I get a big FAIL on Library Loot this week. I only managed to watch three out of the seven films I chose. Of course, I did manage to watch others. But those picks were influenced almost exclusively by the crowd I was watching them with. They were: Julie & Julia, The Squid and the Whale, Shopgirl, and Ratatouille. I also finally managed to watch Traffic after having owned it for four years and never seeing it all the way through. I don’t know why I avoided it for so long, because it’s totally my type of film. And I loved it. Soderbergh should have made it into a TV miniseries. I’ve found through past experience that when I fail this badly at watching the entire loot, it’s because subconsciously, I don’t want to watch those films. so while I kept a few of last week’s loot, this week’s is mostly made up of new ones. I’ll have to get to Close Encounters another time.
As for the actual loot of last week:
Saraband was everything I expected it to be, and more. It was a fitting final chapter in Ingmar Bergman’s ridiculously brilliant career. It was a total blast to follow up with both the characters Marianne and Johan, and the actors, Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, thirty years after the television series Scenes from a Marriage. I almost regret moving to Russia since it caused me to miss this in theatres.
Insomnia was, as promised, a million times better than the American remake starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams. Everything about this thriller put me on edge. The cinematography was fantastic. The idea of the sun never setting for six months above the arctic circle is chilling to me. Three and a half bitchin’ stars.
I certainly don’t regret watching The Castle. It’s an important installment in Michael Haneke’s oeuvre. But that doesn’t mean I enjoyed watching it. Seeing Ulrich Muhe and Susanne Lothar acting together again only forced me to remember their adventures together in Funny Games. I don’t see the merit in adapting an unfinished, almost incomprehensible novel by Franz Kafka into film, but who’s to say there isn’t any. Assuming I didn’t miss much of the significant meaning, I felt like the ideas represented were bashed over my head over and over for the full two hours. And it felt much longer than that. This isn’t a film I’ll ever watch again.
This week’s Loot: