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Mpls, MN, United States

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Well, that makes one of us."

In the past six days, I have been to see three films in the theater, possibly a personal record.

Thursday was The Science of Sleep, which I'd been wanting to see since I first heard about it, and which was not a disappointment. Gael Garci­a Bernal, Michel Gondry's unique visual effects, and the film's general quirkiness were my favorite parts. The film, which had dialogue in English and Spanish as well as French, was also very non-American in plot, which always provides an interesting insight on expectations. It wasn't especially deep or thought-provoking, and was occasionally slightly uneven, but it was extremely creative, quite funny, and generally delightful.

Sunday was Little Miss Sunshine, homework for the Intro to Film class for which I am a teaching assistant. I adored this film, which fit more tidily into an American film-making model, but was much quirkier ("you keep using that word") and far more touching than your average family-travel-comedy. I found myself tearing up more than once as a group of neurotics (and one absolutely cherubic little girl) became a family--a phrase rather cheesier than the film itself.

Finally, tonight was Catch a Fire, for which a voucher to a free advanced screening had been mailed to my school mailbox, presumably since I'm part of the art history department. The film is directed by Phillip Noyce, who also did The Quiet American and Rabbit-Proof Fence, and provides a similar intimate view of larger political struggles by focusing on smaller personal dramas. Centering on events that took place 26 years ago in South Africa, it is still impressively relevant to current events, and although it's far from a feel-good film, it provides an amazing window into a complex and fascinating time in history, as well as into current world events.

The second film to be viewed for Intro to Film homework (for which, happily, the TAs will be reimbursed) is The Last King of Scotland. Students may either compare it to Murnau's 1922 Nosferatu, or compare Little Miss Sunshine to Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality. I'm guessing most will choose the latter option, although it is required that they see both. The professor says he likes to have students see a film they ordinarily would not. He'd wanted the TAs to see both films before Wednesday, in case our students have questions, but since that won't be happening before I teach section tomorrow, I may wait until the weekend.

(...Even though four theater outings in seven days would indeed be impressive given my current grad-student-nerd-hermit lifestyle.)


Daniel said...

What a charm'd life you lead. The Science of Sleep will be at the Ross this weekend, so I can watch then. I liked Little Miss Sunshine quite a bit. Carell as the number one Proust scholar was a gas. The two that directed LMS also directed the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Tell Me Baby music video, among others.

Cerise said...

Charm'd is rather a stretch... although going to the theater for work (and being reiumbursed) really isn't too shabby.