After the Storm, 1844, [Eugène Louis Gabriel Isabey 1803-1886]
This blog isn’t supposed to be yet another movie review blog, we go to other blogs ourselves for that kind of thing, but sometimes we feel so stymied by the length restrictions imposed by some of the new social media websites, in this case Netfix and their 2000 character limit, that we feel compelled to publish here what we wish we were able to say over there in the first place. Two thousand characters isn’t much [if you are counting spaces as well], that’s less than about 400 words. It’s difficult to express one decent idea in that few words and two ideas starts to become a parody of editorial excess.
Today’s essay started as a reaction, maybe a negative one, to the Meme Merchants Cinema Society’s recent viewing of the otherwise critically acclaimed 2013 film All is Lost by American screenwriter and director J.C. Chandor [Jeffery McDonald] staring Robert Redford in a tour de force solo performance, which is usually described with some emphasis as being without any dialogue – as if that’s supposed to be an intrinsically good thing.
The elves at Netflix had this to say:
In this harrowing drama — which has no dialogue — a man stranded alone at sea courageously battles a ferocious storm as he struggles to survive.
Pardon me if I disagree with that assessment. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 93% Fresh, which is very good, so I’m wondering where the divergence lies.
What follows is what I wrote and wanted to publish, with some expansion; what I actually managed to publish at Netflix is right at the bottom.
Les malades: the halt, the sick, the blind. Welcome to Lourdes [Coop 99 Films-2009]
Every once in a while I come across a movie review where I wonder if the reviewer and I have actually watched the same movie. I know that there are often substantially different ‘cuts’ of a movie presented to different audiences floating around out there. One of the classic examples of this is the 142 minute nominally nihilistic Euro-centric theatrical cut of director Terry Gilliam’s classic 1985 film Brazil, and the ofttimes disparaged 95 minute American, ‘love conquerors all’,cut of the film. Even so, sometimes it seems there exists out there a tin-pot doppelganger to a movie I really enjoyed, which I find perplexing – or maybe it’s just that I’m odd in some way.
But, I digress.
I actually don’t actually watch a whole lot of movies; however, since the coming of Netflix to Middle Earth I have been watching many more than I used to, but I think I could hardly match the performance of most serious film buffs. In exception to the general trend, in the last week or two I have seen several very worth while ones that have been turning into fodder for the Meme Merchants Consortium think tank.
This week it has been Austrian director/writer Jessica Hausner’s 2009 film Lourdes that has got the groups attention at the Meme Merchant’s Film Society. On the whole we really liked the film, we each tend to find some fault with certain aspects, but the discussion has been whether we should give it four or five Netflix stars.