Thursday, August 26, 2010

a little unfair

i saw a single man on tuesday night.  i thought it was a visually stunning film anchored by an impressive, unfolding performance by colin firth, an actor i often times overlook.  stylistically the film kills and you can see tom ford's obsessive need for all things beautiful blazed across it.  at times, especially near the end, the film falters with stiff performances and dialogue that can't ascend that, but in general it is a great film, original and challenging and one everyone should see.

and of course, everyone cannot.  the film, about gay man who months after the death of his life partner still fails to move past this love, is touching, beautiful, truly expressing in many scenes, what love is and what it must be like to no longer have that love in ones life.  there are hints, touches of sexuality, the glimpse of naked man (his genitalia artfully covered by shadow and pose) and of course the film, a scandalous occurrence in our modern times, is about a relationship between two men.

thus, the mpaa gives the film an r, limiting its release and applying a massive scarlet letter across it that reads 'this film is unfit for your children to see, possibly too disturbing even for you who might be weak of heart.'

i saw flipped this week as well.  rob reiner's new film about the budding romance between two eleven year olds set in the 1950s.  it's not a terrible film by any means, it adeptly shoots for a series of predictable plot points and with a few flourishes manages to hit them.  it is so predictable it borders on the provincial, barely attempting to push the status quo even for a moment.

and of course, everyone can see it. the film, again about a heterosexual relationship set in the 1950s was awarded a pg by the mpaa, opening its bland white-bread doors wide open for the entire world to feast their eyes upon.

i saw centurion this week as well (it's been a big week for films), the new film by genre-film master neill marshall.  the film follows a group of roman soldiers on the run behind enemy lines from a hunting party of dangerous pagans.  it is beyond gory.  there beheadings and impalings and throat-cuttings and spearings and all other forms of horrible blood-letting through out.  there is just as much skin of the man shown in this film as in a single man but all of this is buffered by some of the most entertaining bloodshed i've seen in a while.  it's a great gory picture, entirely unsuited for most children.

and of course, not everyone can see it.  the mpaa gave the film, quite accurately i believe, a hard-r for violence and thematics and child-murder.

a single man a touching, beautiful story about the grief of losing the love of your life gets an r.  flipped a low-key, period piece about meeting the love of your life gets a pg.  centurion a brutally violent tale of war and revenge gets an r.

seems a tad unfair if you ask me.  for the film and for those who won't have the opportunity to watch the film because it challenges conventional norms.

just saying.

1 comment:

t.d.g said...

i saw most of the single man, as well...but would not finish it - not because it was a gay film (it was timeless and sexless in regard to pain/loss of a lover) - but because of the over-stylized, shallow, fashion-clean fantasy that it created.
I could not get past the creator, Tom Ford. While there were many beautiful shots, and Julianne Moore and Colin Firth were great - much of the rest of the cast were cast for their beauty and never their charisma.
The script gave openings for the two pro actors plenty of room - but the dialogue itself (except for his first classroom speech) was stilted. I felt as if the movie (per Fashion) knew it's best side and showed us only that. Which leaves the two actors and the cinematographer to thank.

my two cents.