Monday, September 18, 2006

Mammoth Movie weekend!

My dearest is in Australia, so I'm watching lots and lots and lots of movies.

Friday it was Angela's Ashes, one of the most heartwarming tales of suffering I've ever seen. Absolutely lovable. Interesting to see the comparisons with An Angel at My Table - one of the same screenwriters (Laura Jones), the word "Angel" in the title, and they're both the story of a writer who overcomes poverty and a difficult childhood to use their pain as an impetus for literary creativity.

Then it was Nagoyqatsi - Life as War, a dizzying journey of music and image. Slightly unsettling, which was the idea I guess. Best part for me was in the NYU discussion panel in the special features part of the film, where editor of the New York Times asks Philip Glass (composer) and Godfrey Reggio (writer/director) whether there's a religious or spiritual element.

Reggio told of his youth as a monk, where he didn't see that many movies. But one Spanish movie really caught his attention, and that of the young people he worked with, many of whom were in gangs and alienated from their families. Each week they wanted to see this film - "it was like going to church", he said. When a movie has that much resonance, when it creates community and alienates alienation, I think it's hit the mark.

(Naqoyqatsi is the third of a trilogy. I watched the second, Powwaqqatsi, back here)

Finally, the brilliant Adaptation. Sort of kind of hard to follow, but I didn't really care -this entertained me very deeply as a writer. Nicolas Cage is good - although not convincingly fat! - as are all the other cast members. No wonder some people say Charlie Kaufman is one of the greatest writers around.


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