Monday, October 23, 2006

Something Historical

Saw Marie Antoinette Saturday night. I rather enjoyed Ms. Coppola's last film Lost In Translation, but this left me a little underwhelmed. Are we to view the titular character sympathetically or not, furthurmore is this even relevant? Oh its stylish, but more often than not it seems to rely to much on it. The juxtoposition of 80's New Wave and Pre-Revolution France works suprisingly well, especially during the opening credits, where Natural's Not in it by the Gang of Four plays while the opening credits go past in punk-rock minimalist black and hot pink, intercut with shots of Kirsten Dunst and clothes. The irony of using the Gang of Four in a movie about decadence was not lost on me, seriously read the lyrics. Comparisons to Paris Hilton and he fellow celebutantes can and have been drawn. It also included some close up eating scenes that bordered on Denethor-esque. Still I didn;t out and out loath it, but I didn't love it.


Blogger Yarjka said...

I'm in agreement for the most part. It sounds like I may have liked it slightly more than you [liked it], but only slightly. (Don't worry, Eli. I still like you slightly more than the film).

7:10 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

For a great borderline barbaric period-piece eating sequence, check out Tony Richardson's film of Tom Jones (doubt me? consult Enes for a confirmation).

I doubt I'll much care for Marie Antoinette, although I did rather enjoy Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides. For starters, any film relying on the respective appeals of both Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzenbaumingtonman is immediately suspect to me, as I find both of their onscreen personalities lacking in charisma and their acting abilities in a severe state of near disrepair. Secondly, the whole anachronistic 80s glam/Robespierre thing is befuddlingly stupid in concept, so to make it work, I imagine, would require a film artist of a less sensual focus--perhaps more philosophically oriented, or of a stronger CINEMAtic mind (I emphasize "cinema" because while I liked her previous two films, using them as a basis for her specific approach to milieu and character, the idea of her jumping into a pomo period-piece is discouraging and probably best suited to one more in control of the camera itself as a means of expression, instead of falling back on her constant reliance of pop music to communicate her message for her... take a look at Barry Lyndon and the aforementioned Tom Jones as counterexamples--both Kubrick and Richardson are visual artists well-fit to approach the decadence of their subjects).

But I'm a sport. I'll give it a fighting chance.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

I more or less agree, though in the end, I more or less liked it. When the movie itself was relishing in its own stylistic decadence, I found it to be most effective.
The film was too unfocused. It lagged in spots.

While I agree with Patrick about Dunst's screen charisma, I must say I don't see his point on Schwartzman. The little fucker's charming.

6:07 PM  

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