Nine out of ten critics agree, including a flying ass-biting head is necessary for a great movie.
Cinematic burnout. No one is safe from it. There you are with your feet up on your desk, comfy chair underneath your butt, a bowl of thinly sliced apples, and a laptop chock full of delightful movies to watch – but you just can’t seem to find one that interests you in that moment. Cinematic burnout. It can happen to the best of us and it is most definitely a “First World Problem.”
Unless you’ve seen me naked sometime in the past three years, you probably don’t know about the giant homage to Princess Mononoke that adorns my stomach. I’m a relatively inconspicuous young man, my most notable other features being a thick, scraggly beard and a pair of extremely plump red lips, so most seem to be a little surprised when I take off my shirt and they are faced with a piece of art that takes up approximately 50% of my torso.
Even though I have seen countless films and have traveled through some of the darkest and most disturbing nether regions of the internet, there still remain moments when I am shocked out of my desensitized shell and genuinely and profoundly and utterly repulsed. Those also happen to be some of my very favorite moments. There’s certainly a devilish perversion in witnessing something so sick and twisted that it practically knocks you right off your seat (or at least there is for me anyway).
I think it’s about time I just came out and said it; Wong Kar-Wai is my favorite director.
There aren’t many directors who can consistently make awesome movies. Tarantino comes to mind, and perhaps his track record is even better because he has had absolutely no major (or even minor for that matter) missteps, while Kar-Wai has the harsh glare of the American 2007 drama-romance My Blueberry Nights in his portfolio.
Blueberry Nights was Kar-Wai’s first (and last?) English speaking film and was a critical and commercial failure. As a matter of full disclosure I will say that I have never actually seen the film. As an additional matter of full disclosure I’ll say that I hope to never see it and have my opinion of Kar-Wai negatively affected.
But anyway, Days of Being Wild. That’s what we’re here to talk about, isn’t it? That’s what you all signed up for? That’s why you found your way to my gloomy auditorium in the basement of this decrepit high school? Isn’t it?
And who told you anyway? I never did. Certainly not! This was not supposed to be a public affair, and, frankly, I’m quite perturbed. I expected to come down here and discuss the finer points of a film most Americans have never heard of by a director most Americans have never heard of in the comfortable silence that occurs without an audience.
So! Three days down at my new internship and we’ve reached the weekend. (Remember I’m writing these from the future – *Twilight Zone Music* Do Do Do Do Dooo.)
I have a 1.5 hour bus ride in the morning and a 1.5 hour bus ride in the evening, and in both of those times I get the lovely chance to witness my fellow New York Bound/ New Jersey Returning worker bees trying to get a few moments of rest or skipping ahead on their workload or catching up on their workload or looking at porn on their computers or something else entirely.
Wong Kar-wai movies (well pretty much every beautifully exotic foreign film too, I guess) offer great incentives to get out of the country and head back to strange lands on the opposite side of the Earth. The brilliant lights and colors and sounds of Hong Kong blend together with stunning women and sweeping operatic scores and mafioso and it’s easy to imagine myself standing in the rain in the middle of a bustling unusual city crying and begging my former girlfriend or wife or love or lover to come down from her apartment so we can talk and repair the broken strands of Us. There’s almost always a scene in the heavy rain in these movies, but I’ve never cared strongly enough about a disintegrated relationship to stand outside and beg for a small glimpse of her formerly familiar eyes, so it’s odd I would imagine myself doing it in Asia.
I told one of my ex-girlfriends, “No one’s going to love you more than I do,” (I was listening to a lot of Band of Horses at the time) and, of course, at that time, in that room, with us on her bed and her mouth spilling out the words that were cutting us apart, sure, I believed it. She, on the other hand, instantly saw through my bullshit, and simply laughed. Not in a mean way like she was making fun of me, no, but in a way that signified she knew she had more knowledge of the situation and that she knew she was the most mature person in the room and the one required to make the decision that must be made. She wasn’t mad at me, if anything she felt sorry for me. She felt sorry I was older than her and a whole lot more emotionally stunted.
Let’s just get it out of the way and say it; Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were both better. Alright, alright, but The World’s End is still pretty funny and more than worth the time spent sitting in front of a computer, television, or movie screen to watch it.
The film did cause me to start skipping down one of my mind’s back corridors in search of an imagined future where I will reunite with my friends for an End All Drinking Expedition similar to the one undertaken by the group pictured on the poster above. We’re going to have to go with my college group of friends here, because, (and you would know if you’ve been following my writing) I didn’t have many friends in high school, and those friends and I certainly never had any drinking experiences. I didn’t have any drinking experiences until I got to college (with the exception of a few beers pilfered from my father and drank in our basement bathroom in the middle of the night; a shining moment in the history of my young life right there…).
Turkish auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s first film outside of Turkey is a pleasant commentary on the changing state of relationships over time. When I watch one of these films (and by “these” I mean films with middle aged actors trying to figure out why their relationships went wrong or how to spend the rest of their lives or any number of other midlife crisis problems) I can’t help but wondering how my reaction to them will change over time.
I am currently young and able and as experienced in love and sex and relationships as one normally is at 25, so I look at these “midlife crisis” films from the far off perspective of an outsider. I can identify with the feelings and the situations, sure, but I will never truly understand the content until I have lived through it and have made similar mistakes and have had similar successes and conquests.
David Michod is a director on the rise and this is a very, very good film.
Hey, you know me by now, right? I make some jokes, I talk a lot of bullshit, I generally speak in terribly grammatically incorrect circles and tangents, but I’m not going to do that for Animal Kingdom. I’m not going to do it. I want to do it, but I can’t and I won’t. The movie is just too good to do anything except give it a proper standing ovation. The film is sort of like going to a monster truck rally when you are eight and being all excited to both see giant machines crushing and crashing into each other and waves upon waves of mullets and then, to top it all off, the lights drop off the earth, the engines become machine guns of explosion, and the trucks fly off their jumps and into the stratosphere,
Ah yes, the classic “Let’s get a bunch of guys together to go kill some other guys.” Never fails to be an entertaining plot.
One of my all time favorite films is The Street Fighter, with the sequel, Return of the Street Fighter, following close behind. The Street Fighter movies have nothing to do with 13 Assassins with the single exception that they are all Japanese productions, but I’m going to talk about The Street Fighter anyway because I don’t give a fuck.