Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day One

After Lucia
What could be taken as a ripped-from-the-headlines story of high school bullying in the age of the iPhone is really a rumination on grief, loss, and depression. A father and teenage daughter pair, recently having lost their wife/mother in a car crash, move across Mexico to start a new life. But they haven't yet begun to repair themselves from their trauma.

It's hard to watch: the treatment of the "bullying" (this seems too soft a word) is for the most part realistic and brutal. But the cinematic art on display is brilliant: the movie begins and ends with understated but emotionally devastating long takes. And the use of un- or half-furnished interior sets complements the mental state of the characters.

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
There's not much to say here. If you enjoyed The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, this is a worthy followup. Slavoj Žižek monologues for 2.5 hours about Catholicism, Stalinism, Nazism, and everything in between. The visuals are spiced up by placing our narrator on sets from such diverse films as A Clockwork Orange, The Sound of Music, and Jaws. There's not much cinematic critique on display here: most of the theorizing uses the movies as examples of particular ideologies or attitudes to ideology. But even non-Žižek fans should enjoy the commentary.

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