Big Nothing [2006)

We all want to solve crimes.

Except for those among us who want to commit them.

That observation could be repeated and reversed.

Perhaps we all want to commit crimes.

Except for those among us who want to solve them.

Which brings us to a rather confusing portion of the Venn diagram.

And David Schwimmer’s character would doubtless appreciate this method of presentation.

Oregon.

Get good Twin Peaks wafting.

Bad grunge lingering.

Schwimmer does quite well here.

We hate him at first.

Resent him for Friends.

But he grows on the royal we.

You see, I don’t have a lot of time.

Simon Pegg does well (as he always does), but it is rather grating to hear him speak in an “American” accent for the entirety of this film.

And so the real star here (I hate to admit it) is Alice Eve.

Her character is venal.

As they all are.

Rather disgusting.

But intriguing.

The most enthralling though is the above-mediocre writing of Jean-Baptiste Andrea (who also directed) and Billy Asher.

“breathing liquid shit”

Some genuinely inventive concepts here.

Very imaginative.

Florid.

A web of interlocking chaos.

Vigilante impulse arises.

We all want to rid the world of scum.

But we all share the scumminess.

It’s just that some pursue the scum instinct more than others.

And so our heroes (“Bonnie, Clyde, and Clyde”) are spurred on by a bit of fortuitous reaping.

This only serves to sink them further.

I must give credit to William Rosenfeld who does a nice job as the pivotal Deputy Garman.

This movie is, quite simply, powered by the unflagging inventiveness of lies.

Deeper and deeper into the pit.

Eve buries the hatchet.

YEs, this movie is abounding in death.

But it is watchable.

At least the story is compelling.

There are really some stellar plot twists here.

Phone rings in the trunk.

There are really some gruesome details here.

Why is America so brutal?

I know we don’t have a monopoly on violence, but…

We export simulated violence.

And yet, despite David Schwimmer, this is (believe it or not) a UK/Canadian coproduction.

Honorable mention to Natascha McElhone for making the most of a small role.

Also kudos to Jon Polito.

This could have been a great movie.

 

-PD

Pierrot le Fou [1965)

Here.  Ici.  Godard=Picasso=Joyce.  It may start with an Élie Faure quote concerning Velázquez, but that is just to set the stage for this ball of colored glass which goes beyond cinema.  The politics come on stronger, but they are like that strangely succinct Butthole Surfers lyric about not giving a fuck about the FBI…or the CIA.

You must only dial M.  Two murders by scissor.  Furthermore, the only way to catch a thief might be in his fireworks.  The tears of a clown…Clyde and his Bonnie…I can’t even keep track of their casual carnage.  Two?  3?  One thing is for sure:  the excitement of Breathless returns…along with the high school musical version of Broadway…in a bare apartment…a girl and a shitload of guns.  That’s all you need for this film.  And a car.  The spirit of Gene Kelly emerges later to spiff up the surreal song moments.

Pierrot doesn’t drive off a cliff.  But he drives right into the sea.  Yes, books were Pierrot’s downfall.  He’s never gonna get that job at Standard Oil.  Especially since he skipped town with a smokin’-hot murderer.  Drive all night.  Fuck it!  I’m so sick of everyone.  I just want to do what I want.  You know, just get in your car and start driving.  Find a town somewhere and start a whole new life.

Enid Coleslaw would doubtless have a certain simpatico with our lovers Marianne and Ferdinand (Pierrot [Belmondo]).  But this paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  A parrot, a fox, sure…but eating out of tin cans…Marianne, like Groucho Marx, wants some hot-cha-cha!  And so the dance hall in town.  It could be L’Atalante.  It could be Casque d’Or.  Why are the police not here yet?  Because they like to let people destroy themselves.  Victor Hugo meets Dostoyevsky.

More torture à la Le Petit Soldat.  Use the whore’s dress.  Polyester.  An especially nasty asphyxiation.  And so Ferdinand ends up back in the bathtub…where he started.  Instead of reading the history of modern art to his daughter, he has just outed his lover.  What a terrible 5:00 pm.  What a terrible 5:00 pm.  What a terrible 5:00 pm.

Maybe I will just let the train pulverize me.  Why is it always damsels in distress?  Damoiseau?

Ah, but it all makes so much sense in the end.  Raymond Devos sums it up.  That tune that’s always been playing.  It is our comedic, pathetic love life.  Yes, she betrayed us.  And so he fails to not commit suicide.

A failed failure is a success.  I’ve always had trouble spelling that word.  I blame Bob Dylan.  There is no k in success.  And though I long embraced suckcess, I now remove the k and a c comes with it.  Sucess.  I have unsuccessfully spelled success.  As a graduate student.  In business.

Ah, but it’s really no use.  One must stay optimistic.  Realistic.  Let’s face it:  the chances are slim.  It takes a lot to laugh.  Hear that lonesome whistle blow.  Maybe tomorrow Bob Dylan.  Suckcess in all its glory.

-PD