Love (2015) by Gaspar Noe is, once again, one of the director’s reinvention of what film can do. Like Enter the Void, the narration uses blinks in order to shift through different scenes except this time, we are external, we see everything happening as internal dialogue occurs in our anti-hero as he deals with the meaning of love between two women. The film is self aware in that it knows its own themes and that Gaspar Noe himself is cameos in dialogue to the point where it could be autobiographical.
I saw the film in 3D which does something that almost mocks 3D films in that it makes what feels real more real than it already is to the point where, if you were to take a step back and tell yourself that it is a film, the 3D seems silly, but when lost in the long sex takes, passionate and dirty, it feels real in the most beautiful way.
As you go through the film, you wonder, how much sympathy can you give our anti-hero after realizing all the stupid mistakes he’s committed? How much sympathy do you have for his arrogant American-ness and terrible delivery of lines?
A cross between Simon Killer and Blue is the Warmest Color, with surprise cameos from Petra Collins, you have yet another film experience that Noe cleverly delivers.
Irrational Man (2015) by Woody Allen is about a philosophy professor at his wits end whose only solution, it seems, is to fall in love with one of his students. To begin with, the film tinkers on the edge of outdatedness and then, soon, believability as the plot thickens with the mysterious murder of a local judge. Ethics are played, but this doesn’t allow us to sympathize with Phoenix’s character, where the film fails. And though it’s entertaining at times, as a whole, the latter half of the film collapses and becomes one big joke of a film. You’ll scream at the screen, shake a fist in the air, and wonder, was it worth it? Not a Woody Allen film I would recommend.
Goodnight Mommy (2015) is probably predictable when you follow closely a pair of twins wander and wonder through a secluded house in the countryside, contemporary and white, investigating their mother’s identity. It’s the minimalism that strikes you, the innocence that brings the gruesome and the mere aesthetic, haunting yet beautiful, that appeals to architects and interior designers, a perfect yet predictable horror film.
The Illusion of Return (2007) by Samir El-Youssef is the tale of returning back to lost roots he once escaped from with a friend fifteen years later. Politics aside, it’s something we often do, revisit something we thought we were far removed from, but, in fact, are closely related to it. It had its moments, but often times, there were parts that were regurgitated as if I had forgotten parts of the plots or certain details of the characters. That dulled the book out. Overall, a slim read on the tremors of Lebanon.
A Sport and a Pastime (1967) by James Salter is about an American in Paris, and in love. The beginning and ending bits are the strongest with few lasting impressions in the middle. For such a story that needn’t be 200 pages, it’s written with terse sentences that cut the heart. After reading this, I feel that Salter writes better short stories, but, in the moment, I enjoyed reading about Paris as I miss it dearly.
Happy Together (1997) by Wong Kar Wai–it’s not too often you come across queer cinema and see the dirty side of the story with a very unhappy ending. Two unhappy lovers leave Hong Kong for Argentina where they are forced to come with each other and make a living. Dizzy, mixed between black-and-white and color, and what it feels like to be alienated.
Paper Towns (2015) by Jack Schreier and John Green would be very good if my hormones were as frisky as they once were when I was at the edge of my high school career. Wolff does the protagonist justice in the book, and Cara as Margot couldn’t be matched any better, and I can see a possible career in film for her. It holds messages for high school graduates who are off to college, and the humor is for everyone.