Wednesday, August 12, 2009

500 Days of Summer


While this break-up rom-com hits every conventional number it should, the structure and writing are masterfully crafted for maximum effect, the art direction, music and cinematography nail that sweet spot just past stylized and just before twee; the ensemble is funny and sweet and the leads create chemistry that matches their (well-established) individual abilities to rock the screen. (MILD SPOILER AHEAD) My minor disappointments have to do with the (literal) last word in the script and the uplift it signifies; I bear no grudge against the uplift per-se but in this case, it seems like a betrayal of the best message of the film, and it cements a (at least mild) patriarchal and regressive attitude toward women and the meaning of "true love."

++++

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Little Dieter Needs to Fly


Herzog's recounting of Dieter Dengler's harrowing crash, capture, escape and rescue manages to endear the unique specificity of Dieter's humanity to the audience more than allowing us very close to the story or experience itself. Though he employs many inventive devices (taking us through the footsteps of the experiences, hiring locals to "play" his captors), I felt the devices push me farther the experience and emotion of the story which had the effect of focusing most of my viewing on the person Dieter is now and how distant he seems from the whole experience, too.

+++