Toby and I began our weekend by drinking too much at The Abby with Gerry. We saw 11 a.m. just shy of noon and stumbled into the kitchen for some pierogies and sauerkraut. I hate mornings like this following evening I love.
One of the biggest hangover remedies (next to Advil and water, of course) are video rentals. And thankfully, we still had Dogville and Close Your Eyes (Doctor Sleep). We watched Close Your Eyes first. It was o.k. Only o.k. I mean, how many creepy movies about religious weirdos can one watch? While I was not irritated by the time spent having watched this film, I’m not sure I would have given it my thumb.
Holy mother of God this move kicked my ass. Not only did it kick my ass, but it kicked my ass so hard it made me happy. Dogville is, by far, one of the best films I have seen in a long, long time.
In a nutshell: I adored Dogville. I loved the set, the story, the acting, the lighting, the plot, the moral, the cast, the snow, the dialogue, the narration, the names, the small figurines, the thoughts, the wardrobe, and most importantly, the care involved. Very rarely do movies make me feel so unbelievably sad and devastated and then lift me up to heights unimaginable. It’s rare I enjoy cold retaliation. But when it’s good, it’s damn good—like a fatty dessert or a cup of coffee late at night.
I’m going to shut up now.
Later on Saturday evening, Toby and I went to Old Devil Moon and ate stuff to celebrate Toby’s 27th Birthday. After that, we decided to see Closer on 3rd Avenue. We got seats near the rear. And wouldn’t you know, but Jullian Moore and her boyfriend (husband?), Bart Freundlich walked in and plopped their butts two rows in front of us. And so I tapped her on the shoulder.
“Jullianne, first of all… HUGE FAN. HUGE! Second of all, today is my husband’s birthday. This is Toby.”
I pointed to Toby.
“You’re on his list. You know, THE list.”
I wink to make my point.
“And well, if you’re not doing anything later, it’s ok with me if you have birthday sex with him.”
O.K. that didn’t really happen. But there she was, sitting right in front of us with her hot hubby watching the movie Closer. We could smell her hair. And she’s as beautiful in real life as she on screen.
You know, I have heard NOTHING but wonderful things about Closer from numerous people. But I didn’t love it. I liked it o.k. (at first) but I guess maybe I just didn’t “get it.” I didn’t believe in the characters’ actions. At times the movie seemed forced and not entirely believable. Then again, maybe it was because I watched it only hours after finishing Dogville. And, well, if you’ve read this far, you know by now how much I adored Dogville. :]
I know I am alone in my reaction to Closer. I was taken by the chain of events and self-perpetuating cycles of hurt that all stemmed from one chance meeting (though I could have done without the movie’s bookends, which were the only moments of unnecessary sentimentalization in the film.) I think one has to be unhappy or just very cynical to appreciate this film, whose thesis statement (to me at least), is “Happiness is merely an illusion.”
I still haven’t watched Dogville. All year I’ve been planning on “eventually” watching it and going in with low expectations, given my longstanding annoyance with Von Trier (the brilliant Five Obstructions notwithstanding).
Closer was fun until one point where, suddenly, they left about an hour of film on the cutting room floor (I suppose). When the JR character is strongarmed into sleeping with her ex, and the next frame they’re suddenly together and all that—I felt like I had fallen asleep and missed something.
That plot problem aside, the story was great until that point, and should have stopped there.
I don’t know that I appreciate the fact that the JR character is basically an ADD slut. Anyone who hits on her not only gets to sleep with her, but she leaves her current relationship for the new weiner. Is the character really THAT addicted to new penis?
Also, with all the bouncing around and all the desperation, how do these people who obviously lack any sort of filter where their pants are concerned ONLY bounce between each other? How can you almost blindly jump and hump around but only stay within such a small group? These characters aren’t practicing polyamory among old friends, after all. They’re ALL chance meetings.
I had a hard time sympathizing with the characters after they crossed into absurdity. Neither the stalker, the misogynist, the stripper, or the very easy photographer seemed like anyone who would exist outside of the film—after a point.
If the plot had had fewer “twists” it would have been good. The story was good (save the fake name and all that). The plot was crap.
Nice cameras, though.
Interestingly, I didn’t view these characters as particularly real, either, and therefore I wasn’t sympathetic towards any of them. Further, I think those gaps in plot and character background info were deliberate (this is based on a play, hence the very talk-y, cadenced dialogue), so instead of being treated to a play-by-play of relationship development and breakdown, I think this was more about individuals’ complete inability to be close to anyone. My saying it sounds kind of contrived, but I think it’s more than just “Need new penis!” or anything like that (not that I think you are reducing it to just that…nor do I think these are inherently rotten people. Crap; I have a meeting. (Too bad we can’t talk about this in person.)
i didn’t like it so much either. toby, i think you did miss something, i think there was one of those time jumps that happened throughout the movie in there, but it wasn’t as clear that time.
i kept thinking it was going to turn out to be “all in someone’s head” since the people basically acted like they do in the head of someone who is insanely jealous. and they acted like robots. who talks like that? ugh.
Sometimes, I really need to REREAD whatever it is I write before putting it on the Internets. Wow. How do you people make sense of it all? Assuming you do at all. heh.
I think I followed along well. The one jump I thought was bad was when they went from the opera house to the Dr’s office. That was a point in the story AND the plot that should have been scrapped.
They gave NO clue as to why the JR character would go back to her estranged husband. It was just BAM! and there ya go.
No hint of motive or flow or anything.
I understood and appreciated the stuttering timeline. I just thought that one twist was inelegant and lame.
Apropos our Brown Bunny discussion from the other day, fleshbot linked to some stills of the Chloe Sevigny/Vincent Gallo blowjob scene today. Not that I looked. No indeedy.