Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

THE BLUE UMBRELLA (2013)
I find myself without much to say about this Pixar short. I couldn't get involved in it; I found it as overvalued and cutesy without any real substance as I did Disney's extremely overrated Paperman. We as a society are really, really, really in love with this idea that all of our inanimate stuff has feelings, thoughts, and romantic yearnings, and in some cases, it makes for interesting storytelling about how we relate to the world. But in some cases, like this short, it just comes across as incredibly self-centered and boring. Is this kind of thing how me make ourselves feel better for valuing our things more than we value each other? Stuff you have time to think about when six minutes of pandering sentimentality seems like an eternity. **1/2

O FUTEBOL CLASSICO (2014)
Very fun short with Mickey Mouse trying to watch the World Cup in Brazil. I loved how the only language spoken in the short was Brazilian Portuguese. Great Disney references, too; not only was Jose Carioca the match announcer, but the team of lions playing against the team of rhinos is a reference to Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The second wave of Mickey shorts has gotten off to a great start! ****

ORPHEUS (1950)
Beautiful, surrealistic film by Jean Cocteau, a modern retelling of the Orpheus myth that appears simple (and is shot using simple tricks instead of elaborate special effects, giving it a similar dreamy quality to Cocteau's own Beauty and the Beast), but has surprisingly complex themes (including fascination with death, and the way art can take the artist's attention completely away from their lives). A masterpiece. ****

DON'S PARTY (1976)
Interesting political comedy from Australia. A man has his neighbors over for an election party in 1969; each character is representative of either a political party, a political aim, or a political attitude. As the night goes on and Don and some of his friends become discouraged that their party (Labor) is losing, and the party begins to spiral into self-pity and sniping. At first, I wasn't sure I would be that interested; I don't know anything about Australian politics, much less 1960s Australian politics. But that's really only a background to watching a lot of self-interested people pay lip service to ideals while attempting to embarrass, prop up, cater to, or sleep with one another. In that way it becomes a funny, honest look at what's really wrong with the political process and just how hard it can be for people to get along with one another. If these various interests can't even come together to have a party, how can they run a country, basically. Sort of an upper middle class Australian Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. ***1/2

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

I loved the Mickey Mouse. But you knew that.