Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Go see The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson presented his film tonight in Santa Monica, and I was the happy owner of a ticket. Elation fest. What Wes has finally graced us with is a genuinely genuine film, a laugh out-loud funny movie (that I-love-you-but-I'm-going-to-mace-you scene isn't ruined by the clip in the trailer at all), a road trip/brothers movie, a beautifully shot movie, and a sweet/sad film. Adrien Brody, who I've never obsessed over, knocks it out of the park, and everything on the train is great, it's so natural it seems choreographed (if that makes any sense), all these lovely moments in a small confined space. The colors swell, the music is perfect (especially if you see the short, which, overall, I could take or leave, but does inform the film in an important way), and I want the Louis Vuitton luggage something fierce.
Fierce, I say.

OK, it's not the perfect film: the wide-panning, a la his AmEx commercial, combined with the tendency to shoot someone looking at something, then swing around, once they've left, to see what they were looking at (I heard someone call it the dialphone shot), and the wide-view, sudden closeup shot, are all used a bit too much. The film is slowed and everything about it feels very cultivated.
But that's okay. Because it's a really, really good movie. I think Owen Wilson should be appreciated for the comic genius he is (I think he's sort of sluffed off by serious comic connoiseurs as a surfer dude, but he's not Matthew McConaughey; he is GOOD), and Jason Schwartzman, whose stardom has always pissed me off a bit (I felt it was more of a Hollywood family sort of thing than actual talent), shows just how much laughter he can elicit from the smallest looks or wryest comments. When the brothers are in the dining car, and Jason turns around, looks at the woman who served them sweet lime, and says, "I want the stewardess," everyone in the theater laughs loudly. It's friggin great.

So, yeah, highly recommended.


Oh, and Radiohead are pretty stand-up awesome.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen