Just a few comments while these films are fresh in my mind.
(Kim Ki-duk, South Korea, 2004)
3-Iron is another winner from the prolific Kim Ki-duk (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...
and Spring). Those who enjoyed Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's Last Life in
the Universe--one of my favorite films of 2004--will probably like it, too.
On the surface it's quite different, except for the fact that it revolves around an unlikely relationship, and there's an odd, supernatural tone to the proceedings.
And yes, the 3-Iron of the title does get used-several times, in fact, but the movie isn't half as disturbing as Kim's fishhook fairytale The Isle. It's almost as if Japan's Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Bright Future) had directed a love story. Some may see the ending as a cop-out or a betrayal or what-have-you, but I was happy to go along with it.
Neptune: Sat., 5/21, 6:30PM and Sun., 5/22, 4:15PM.
(Pierre Salvadori, France, 2003)
I love Daniel Auteuil (Un Coeur en Hiver), and he's quite good in Apres Vous...,
but this romantic comedy is nothing special. I was mildly entertained, but the
film evaporated from my mind before the end credits even finished un-spooling.
As a general rule, I feel the same about Auteuil in comedies as I do fellow Frenchman Jean Reno (who, interestingly enough, was also born in Algeria) or American doppelganger Robert De Niro--which is to say, I prefer them in dramas.
I'm not suggesting that Auteuil can't handle comedy (2001's The Closet was pretty funny), just that his dramatic work has more sticking power. And for what it's worth, his very physiognomy suggests drama, but I'm not so sure that's a fair criticism.
Just to get even more discursive...I was thrilled to see Reno and De Niro in a
picture together, the late, great John Frankenheimer's underrated Ronin (1998).
And I'm still waiting for Auteuil and De Niro to do the same--I mean, c'mon, they have the same damn nose, although Auteuil's has a cool Gallic twist to it.
Egyptian: Wed., 5/25, 9:15PM and Neptune: Fri., 5/27, 5:00PM.
Me and You and Everyone We Know
(Miranda July, US, 2005)
Like Kris Monroe, I really enjoyed Me and You and Everyone We Know. In fact,
I'm tempted to say I loved it, but I need to think about it some more. I ran
into Robert Horton (The Everett Herald) after the screening, and he proclaimed
it "lovely," so there really are other critics in town who liked it.
Kris and I were sitting in front of Sean Axmaker (The Seattle PI), and it's fair to say he was laughing as hard as us--if not more so. That said, I ran into yet another critic, Jeff Shannon (The Seattle Times), afterward, and he found it merely okay.
If I had to describe the film--which isn't that easy to do--I'd say that it takes
the multi-character format of Rose Troche's The Safety of Objects or Jill Sprecher's
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, and has some fun with it.
In other words, those films are dark, but Me and You is suffused with light, love,
and humor. I apologize if that sounds saccharine--I swear the movie isn't.
The action revolves around several people who live in the same suburban Southern California neighborhood, and the ways in which they affect each others lives. At its core, it's a love story (yes, I have a thing about unconventional romances...). And
it has some of the biggest laughs of the year, one of which is an instant classic.
Personally, I found it funnier than Napoleon Dynamite which shares a similar sort of deadpan sense of humor. And actor/director July, who recalls a younger, brunette Laura Dern, underlines one of the film's most amusing scenes with Spiritualized's transcendent cover of the Troggs' "Anyway That You Want Me." Beautiful.
Paramount: Thurs., 5/19, 7:30PM (Opening Night Gala).
Images from UCLA, Rotten Tomatoes, and indieWIRE.