Ned, thanks for telling me about your thoughts on Persepolis and Sweetland. I had heard about Persepolis (and have been meaning to check out the graphic novel it’s based on), but hadn’t heard anything about Sweetland. It’s amazing to me the sheer amount of great movies that fly under the radar nowadays. Quantity of Hollywood drowns the quality?
Speaking of quality, Steph and I watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly a week ago. In Steph’s words, we “couldn’t look away” from Julian Schnabel’s direction, along with Janusz Kaminski’s gorgeous cinematography. A gorgeous movie that is wonderfully sad, effecting, and surprisingly human…surprising in the fact that I’ve gotten used to the lack of human-“ness” in FX-laden movies. It takes the all of the glory and the shame in human existence and creates a portrait that lacks the usual Hollywood gloss, but has more character packed into it than all the summer blockbuster movies combined.
Maybe my surprise has to do with my tendency towards escapism in my movie choice. It’s a little embarrassing to admit … but I feel as if I’ve gone soft and taken an easy route post-college. I’ve only recently started to feel as if I need some more meat in my diet of cultural intake. I just don’t find myself thinking critically as much anymore. I think once I finished college, I was weary of the over-analytical stance I took towards most art and literature and abandoned it for the most part. I think I’m ready for a homecoming.
One of the most amazing components about this film, (Steph and I spoke about this afterwards, in length) it allows the viewer to assume Jean-Dominique Bauby’s persepctive in the first third of the movie. It’s almost as if we were sharing the same Diving Bell with Bauby, and later too, the Butterfly. I think we’re still carrying a bit of the butterfly with us.
Has anyone else seen the film? I’d be curious as to thoughts and reactions from the rest of our group….