Tuesday, May 20, 2008

i want what happened in the movie last week to happen this week; otherwise, what's life all about anyway?

I first discovered the joys of Netflix during my freshman year of college. Julie had a Netflix account, and whenever she got a new movie in the mail we would get some lime tostitos or mint pirouettes (or both) and go either to her dorm room or to mine to watch the latest arrival on the big screen of one of our laptop computers. Almost invariably, the movie would end and Julie would be fast asleep, often in some odd contorted position or leaning against the cinderblock wall, and I would either have to wake her up and send her home with her eyes half-closed and her mind clearly waiting in dreamland, or I would turn off her computer, move her glasses to a safer spot than where she had placed them on the pillow next to her, and quietly head out the door, wishing sweet dreams to my friend who I'm sure was already dreaming them.

It was in that year that I began to develop my eclectic, sometimes quirky tastes in music and in film, thanks mostly to Julie, of course. She introduced me to Björk, now one of my alltime favorite artists, and she has quite the knack for scoping out the bizarrest of the bizarre music of the world. One of my most vivid memories from that year is the way that Julie's neighbor would wander in from the adjoining room in their suite and, without fail, ask bewilderedly (not so interestedly), "What are you listening to?"

Off the top of my head I remember only a few titles of films that I saw for the first time that year, but they are rather indicative of my current tastes in the moving picture art form:
  • Genghis Blues ..... I am still very much drawn to eccentric documentaries, like Helvetica, for instance.
  • Dancer in the Dark ..... Oh man Björk is bizarre so nothing really compares, but we can put this in the category of non-traditional musicals, like Once, maybe. Traditional musicals, on the other hand, I usually don't handle well.
  • Behind the Sun ..... As a general rule, it instantly gets bonus points if it's foreign. The Brazilian films that I have seen, like City of God and Four Days in September, tend to be pretty fuerte, but well-made films.
  • Spirited Away ..... I love Miyazaki films. If you have never seen any of his movies, and especially if you are skeptical of and/or averse to Japanese animation (not all anime is the same), go watch Spirited Away or Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind or Princess Mononoke or My Neighbor Totoro (my personal favorite) or anything else made my Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli. Seriously. Go now. Are you still reading this?
I guess that the off-color comedies like Juno and The Darjeeling Limited* have found their way into my repertoire more or less as a result of Little Miss Sunshine. Easily in my top five favorites ever, that movie still makes me cry with laughter every time I watch it, and I cannot even describe how beautiful I find it to be.

I have been watching a lot of movies lately. That list I put up on the sidebar over there is rather long, as you can see, and those are only the movies that I have watched this calendar year and really liked or loved. Maybe I need to get a life. I'm working on that. In the meantime, I guess you could say that I am getting my money's worth from Netflix.

*If you haven't already seen it, I recommend for the sake of, um, decency, that you don't bother with Hotel Chevalier, the short tacked onto the beginning; it's not necessary in order to understand and appreciate the main film. You'll see on the DVD menu that it's easy to skip it. If you feel like you've been cheated out of a few minutes, check out the short making-of documentary. It's actually pretty interesting, and the only things they reveal are the hand-painted elephants on the custom-designed train/movie set.

(This post's title comes from The Purple Rose of Cairo.)


Tres Jolie Julie said...

What flattery! (And a very apt description of the falling into dreamland in contorted positions, I expect. I wouldn't know) I don't have a current queue now, since, alas, Correos can't support a Netflix system. Nonetheless I have kept an ongoing to-see list and it's definitely past 1400 and growing. And very eclectic and often quirky.

I disagree about Hotel Chevalier though.

emily said...

1400? Holy wow. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Remember our lists of classes we wanted to take?

And disagreement is welcome. Of course, I watched the whole scene, so it is difficult to say what the rest of the movie might have been like if I had skipped it. It's not like it was completely irrelevant; I just felt like I could have done without it, and I think that the dialogue in the main film, especially right at the end, fills you in on the essentials.