Thursday, March 5, 2009

I don't think people actually care about the movies and finally the end of TESTAMENT TO ORPHEUS (69)

I've been hearing a bit of chatter from those who read this blog (which surprisingly, is a decent number) that people don't really care about the films I'm watching. This is understandable, a lot of these films have been viewed by a small selection of academics over the years and the students they've force-fed them to. Honestly, that's probably about it. I can imagine there is a only pocket of people still living who've taken it upon themselves to slog through the entirety of Jean Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy and I bet most of those people weren't pleased with the experience. I don't love all of these films, but I certainly love the process of sifting through them, learning about them, figuring out why film is the way it is today.

And I totally understand, from someone who grew up on the Die Hard movies that most of you could give an absolute rat's ass about my thoughts on Akira Kurosawa's High and Low (24) and I'd like to address this concern in a couple ways:

1. I'm going to take a bit of a break every third or so films in the collection and actually watch a movie that's been released in the last couple of years. I promise, you get sleepy scanning over my thoughts about these movies, I'm in a sort of perpetual coma after viewing some of this flicks. And jumping from boredom blast to boredom blast leaves fairly incapacitated in terms of movie watching. I think the addition of some untested modern films will help me appreciate these movies better, and in turn, make you, my beloved readers just a little more interested in the second half of my daily rant.

2. I'm thinking about including some other information. My thoughts on breaking news in terms of movies, my thoughts on movie trends in general, my general snark on what's polluting our movie screens each and every week. It probably won't be for a bit, but I'm thinking about upping my daily post to 2 instead of one. I'm going to have a bit of free time on my hands after my SF move and I'm going to funnel it in to writing, and hopefully this blog will benefit from it.

Your guys thoughts? Opinions? Ideas?

Pop the bubbly and put on your party hats because I finally, FINALLY, slogged through the last installment in Jean Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy and though it didn't do any lasting harm to me, I can't be happier to be completely finished with it. Symbolism and visual imagery aside, these movies were not ones I spent a lot of time with, and call me a terrible film watcher, but Jesus, there were stretches in these films where I was praying for a DVD error. I'm done though, finished with Cocteau for the foreseeable future and I'll drop some quick thoughts on you and we can, to everyone's relief, move on.

Testament To Orpheus (69) is a crazy film because it's the last film Cocteau ever made and it's pretty much a farewell to his friends, his art, and the public. The film follows the director as he sits trial for his film and is then sentenced to a life of immortality, one which he hopes to avoid through a series of time-travelling trials. This is the entire life and work of Cocteau on display for us and him to pick at and when, sigh, disappears in to a roadside rock at the end of the film, a bloody red flower the only memory remaining, I honestly felt a little sad. It's a strange and somewhat brilliant way of looking at what we've done in life and how these things will be remembered, and to throw these up on the silver screen for all to see, well, it's kind of moving. Especially at the very end of the film, Cocteau has disappeared, the aforementioned flower is held by two, awe-struck policeman (pondering if they should ask for the director's autograph), when a screaming convertible full of beautiful teens goes screeching past. Down goes the flower and in a blast of dust, the last remains of Jean Cocteau and all he's done, are blown to the wayside. Cocteau knew that as soon as he stopped making films, the next wave of something else would make him irrelevant and I think it's pretty fascinating to see him deal with it in such a public.

Again, not my favorite three films in the series, but there were certainly aspects of the films I enjoyed. I took these bullets for you my friends.

Friday: The Last Temptation of Christ (70)


griffdog said...

Hey son keep on writing. love it.

griffdog said...

and I would add to that, maybe let Alex add a comment or two since she has seen a lot of European movies. Get a slightly different perspective. Continue the quest, like Don Quixote keep on keeping on. You and your brothers are my favorite blogs. OK, the only blogs I read.