Watched all kinds of movies somewhat recently, but somehow never felt in the right mood to actually write anything about them.
The Party (2017), which was relatively short and which was full of left liberal cliche-characters which were all heading into their own little personal dramas during the playtime. As they are coming together at a party it becomes an utter mess, entangling all of their different issues. It’s interesting how I kind of disliked them from the start and that didn’t really change, but at least I could take them more serious by the end. The kind of humor that is used here made people look hysterical and ridiculous and often pitiable - and the latter rarely in a compassionate way. Oddly depressing overall.
Sunshine (2007): Sci-Fi that is about a space vessel heading to the sun to restart it. It’s visually impressive and I felt that it started out good. It seemed to be hinting at some psychological and philosophical depths, but unfortunately they did never materialize. Which is why I eventually ended up disliking it. There are some scenes earlier on, which seem to suggest that people somehow are particularly fascinated by staring at the sun and hurting themselves in the process. The movie doesn’t ever bother to really engage with that in a serious way, but instead eventually turns into kind of a slasher and instead of seriously engaging with anything, we instead get a guy that is babbling some incoherent nonsense about “god”. Either Danny Boyle or Alex Garland has talked about why the movie turned out the way it did in some interview. Let’s see if I can find it…
Can’t find the interview, but here’s a quote:
"Of course, it also didn’t help that the people who made Sunshine didn’t always see eye to eye on its themes and tone. Years later, Garland confessed, “What I can see in Sunshine is I can see unresolved tensions. I can see different movies being made simultaneously. … [S]ometimes viscerality and reflection were fighting for space on that movie. It was like a balance issue.”
I also watched a bit of Kite (1998) an adult anime miniseries (2* 30 min) about a girl assassin. I have seen some comparisons to Leon: The Professional, but I don’t quite see it. The scenario is somehwat similar, but that’s about it. The gore turned me off (in this case at least) and it also just seemed a bit ridiculous overall.
Memories (1995) by Otomo Katsuhiro is another anime, in this case a movie that conists of three different episodes. I did only watch the first one, “Magnetic Rose”, since people had pointed that one out as having been one of the influences on ECHO, the game. It’s a partial influence at best, but there is indeed a palace in space, so that makes the connection pretty easy. I’d recommend it and it’s only 45 minutes long, so it should be easy to take a quick look at it.
Then there’s Brazil (1985) by Terry Gilliam, which I’d assume pretty much everyone has heard about. Though, to be completely honest I had no clue that 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are also by Gilliam. In any case, it’s basically an aggressively ridiculous and at times quite funny depiction of the life of a administrative official within an authoritarian system.
Then I rewatched The Last Unicorn (1982), which I must have seen quite a few times back when we had the VHS, but I didn’t remember everything all that well. Especially that ridiculous butterfly right at the beginning is something I had completely forgotten. I was surprised by how much I still like it. It really was a joy to revisit some of these characters and moments. The witch’s zoo and the harpy especially and of course Haggard (Christopher Lee is great both in german and english!) and the Skeleton on the clock is another standout, but really, I can’t think of anything that I didn’t enjoy or even really a moment where I was bored. And considering how sentimental the music often is, it really shouldn’t work as well as it does for me.
And for last, another rewatch, another fantasy movie. Momo (1986) is another one I hadn’t watched in a very long time, but I did read through the book for the first time only recently. The movie is a very close adaptation and it gets things right for the most part. I especially liked how the “grey gentlemen” were done and the actors were generally chosen well. However, the music could come close to something from an old and probably bad action movie at times. It was also not as visually impressive as it should have been in some parts of the story. The fantastical locations look like props on a theater stage. But in spite of those issues it’s still a heartwarming, well-crafted adaptation.