Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Media Update 5/31/18

May 31, 2018

Black Swan

When I was in high school, (and before that) I had a good friend named Arthur who was definitely my source for a lot of the weird yet interesting stuff that I was exposed to. Being exposed to weird stuff definitely shaped my pop culture tastes along the way. One of the things he introduced me to was a fairly obscure movie simply called Pi. I was immediately fascinated and repulsed by director Aronovsky’s uncomfortable surreal narrative. He is a master of using surreal and frightening imagery to convey exactly the right psychological symbolism for his narratives. Like Pi, this movie was about one person slowly succumbing to stress and the power of their own mind. It is also about female repression, female oppression, sexuality, the sacrifice of the artist, and the demands of society among other themes. Natalie Portman is such a great actress in this movie. She often feels less like a person and more like an elemental force of emotion springing to life. Briefly living inside her character’s head was a frightening and uncomfortable place to be. Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, and Vincent Cassel do a great job delivering some really interesting antagonists. Mila Kunis plays a small but very important part as only she could. The movie is unrelenting and I felt tense but exhilarated the whole way through. I definitely recommend it but be prepared for a weird and dark ride.


I love Terry Gilliam. My first exposure to Monty Python was reading scripts with my friend Arthur on a school camping trip. Sadly, reading the scripts did not convey the crazy artwork and animation that came from the mind of Gilliam. When he struck out on his own, he proved he was brilliant at all sorts of things. He was a great writer and director who fought hard to champion creative freedom, sometimes at his own expense. I had long heard of his first solo film, Brazil, but I never got a chance to watch it until now. I know because it was Gilliam that it would be weird and I was not disappointed. The movie is a comedy about a dystopian future where bureaucracy has gotten fully out of control. This future is quite surreal and ridiculous which actually makes it all the scarier. The star of the movie is Jonathan Pryce who is great as the intelligent yet awkward everyman who gets wrapped up in chaos. There is also a great funny performance by Sir Ian Holm who is great at being meekly funny. Fellow Python alum Michael Palin gets to play a lovable psychopath. There are also great cameos from Robert DeNiro, Jim Broadbent, and Bob Hoskins. After watching two dark and emotional movies, it was nice to watch a comedy. Although, it is kind of a dark comedy. The movie is a crazy adventure and it was fun from start to finish. I definitely recommend it as well.

Mulholland Drive

I am not the biggest fan of David Lynch films. To be fair, his films and his TV show Twin Peaks are intentionally hard to follow and full of a lot of symbolism. I also think he is often making it up as he goes along. Such was the case for this movie which was intended to be a television pilot for a spinoff of Twin Peaks but it was instead made into a feature film so he wrote the ending at that point. Often called his most logical film, it is still pretty hard to grasp for me. At a certain point with Lynch’s work, I feel that one must just sit back and relax and watch without trying to figure things out. I kept asking “what does that mean?” but for most of it, it probably did not matter. The main point of the film, in my opinion, is to convey emotion. The performances, especially the one by Naomi Watts, are particularly haunting. Most of the movie has a dreamlike quality until there is a climax where we are snapped out of the dream. It is disorienting but also pretty interesting to watch. I think I would probably be able to follow the film a little more if it could hold my attention better. A lot of the time nothing exciting is happening so I start getting complacent for when the really crazy stuff starts. What I could glean from the movie is the clash between dreams/reality, innocence/guilt, memory, and the perils of the Hollywood system. It is a love note to Hollywood and also a warning about Hollywood as it is definitely a movie about duality. I recommend it but be ready to be confused as even film critics and historians cannot agree on what the movie means.

Music of the Week:

Geoff Muldaur – Brazil

TWRP – Synthesize Her

Maddie and Tae – Friends Don’t

Yello – The Race

Mars Argo – Using You

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Things Get Weird”
– I finished watching The Pinkertons
– I watched more of Season 3 of Better Call Saul
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 1
– I watched more Gurren Lagann
– I watched more Barry Kramer and GTLive on YouTube
– This week’s theme could have been “Weird Directors I Like”

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