Sunday, May 20, 2012

Miscellaneous movie-related ramblings: Polisse, The Avengers, Hitchcock, SIFF, etc.

Since returning from Hot Docs a couple of weeks ago, my movie-going has been light, from a volume perspective.

A few things I did want to note, though.

This weekend alone, I've had a diverse film intake consisting of a Rooftop Films short program,  The Avengers, the 1935 Hitchcock spy drama The 39 Steps and then this morning Polisse.

It was my first Rooftop Films program of the year, and I ventured all the way to east 23rd Street for it. Which if you know me, is quite a distance for this staunch west-sider (sad, I know). These shorts were not for me.  Maybe it was the obnoxious people chit-chatting behind me, or the unexpectedly cool air causing my teeth to chatter. But, I think it was more the quality of the shorts.  Bizarre, pointless, anti-climactic. Maybe I'm a philistine.  But... I left early to catch The Avengers finally at Kips Bay.

I know I see a lot of littler movies but I have absolutely nothing against a blockbuster like this.  Spiderman, X-Men - I love these movies.  And their sequels (though never the third for some reason). Though I don't have any emotional connection to the comic books, that is, I didn't grow up to with these characters, I can still find something to enjoy in a good superhero movie.  I am perfectly happy to call The Avengers a good superhero movie.  Glad I saw it, wish I hadn't fallen asleep through about twenty minutes in the middle, won't probably buy the DVD, will certainly see the sequel. <shrug> No complaints.

The next morning was The 39 Steps, which is my fourth time seeing a (new to me) Hitchcock film at the IFC Center this month.   To say a movie is my least favorite, out of Pyscho, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief is not a very powerful statement because of course it was still pretty awesome. I am really loving this series the IFC Center is doing.  It's a bummer that I will miss Vertigo next weekend while I am in Seattle.

I may not have mentioned that I've booked four days in Seattle for the Seattle International Film Festival.  It's not technically my first time at SIFF since I did take in one screening of Bartleby (with Crispin Glover) maybe ten years ago. Nevertheless I'll feel like a total newbie and am looking forward to seeing movies AND discovering a few good bars, restaurants, crafty gifty type stores, coffee shops, etc.  I am staying in Belltown and I have a car so, the sky is the limit in terms of adventure times.  Should be fun.

The best thing I have seen this weekend (and probably one of the best things I've seen this year) is a French police drama called Polisse.  Wow, y'all.  It follows the child protection unit of a French police force as they go about the gritty, often devastating, sometimes astonishing and funny, always gripping work of these very human social servants. You can absolutely tell it was based on actual case files.  There were so many chances to push the story into melodrama territory, and some might say it went there, but I think the script towed a very subtle line and made the right decisions at every turn.  I don't know if I could watch it again but I would very highly recommend it.   Oh - and so many of the actors were familiar, mostly from movies I saw at Rendezvous with French Cinema 2012 also at the IFC Center.  Except for one of the leads, Joey Starr, who played a very different character in Sleepless Night.  And is apparently a French rapper.

Worth mentioning here, while I'm rambling, is a super annoying thing that happened this morning at the IFC Center. I arrived at 10:50 for my 10:55 AM movie and when I went in to grab a seat, I found the lights off, and a movie playing. Subtitles and all. I came back out to the lobby and said "did you tell me the wrong theater? There's already a movie playing there." The usher said no, that's where Polisse was showing, and it must be the trailers. So I went back in, took a seat, and was like that's weird, it's in French, and showing a cop and a kid. Sounds like Polisse, but that isn't meant to start for another five minutes. I go back out and again they tried to tell me it was the pre-show. I went back in one more time and was even more convinced.  I finally went out a third time and they agreed that they'd started the movie early accidentally, and they re-started it. 

I get that things happen.  Just last weekend, a movie started 30 minutes late. But I don't like that it took me three times to convince them that the movie had started early.  Do I not go there two or three times a week? Should I not clearly know the difference between the pre-show and the actual movie? The lights were off. The door was shut. This is not my first rodeo, folks.  Oh well. 

Later tonight I will see The Dictator, finally.  So ready to laugh after the heaviness of Polisse!

1 comment:

  1. Polisse looks really good. Shouldn't those IFC people know your face by now? They should have to memorize the elite members!