What's On? 03.03.17
A dilemma arises when you've watched too many good films consecutively. Moonlight, which won best film last week at the Oscar's, needs no introduction, while the film I watched after it, the German comedy Toni Erdmann was arguably even better, or at least, it was for me. Prior to both, I watched John Wick 2; it renewed my faith that terrible films still get made, and that I am not just a figure in a computer simulation, floating in some kind of artificially-constructed utopia of constant perfection. Though if I'm honest, I also sometimes enjoy the bad big-budget films, if there's something in them that resonates with me. Because I'm guessing that behind even the most fatuous or ridiculous films is the imprint of a good intention, an artistic statement that got lost in the multi-written, focus-group-altered layers. 'Bad' films that got massacred by critics I respect? I enjoyed Sucker Punch, as a CGI-heavy movie that's supposed to be terrible. I could go on, but I won't, just to say, art is subjective, even if it's a billion-dollar stinking pile of excrement. Shit can be interesting, if the animal that laid it is interesting, at least to a biologist of a certain kind.
Speaking of which, more life-affirming monstrosities are on the way next week with Kong: Skull Island in which a stellar cast of Tom Hiddlestone, Brie Larson, John Goodman and Samuel L Jackson confront King Kong in 1970s Vietnam. The one-star review by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian today was fun to read, and so too the comments afterwards, eg this response by a reader to Bradshaw's attempt to understand the location of 1970s Vietnam for a King Kong movie:
"(1970s Vietnam is) perhaps the latest plausible period in which technology would not have instantly alerted humanity to a primate of this size."
Technology didn't help us in November 2016.
There's also The Great Wall, a 'cooperated' US-China production which shows why these two countries will probably be at war sooner or later. It's a fantasy-monster movie meant to reveal the real reason behind the building of the Great Wall of China, and noting my previous comments, it's only a matter of time before we get a Great Wall sequel in which King Kong appears. This at least will save me the money if I ever need to really switch off from reality and feel that one silly movie just isn't enough.Okay, this post is becoming increasingly snarky and negative, so I should add there are lots of wonderful-looking films on this week. Manchester By The Sea is still on, Trespass Against Us starring Fassbender and Gleeson looks a really good UK film, and Certain Women looks intriguing and gently low-key, about four lonely women in a dead-end town trying to reach out for any sign of stardust in their lives. Hidden Figures too, a true but previously-never-told story of African-American female mathematicians helping the American space programme is also startling in flagging up what should have been a well-known historical fact long ago. All evidence that good, important films still get made all the time, if we can just drag our eyes away from the posters of fascinating mindless train-wreck movies like The Great Wall or Kong: Skull Island. I may have to renege on my desire to watch something loud and mindless for one more week at least.