Thursday, January 28, 2010

Flying shirts and Falling Bodies

The other night I rented and watched some glum independent film about people living in Manhattan. The male director and male scriptwriter put together a story in which the very attractive lead actress found redemption through a degrading sexual act, which reminded me of Veronica Geng's hysterical "Ten Movies that take Women Seriously", with synopses of fictitious feminist films by male directors such as "Annie get your Shogun" in which "an aggressive young girl...asserts her independence by by sailing to Kyoto and horsewhipping a samurai because she doesn't like the cut of his jib. She falls in love with the American Consul...but fails to marry him because she is ornery".

Anyway, cleared my brain by watching the wonderful film "Thirteen Conversations about one thing", unfortunately released within a few days of 911. A number of characters consider what it is that makes for a good life (hint: it's not chasing happiness). John Turturro plays an emotionally distant but passionately self-absorbed professor, Clea Duvall plays a sunny housecleaner who wants to go to Greece. She's the character with the escaping white shirt. The two characters never meet, but all the stories are connected.

Edit: If you've read this far, and if you have a DVD player that can accommodate an old school video tape, and if you're in the U.S., let me know if you'd like me to send tape on to you after Mina at the flower store finishes watching it -

16 comments:

femminismo said...

Oh, boy! I'd love to watch it. Ever since I saw John Turturro pleading for his life in "Miller's Crossing" I have admired him so much. Would it be on Netflix. Think I'll check before I ask you to mail it to me.

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh must look this out. (I don't have anything that can play an old tape).

I've just been given a birthday present of Wings of Desire which I have never seen. Also have The Beggar's Opera - so all I need now is a few hours when I can sit and watch ....

ArtSparker said...

Okay, F - I'm not sure there is a DVD, I haven't checked. It went under the radar. Let me know.

Totalfeckineejit said...

The formula for tensile strength is too much to bear.

Brilliant illustration,I loves it.Got Woody Allens Manhattan for my birthday (in a box set) haven't watched t yet.Panicked for a momment that it was the film ye were mentioning.
Ps.As an aside type NB notes in thye margin type effervesance.Yipppeeeeeee!

ArtSparker said...

Nope, not that film, although I believe Woody Allen has a few issues.

Bee said...

Is it superficial of me to be admiring your illustrated woman's (Clea?) haircut?

Both the "Ten Movies" and the "Thirteen Conversations" movie sound good. I'm making netflix notes, as we no longer have VHS compatability!

ArtSparker said...

TFE - Did you see the flim "Three Kings"? One of my favorite lines was Ice Cube's commenting, as a former luggage-handler, on the flimsiness of the bags holding the bars of gold "they don't have good tensularity". There was a world of comment on the comments of experts about the obvious - plus the bonus neologism.

subby said...

Sounds a bit like "Babel"( of which I've still not gotten through the whole of the movie, for the interuptions...egads! )But I like the concept of the interwovens stories, as long as it can be made some sense of, yes?

milly (elephants&redwoods) said...

I think I've seen 13 Conversations.... It was good!

AJ "Rohzi" Ellington said...

wow. I stand corrected. It appears I DO have a DVD with a VHS player attached. I really should have myself checked out because I never once noticed that. It was given to me by my parents, and I guess I never paid attention to the other side of the machine. : - /

However, I also have a Netflix subscription, and 13 Conversations about One Thing is available for rent, so I will not bother you with the trouble of mailing me a copy.

Thank you for the suggestion. I will be sure to give you my input once I watch it. : - )

ArtSparker said...

AJ - I'm glad to know it was made into a DVD, of course I was too scattered to check, but I feared it might have been that far under the radar.

Cláudia said...

The post and the comments made me curious about the film, so I Googled it.

Look what I found, in a review by Roger Ebert (published in June,2002):

"The truth hidden below the surface of the story is a hard one: Nothing makes any sense. We do not get what we deserve. If we are lucky, we get more. If we are unlucky, we get less. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. That's the system. All of our philosophies are a futile attempt to explain it."

I don't trust anyone who says that found some "truth hiden bellow the surface" of anything, but the text was interesting enough to make me even more curious about the film. Also, I think that a film about New Yorkers shoot right before 911 could be particularly insightful.

Tomorrow I will look for it!

ArtSparker said...

Cláudia - not to disrespect the rotund one, but I think maybe Roger Ebert missed the point of the film. It seemed to me that the theme is that every minute of your life is the end of it, the sum of who you are - so who do you choose to be in that (possibly) final moment? Really, I think it's a reductive way to describe a very tender film. Well, let me know if you see it.

Cláudia said...

Ok, Susan, I will have to see it with my own eyes.

I liked the way you interpreted the movie!

Here is tomorrow already (03:39 am) and I will have to go to bed without knowing the answer to that riddle in French. I am curious!

yvette said...

Maybe I find it in a vidiotake because old tapes are not possible...
kiskis
yvette

Jasmine said...

I love the Abba style jumpers. Whippig samuri may or maynot be femminist.