The past 4 weeks has been some sort of a treasure hunt. When you are dry in something new to watch , I say ,after all these days with full confidence ,Turn to the French for they can serve you the best.
This in time reminds me of the ominous food-critic in Ratatouille and his groan, “Surprise me.” Yes . The French are the only ones who can surprise you consistently and it is because they surprise themselves.
Jan Kounen is Dutch , but his films are nowhere near dutch . I came across his 99 francs to be awed at the amount of creative scope still left in cinema/ideas. Octave Parango is an ad-film maker/to-be-creative head for a big corporate firm. He is stoned out of a creative excuse- non-stop parade along with his mate/drug buddy , Charles Dagout. He rebels in and out if his profession , resides in cushions of corporate luxury and rescues himself later on from it . But how?
The film starts on where he walks on to give up on life to say, “Everything can be bought. Love, art, the Earth , you , me , especially me.” Advertising is a strong argument on its own trying to constantly relocate its purpose in this god-awesome film. A must watch for people who love the french-new-wave. The film is an advertisement in itself. Parango cares for the endurance of creativity. Do you ? If so , you need to watch this.
Interestingly and distastefully different is Dobermann , Kounen’s earlier Vincent Cassel venture in absurdly high electric style conventions now mimicked in Perarasu’s films ,here in TamilNadu . It is stinks of style that you have to watch it because you know they say , “when you can see Bellucci young , you have to take the chance, no matter what.”
Welcome is considered as a welcome to French cinema.
Though it was made last year, the film got its deserved publicity and sound among the global distributor’s hall apart from its study of immigration laws/condition of illegal immigrants in France , it is mainly for the Kurdish-Calais illegal immigrant Bilal’s keen interest and passion for love . He efforts in on walking 400 kms across the Czech and muffles himself up in trucks to somehow reach the carrier ship to London to somehow meet his childhood sweetheart/love (Mina), before which he is caught in Calais and forcibly stranded by the French Immigration laws along with his friend .
So, he decides/thinks he can swim the English Channel . So easily big are his motives and goals.He meets a swimming instructor , Simon , who is going through a comfortably convenient divorce or so it was until he sees Bilal. There is a scene where Simon asks his wife, “Do you know why he (Bilal) wants to swim? He wants to swim across the English channel to get together with his girlfriend. You live right here,but even if I cross the road , I can’t get you back. “
Finally a voyage into the 25 year old ,patient friendship of Miss Daisy and her chauffuer Hoke, in Driving Miss Daisy.
So what do we become we are old ?We become stubborn versions of our childhood . In fact we are half drunk most times. Unstable of sanity and senility. Drunk children inevitably put on hold for the inevitable.
The 90 something Miss Daisy is pulled off to perfection by a then-85year-old Jessica Tandy and ofcourse it is Morgan Freeman who makes you think he can very well be called for the best-american-actor-anyday nomination. It is a story told with facial subtleties more than dialogues of two people who stand in and out of each other’s personal circles of life and finally understand or befriend each other . It seems that Friendship becomes rich and precious when you’re old.
And yeah , I watched Predators too. Apparently Brody can shoot and fight. And yes, Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus in Matrix) was there in a role that was an insult to him . Well, not as insulting as him coming to know that his daughter(Montana Fishburne) is doing porn. Yes. Suprised huh? He surely was.
Verbal decree lives to be a major tool in a Coen brothers’ film as the narrator comforts in and sends you rays of familiarity on screen. The same old, the same old . But yet,not. The characters are drawn as mere sketches of the weird world that landscape the Coens’ minds. Insinuations and inuendos revel and divide the audience intelligensia and often the brothers manage to test it and conquer your varied ,diverse , spread-out attention.
As usual (like in The Big Lebowski)the loud story races in front of you right from the beginning , but The Hudscuker’s Proxy is a full fledged-satirical treatment seemed to be told to a baby (audience) by the most hilariously weird parent. More of a dad.
The black guy who operates the big clockwork on the 46-floor Hudsucker Industries building narrates from behind the clock in the first shot (of the building) as a window opens on a top floor and a Hudsucker employee(Tim Robbins) driven by hot guilt during a cold financial midnight contemplates into the dark abyss to the road ,45 floors down .
Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins just before the famous Shawshank Redemption) wants a job badly in an employment market which demands for work experience and surreally he comes across an opportunity in a newspaper ad and thus is led into the magnetically tense world of Hudsucker Industries or so it seems like the whole world of corporate frenzy.
Meanwhile, Waring Hudsucker (Charles Durning) the chief owner of Hudsucker Industries jumps out a window from the 46th floor ,including the mezzanine, into the bliss of life, death , after hearing that his company in shoddy corporate norms, loaded. Thus a protagonist enters , Barnes.
Paul Newman is the epitome of style and it remained intact till he died. As the sharp , Sydney Mussburger he conquers the obvious minds at the Hudsucker table of ownership. He plans , wits and is unerring in his motives. He says, “Sure Sure” conniving in his stature , manners and posture and polished to perfection with a Monte Cristo dangling always at the tip of his mouth. Now since the head of Hudscuker Ind. is dead, it is projected by the statement of law that the shares of the company goes public at the beginning of the new fiscal year.
This needs to be stopped for Sydney aims at conquering the center leather chair. So, a market panic is created in the share market by making a random guy the CEO. A Proxy. Barnes in this case. The Hudsucker Proxy is yet again a human comedy. Barnes is the most cheerful puppet that his face shrouds his genuine interests in making the company a real success. The film’s major strength are its verbal cliches involving the market movement in America.
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Amy Archer is a quick talking dame working for the Chief (John Mahoney) using her insecurity as her major security to unravel on what is actually going in Hudsucker. She smells fast and acts even faster that she is almost feline literally. She could have just been hissing and purring during runtime , it would’ve hardly mattered. Smitty (Bruce Campbell) is also in this investigative team smitten by the tomboy in Amy.
But soon we find Amy smitten by Barnes in their not so coincidental circumstances which made them to meet , which by the way is sub-narrated by a pair of the good-ol’ police officers who apparently are at the same diner.
The brothers are at their screenplay best that it seems like that when a story needs to be told, you would want them to tell it. So kiddish in glorifying the lame , predictable human acts and awe-struck-ing in quantifying industrial intensity are their images , that it seems their efforts are in fact a product of a big cinema industry. Especially the tableaux they captured for the manufacturing of the Hula-Hoop.
Barnes dives into rich success with the Hula-Hoop. He gets name and all that which newspapers provide . The Hudscuker Proxy surprises you in how the obvious can be viewed in the most horrifyingly prepostorous kaleidoscope that it made Roger Ebert give out a confused review during the 90s.
Barnes is soon suck up to the inevitable plot drawn and directed by the serpant in Sydney. He finds the elevator guy, Buzz in his place . But What has to happen will happen-seems to de-glamourize the film in a very critical way. The final minutes of the Hudsucker Proxy is something you would have maybe plotted in a desperate dream and an ending which makes you think that the film had no substance and later would make you think otherwise , so on and so forth.
Bottomline, Coen brothers are truly gifted in telling stories. Who knew that satire could be done in so much style?
“You know, for Kids!”