When I have to kill time on international flights I usually like to turn off my brain and watch some crappy movie I’d never bother to pay for at the cinema. This time around though I ended up watching some good movies!
I’ve had something like a Danish withdrawal after binge-watching my way through three seasons of Borgen, the most excellent Danish political TV series. I got rather used to the sound of Danish vowels and occasional tak coming from my TV, so I watched this 2006 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.
The royal palace of Versailles and its doomed queen Marie Antoinette get a new perspective in this French film, which covers the last fraught days of the monarchy through the eyes of a young woman serving as the queen’s official reader. While ultimately somewhat slight, the movie’s eavesdropping-on-history approach is compelling, and gains a lot from being shot at the real location.
I can’t believe I’ve overlooked this 1993 Jane Campion masterpiece for so long, though on the other hand I doubt I’d have appreciated it as much as a teenager; its bleak yet sensuous atmosphere, literary vibe and complicated relationships probably resonate better with my older self.
Well that’s another 80s Movie I’ve Never Seen off my list. Watching popular films from decades ago for the first time can be a hit-and-miss experience (sorry Flashdance but I can’t see what everyone saw in you), but Dirty Dancing I thought had undeniable charm and appeal that goes beyond mere nostalgia and hype.
By far, the weirdest thing about this film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky is the notion that someone actually believed it could be turned into a mainstream hit a la Aronofsky’s Black Swan. What put me off watching it in the cinema however wasn’t the polarized reaction and stories of the audience members demanding refunds, but the mention of the dreaded hand-held camera in one of the reviews. I made the right call to avoid nausea at the cinema, but the big screen and darkened isolation from the outside world would undoubtedly have been a better place to fully appreciate the movie’s unique claustrophobic insanity. As opposed to my living room with my Russian neighbours talking in the background.
There’s no point talking about mother! without mentioning what it’s really about, so spoilers ahead.
I finally watched the film considered by some to be Citizen Kane of bad movies, Tommy Wiseau’s infamous The Room. Yes I can see why it’s become a cult classic instead of sinking into the obscurity many other, less inspired terrible movies are usually consigned to.