Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Worst Episode of Deep Space 9 Ever

Fight Club: Another of these Generation-X-defining films, about young men feeling alienated by the postmodern, post-ideological, consumer-driven zeitgeist of the late 1990s, spending too much time on airplanes and, with no ideological cause to rally round bar self-help groups, becoming drawn into an anarchic rebellion-as-therapy movement, with boxing clubs and bombing raids becoming a kind of self-actualisation process. Although some of the film feels a bit pre-September-11th, unfortunately a lot of the alienation and consumerised stagnation it portrays are still with us-- and indeed, now that the credit bubble has burst, in need of urgent resolution.

Waltz With Bashir: Animated film about post-traumatic stress syndrome, as the filmmaker/protagonist attempts to recapture his blocked memories of the 1982 Lebanon War, and in particular his witnessing of a massacre at a refugee camp. The nature of the animation and the soundtrack of frenetic electronica gives it a suitably nightmarish feel, while the climactic account of the massacre is a case study in how atrocities start and then keep going because nobody has the nerve to say "stop!"

Brideshead Revisited: A why-bother film. Pretty much all of the good bits were the ones which most resembled the TV adaption, and pretty much all of its problems were things which the TV adaptation was able to resolve (the short length of the film, for instance, meant that interesting characters like Anthony Blanche only get a spit and a cough, the casting of the Flyte siblings was all wrong, with Sebastian too uncharismatic and camp and Julia too beautiful and confident, and the frame story of Ryder's military service contributed nothing). This is a story which needs slow development, not the blockbuster treatment.

Movie count for 2011: 69