Saturday, January 16, 2010

Poor Movie Timing

A few days ago, I sent the following email to some cinephile friends:
"I've seen, in the space of one week. "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done", "Antichrist", and "The Road"......and I'm ready to fucking kill myself."
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done is a rare dud from Werner Herzog, telling the tale of what Variety's Leslie Felperin described as a deranged matricide.

Antichrist is Lars Von Trier's notorious cinematic mugging (to use David Edelstein's phrase), where a couple torment each other, culminating in two highly explicit scenes of genital mutilation (imagine "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" restaged by a deranged and unrestrained Danish provocateur).

The Road is Viggo Mortensen's latest vehicle, a hopeless 110 minute slog through post-Apocalyptic America - starving, dejected, and trying not to be eaten by roving gangs of cannibals (it still beats running an online community!). As Edelstein wrote, "It brings you down, down, down, and its characters’ famishment is contagious: Your heart leaps at the sight of a can of peaches."

These are definitely not films to watch back-to-back over a short span of time. My Son, My Son is lousy (and I'm a devoted Herzog fan) and grueling. Antichrist is brilliant but stupendously grueling. And The Road is nightmare-inducing, pure and simple. But then, the day after I saw the latter, Haiti had its earthquake. And news reports ever since have read exactly like "The Road" brought to life. Afflicted with a light case of PTSD, my plan is to rent every Shrek movie ever made and watch them back to back.

And I may write yet another check for Haitian relief.

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