“Prometheus is very solemn and looks fantastic, and best of all, it features Michael Fassbender as a snippy android named David. David combines Jude Law’s robot-gigolo dreaminess from A.I. with a dash of Mr. Belvedere; he’s like a sexy, uppity C-3PO, and I especially liked how, after he’d watched the blond gorgeousness of the young Peter O’Toole in a video of Lawrence of Arabia, he decided to bleach his roots, which must be a first for both androids and somber sci-fi epics.”
-Libby Gelman-Waxner in “Oh, for Crying Out Loud,” Entertainment Weekly (July 6, 2012)
I’ve been meaning to share that quote with Film Club for a while, so there you go guys. Weeks later. That’s what happens when I write things on post-it notes and start a new job.
John wrote such a beautiful post about Moonrise Kingdom. If you haven’t seen the film, it won’t make sense. If you have, it’s worth a read. Brandon, Jeff, and Chris all wrote about the film and had interesting, thoughtful things to say. Brandon, like you, I just love Wes Anderson. The way he views the world and communicates in his films makes a lot more sense to me than films that are considered more realistic. Chris mentioned how wonderful it was to see Edward Norton behaving like the talented actor he is, and I agree with a rousing cheer. The scenes with Scout Master Ward and his tape recorder are brilliant, particularly the one when he couldn’t speak. That character’s combination of earnestness and cluelessness is lovely. I was also glad to see Bruce Willis in a film that didn’t make me hate him, and he reminded me that he used to be an actor I admired. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when the Scout Master, the Captain, and the secretary are having the phone conversation with Social Services. I love that there’s a character named Social Services, and I loved the way the dialog played out. The chorus of “IT WAS THE GIRL!” hit me as funny, partly because it was exactly what I wanted to say in that moment myself. I was really absorbed watching this one.
You guys have talked about a lot of things with this film, but one thing I wanted to highlight was the role of art: the classical music, the play, Suzy dragging that record player and all those hardcover books on the trip, Sam’s painting. I can’t get by without art, so I get all that. And the scene where Suzy’s reading out loud to the scouts is very much Wendy telling stories to the Lost Boys in Peter Pan. What a great touch.
On to My Sister’s Sister. I loved this movie without reservation. I haven’t seen many Mark Duplass movies, but based on this, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and his WTF interview, I think I’m becoming a fan. (Brandon, if you have time to check out that podcast, Duplass talks specifically about the frequent zooming in films he directs, and it was interesting. Don’t know that it will make the zooms any less irritating, but I found that I connected to the way he talked about filmmaking. It made me want to watch more of the movies he and his brother have worked on.) The film’s a good contrast to Moonrise Kingdom in that while Moonrise is about the difficulty of connecting, My Sister’s Sister is about the pain of severing a connection once it’s made. This is explored on a number of levels. There is grief, there is walking away, and there are all kinds of relationships–friends, family, and lovers. Duplass is our main character, a man grieving and lost a year after his brother’s death. I don’t want to get all spoiler-y, as I found much about this film surprising, but it has some phenomenal writing and acting. In one brief, almost wordless scene, I started out laughing and wound up crying. There is an extremely familiar staying-up-too-late-drinking scene that I loved. This is one of those movies in which the most important things often go unsaid, but they are palpable, and the film’s themes about the difficulty and necessity of forgiveness in loving relationships are powerful. At least they were to me. It reminded me a bit of Brave in that rare open acknowledgement that the people you love most are going to let you down at some point, just the same way you are bound to disappoint the people you love from time-to-time. This isn’t pretty, easy forgiveness, either. It’s the hard stuff. Made me think a lot and feel a lot, which is what I go to the movies for.
I also had some kick-ass popcorn with real butter when I went to see My Sister’s Sister. I go to the movies for that, too.