Only Theo Panayides Has Wings

This is a blog about Theo Panayides, the cyprustician online critic that writes reviews of movies old and new on his website ( He is very good. In fact, he is awesome. It is also an exercise for my english-writing abilities, as I'm from Brazil.

Location: Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Day 3 and 4 of the SPIFF

I thought this would be much more active, and I never expected the drunkedness and the partying and the etc to get so much in the way. I guess it's a good thing. More useless comments (shorter than usual):

Day 3

MYSTERIOUS SKIN (59): So Gregg Araki is obviously gay. Not just because he made a movie about homossexuality, but because of the honesty and fearlessness and knowledge and conviction he deals with the subject. This is another one with a slight Sollondz-esque feel -- I guess this means weird, quirky characters, stylized dialogue and a somewhat cartoonish vibe, and also dealing with sexuality and akwardness and etc -- but with a lighter touch and humour. I'm not exactly sure why I didn't like this more. It's admirable. It never portrays the pedophile Baywatch-like coach as a monster, it throws wacky and seemingly useless scenes at you -- e.g. the part where the geeky gay stick his hand into a cow's anus, the drawing of the alien with the baseball shoes -- to have them connect in the end, making the whole alien subplot as a (bizarre) way of the geeky gay of dealing with his childhood trauma (is this like Freud), and there's some funny scenes, and a nice ending, and I suppose Joseph-Gordon Lewis (or Levit or Le Wit) was good (although I felt some phoniness in his mega-bad boy-ish vibe). No, really, don't ask me why I didn't like this. Anyway, it was funny that in the last shot, about a minute before the movie was over, when you could tell it was about to end, like 8 or 9 people just got out of their seats impatiently and left quickly, like they couldn't even bother waiting for Neil to finish his narration. What is up. Did they not like this? Was this too gay for them? Were they rushing off to catch BREAKFAST ON PLUTO or something. Jesus.

THE CHILD (75): Awesome. It's schematic (as Theo said) and sometimes a little implausible -- Bruno's decision to sell the baby was very sudden, ditto for his decision to Do The Right Thing at the end, and etc -- and sometimes a little obvious -- like when Bruno plays with his girlfriend, throwing her on the ground, running around, wetting his shoes with mud and kicking the wall, making fart jokes, because he is suppose to be a child, thus giving the title a double meaning. Geddit. -- and it loses a bit of momentum before the last 20 minutes. But I mean, c'mon. It's breathtaking stuff. I don't even have much to say about this, except that (with the possible exception of WAR OF THE WORLDS) it features the Best Chase Scene of the Year (is MTV going to nominate this movie or what the fuck), the scene where he wants go retrieve the baby is so tense it's almost cruel, the fight where the chick explodes at Bruno (all in a single take) is genius, etc etc etc. I don't think the general audience apreciated very much, but whatever right. Now Dardenne Bros. go make a science fiction movie. It will be a step in the right direction. Trust me. Thank you.

THE WORLD (55): For a moment there (I lost myself!) I thought this was going to be the masterpiece of the festival. The first half hour, actually. It opens with an extended shot of a dancer asking for a band-aid in the backstage of a show, and it's beautifully lit and it looks incredible (was this shot on that super video camera that Lucas used in the Star Wars prequels?). And then there's the title shot, where the "The World" is superimposed over a long shot of the park, with the Eifel Tower in the middle, and a peasant-looking dude crosses the frame in the lower half, and the (wonderful) score kicks in, and it's just awesome. And then there's a lot of hilarious stuff like "I'm having lunch in India" and shots panning across countries and monuments and "Look, this is America. Those are the Twin Towers that were attacked. We still got them here."; "Great!" and there are russian dancers trying to communicate with the chinese ones and all kinds of shit and you're thinking "This could go on forever...". But then a boring plot kicks in which takes up about half of the scenes, and they only occasionally use the park. It loses steam. If you cut about 50 minutes of this movie, it could go 70+ easily. And no, I do not care if the main plot actually means anything. It's boring.

BROKEN FLOWERS (52): What is there to say about this? Bill Murray gives his deadpan looks and funny line readings, Jarmusch comes up with funny (if a little dumb) ideas for ex-girfriends -- one became an Animal Communicator, another one a Stepford Wife, etc (Jesus, I could come up with this stuff in five minutes) -- and there's a perfunctory mystery plot that remains unresolved (PS to Jarmusch: this is not deep or ambiguous, it's as dumb and cliche as a dramatic revelation of the mystery, maybe more). Now it's officially time to give Bill Murray a role as a fast-talking sharp-tongued type person. Seriously.

MANDERLAY (49): "It's just bashing, albeit provocative enough to be enjoyable, if it worked as drama". Yes. There was applause at the end of this, when John Hurt says his pseudo-provocative crap about America in the V.O. I guess it just goes to show the amount of dislike brazillians have for the american government (or, I guess, the country in general). But I disagree with whoever thinks that Lars is trying to make some kind of pro-authoritarian statement. There's no way in hell that Danny Glover's character or his decision not to move beyond the slavery system are considered good things in this movie -- in the same way that Grace's decision to shoot the entire village of Dogville in the first movie was obviously not something Lars was supporting.


Blogger md'a said...

There's a whole class of people who only watch movies to find out how they end. The instant that the central narrative question is resolved, or appears to have been resolved, they hit the aisle. I see this all the time, especially at MoMA, and sometimes get distracted from the denoument/epilogue/surprise twist by the intensity of my contempt. Good job avoiding the line at the escalator, loser.

Man, you got all of these ratings like dead-on exactly right, apart from being a little too kind to Araki.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Luis said...

Actually, I'm feeling a little weird that so many of the ratings are almost exactly like Theo's. Is the creepy greek mentally manipulating me, etc. New update coming up soon.

5:50 PM  
Blogger baaab said...

What Mike meant to say is you got all of these ratings pretty wrong, apart from being on target with the Dardennes. Don't sweat it etc.

8:17 PM  
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