irritating and would have liked a little more conflict in the course of the narrative. 3.25/5

Little Otik (2001) Svankmajer - A couple cannot have a baby and the woman is going crazy. To help ease his wife's grief, the husband finds a tree root that he carves to look a little like a child. At this point, the wife is practically delusional. After faking a pregnancy and birth, the root comes alive and is very hungry...I love the creepy style of the film--it's like the weirdest kids' movie ever. 4/5

Sleepaway Camp (1983) Hiltzik - Angela and her cousin attend summer camp...and staff and campers begin dying off. A particularly campy 80s slasher with lots of ripped teenage boys in short shorts and half-shirts (to a degree that cannot be solely attributed to 80s fashion). Instead of the normal horror movie morality tale surrounding promiscuity, this film may be making a statement about gender and sexuality...or I may be reading too much into it. Either way, enjoyable for the genre. 4/5


Roman said...

i saw both Happy-Go-Lucky and Up this week, too. but I loved Poppy...

Harsh said...

I loved Sleepaway Camp movies in middle school! They were a staple movie at every sleepover....

Harsh said...

Harsh is me, Nora. Jon is logged into my account?!