Logan, Arthur and Motoko

I am a movie lover, un “cinéphile“. I read a lot about movies. I own thousands of DVDs and Blu-rays. I love Orson Welles, John Ford and Elia Kazan. I love Losey, Bergman and Miyazaki. I BUY movies. I’m able to spend a year to explore 1961 in cinema history (yes there’s a Wikipedia page for that). I’m able to watch all Tennessee Williams movies adaptations in a month, just for the extraordinary pleasure of… oh forget it.

But I download them too. A lot. I watch, and if I like I buy. I’m old school. I don’t have Netflix nor an Apple TV. I want the discs, the bonuses, the sleeves. Les galettes : the “epiphany cakes” (yesss we say that, for movie discs). Makes sense, right?

It’s August, so I found many American mainstream movies to download. Fast and Furious number 39 (or whatever), or Alien Covenant (I wanted to watch is again, because it’s a bad, wrong movie, but also because of Scott, Giger/Böcklin, the “two notes flute in the echo” music, and the stress before the shuttle explosion).

By the way, I wrote to the actress behind the voice of Mother, in Covenant. Great work!

I left 3 movies on the side, because I was sure it was shit.

Logan, King Arthur and Ghost in the Shell. All of them had bad trailers. Logan smelled “I want to end this character violently”. Arthur really smelled like duck-billed platypus shit. And watching Scarlett Johansson exploding a window 6541 times in slow motion on Facebook was enough to keep me away from it (talk about bad e-marketing -> another article).

All of them took me by surprise.

But beware : I’m NOT talking about Kitano’s Hana Bi or Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter (I can’t wait to find these in Blu-ray). Don’t even talk about Heaven’s Gate, Single Man or Fanny & Alexander (I have the Blu-rays, thank you). I’m writing here about mainstream movies, to eat with popcorn and have fun with.

Logan surprised me because it was more violent, tragic, or let’s say “less stupid” than some other X-Men I watched (I watched them all). I like these superheroes movies, but here I was surprised and wondered about the audience targeted by it. So what : Adult geeks? I don’t know, but I loved it. The Wolverine girl, Xavier in his chair, powerful but dying, the cross-to-X at the end, it awed me.

I was really ready to laugh sarcastically at Arthur. But Ritchie made Snatch and the Sherlocks, and I loved U.N.C.L.E., so I tried… And I found it brilliant! Smart and fast, funny at times (I LOVE when Ritchie plays with dialogs/possible scene, like when Sherlock Holmes will fight), and so powerful (ohhh Excalibur). A good evil character (hello Jude Law), a mage… A good one!

I will forgive everything to Jude Law since he played in My Blueberry Nights.

Ghost in the Shell climbed greatfully towards the spider-tank scene (I own the anime movie, and I needed to know what they’ll do with the tank). The face to face with mother ending crushed me. The sound is great. Kitano is perfect. Binoche is fantastic (strong, fragile, alive). What a great surprise!

Well, I’m thankful. I read today something like “Even if it’s bad, it’s OK if it’s made with the heart” – I don’t remember where : Gide or Valéry? All of them were made with some heart.

Then I wonder how to blog about Logan : what are and what could be other branches in the almost totally kryptonitelic ridiculous tree of Superhero Movies? About Arthur : what’s the drive in Ritchie : a casualness, a “I allow everything, shut up” energy? About Ghost in the Shell : how to make a robot alive? How to adapt a fucking Japanese cartoon with elegance? How to convince Scarlett Johannsson to play that?

 

After all this, you will ALWAYS need to clear your spirit from special effects, Excalibur’s devastation, jumping in an invisible electronic device, or fake claws. I suggest an Ingmar Bergman’s movie : Winter Light. Or just one quote of this movie instead :

“God does not speak because there is no God. You should learn how to love, instead of praying”.

Thanks for reading!

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Pastures New & Feathers Song : Chronicle 2

Douglas Kennedy says that there are two ways to meet tragedy. The first one is the bad luck coming from nowhere : brain cancer, car accident – among encounters with idiots and traitors. The second one is our own (and sometimes powerful) ways to make bad choices, auto-sabotages and other subtle ways of self destructing.

“Mission : not to be duped by myself” and it is easy to say : we all are, at one moment, pastures new seekers. Et donc…

I bought Libération, the newspaper, because yesterday was the first day of our new president in France. French people are funny, they already complain about this guy. They want change, but every attempt puts the whole country on strike!

Well, he’s been elected, right? He’s 39 years old and I’m 51 today, that’s a bit disturbing ! So I watch all the messy mess and I smile : people will very soon Facebook “Macron Go Away”, like with the previous president. But he won’t go away, for sure. I’d say : shut up and let him work.

I read a long interview with Ridley Scott. He talked about Francis Bacon (the painter) as an inspiration for his chest buster. He talked about The Duellists, so graphically gorgeous (after Barry Lyndon) he was accused by critics of inventing “too beautiful images”. “Fuck off”, he said : “I used no filters!”.

I remember the letters A L I E N in the movie theater when I was a student, and today I went to the cinema to watch Alien Covenant to… do something for my birthday.  In the movies I saw a blowing wink towards Giger (knowers will know) and a surprising re-creation of The Isle of the Dead, by Böcklin. If you want to play with Google, you’ll learn that Giger painted his own version of the painting…

I was a very young man when I saw one of the five Böcklin versions, in le Musée d’Orsay, in Paris. I stopped in front of the gigantic painting for maybe half an hour. Tremendous shock.

Yes I found a white feather just after I bought Libération. My brain said : “??!”. Is a feather is a tool to write, or a symbol?

“The gods weave misfortunes for men, so that the generations to come will have something to sing about.” Mallarmé repeats, less beautifully, what Homer said; “tout aboutit en un livre,” everything ends up in a book. The Greeks speak of generations that will sing; Mallarmé speaks of an object, of a thing among things, a book. But the idea is the same; the idea that we are made for art, we are made for memory, we are made for poetry, or perhaps we are made for oblivion. But something remains, and that something is history or poetry, which are not essentially different.”

Jorge Luis Borges, Seven Nights

Misfortunes towards words. I know better now. Maybe.

Thanks. Good day!

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