Monday, May 7, 2007

Breakfast on Pluto

Irish Rebellion / Glamour / Pregnancy / Down Syndrome / Adoption are interesting plot keywords of interesting movie Breakfast on Pluto. How deep is the meaning of movie title if all you know about movie are just plot keywords? That is all i new and i had to see it...
Sometimes a scene can change completely the way you are responding to a film, for better or worse. I wasn't enjoying Neil Jordan's latest film much until the effeminate hero, played by Cillian Murphy, threw a cache of IRA guns into a lake as part of his campaign - actually his life's work - to not be "serious".

At that point, the character of Patrick "Kitten" Braden (Murphy) became more than a remarkably pretty but irritating Irish transvestite growing up in an uncomprehending and unbending Ireland of the 1970s; he became heroic instead of just quixotic, tempestuous and passive.

That's the essential challenge of the movie - Patrick's passivity. Jordan is making a film about a modern Candide, someone who retains his innocence and optimism in the worst of all possible worlds. But that restricts the character's ability to act, rather than simply act up. Terrible things happen to Patrick in the film's 129 minutes. His response varies from smiling and blowing a kiss at his attackers, to putting his arms round their necks, to running away.

That's why throwing the guns in the lake struck me as a turning point - he does it without running away, knowing that it will have dire consequences. The two local IRA hoods know it was him; indeed, he admits it when they come to collect the weapons from the caravan in which he's living. As they force him to his knees and put a gun to his head, he cries out: "Kill me, I've got nothing to live for anyway."

Even at this point, he's playing one of the old movie heroines on whom he models himself - a little Bette, a little Ingrid, even though he'd rather be Mitzi Gaynor. I had often felt like slapping him, but this was where the character - and the movie - started to take hold. It will be too late for some viewers, but patience has its rewards. The longer the film went, the more I liked it. Not all of it works, but it has the genuinely epic emotions and sense of artistic adventure that tell us Neil Jordan is serious, even if Kitten is not.

There are obvious surface connections with The Crying Game, which shared the theme of a tranny in the Troubles, but Jordan sees it as much more directly related to The Butcher Boy, his earlier film based on another novel by McCabe. Both are concerned with the consequences of a troubled childhood; both are somewhat hallucinatory; both are comical tragedies with a debt to Irish writers such as Sean O'Casey, whose influence Jordan has acknowledged. He describes this new film as Tom Jones meets Candide in the 1970s. It has a somewhat mannered construction, divided into 36 chapters, each titled like an 18th-century novel, which adds to the sense of deliberate artifice.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Mostly Cheap Confection

Let's spend few words on Olivier Dahan's movie La Mome/La Vie en rose.
Made in France, 2007, it will take us 140 minutes.
I'm an artist, we hear screaming in this movie La Mome or Edit Piaf. Abandoned in childhood and raised in bordel (French synonym for closed place, established for prostitute to give their service) got name Edit Piaf from her first mentor Louis Leplee, a man that recognized her talent, put her on stage, and took care about her first recording contract. In point of many times clearly shown status we could expect classical biographic drama about life and work of an artist, but no, Dahan made his point from other corner.
Life in Pink tells about Edit Piaf, that she was miserable all her life, that she was suffering and most of the time more or less addicted. We wont miss any classical biographical chlishe's about an artist, which most important thing in life is stage, about most loyal public, that accept that artist for their own. All told about Edit Piaf, is off course truth, but all of it is only bear bones over which Dahan
hangs biggest chlishe of European art mainstream and especially high budgeted musical
: the stage is the world of an artist and opposite, all the world is on the stage/
Life in Pink is not bringing and showing almost nothing more than so many times emphasized art of Edit Piaf.
But Dhan is not able to put complete story even in context, not even thinking that he would work on subject. So, that is why he is so obsessed with reconstructions, which are more attached to budget than art itself... With Dahan we can discover the Paris of early thirties, bad smell of bordels , romanticism of their coffee shops, fashion trends together with never missed baret hut'
s. And what about Edit's art? We know her as famous chanson singer, even as national icon. Who knows why? But Dahan prefers to exaggerate with dynamic of the story than with most important details. So we have new therm "deconstruction of movie biography" and very admired jumping over in time, which actually don't serve to anything. For other facts is here Biographical Encyclopedia, which suggest to Dahan, who is not bringing single ray of light over mythology and canonized status of singer. meanwhile there were other important circumstances, period of second world war, her cooperation with Cocteau and discovery of Montand. He simply jumped over what is in frame of conservative biographical drama.
So Childhood- Rise-Fall- Death are escaped as case of dilettante move or in best point of view is just fact of ignorance. If half million of people walk behind singers funeral, and French capital literally stands still, then must relation between her and the people exist as something special, would not you say so?
What charmed people like so proud French nation, her voice solo or something more? Maybe fact that including all the fame she had, she was still mirror picture of a small man? Maybe her courageous acts to support members of Resistance in second world war? Please check in encyclopedia, because Dahan is offering only cheap confection for public, which is ready to suffer for two hours in cinema.