I went to see Only God Forgives tonight. I have a problem with it; I don't know whether it was a violent film that attempted to be artsy, or an artsy film that happened to be violent. I'm leaning towards the latter.
If you want to see a film with an easy-to-follow sequence of scenes, this isn't the film for you. If, however, you just want to look at Ryan Gosling's face for a while, then by all means head to your local cinema. Just be warned: pretty boy Gosling doesn't stay pretty. He also doesn't say very much, which certainly detracts from the idea of him as an actor. We put it much more simply: he was hired to be a model in the film, hired for his face, and that's what they spent a lot of time showing on-screen.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing the guy, and I'm not dissing the film, but there wasn't an awful lot of expression on his face - or anyone else's unless they were being stabbed or cut to pieces - and the sequence of scenes made it difficult to tell what happened, and what didn't happen. While we're willing to accept the stabbings and the shootings, we struggle with the karaoke (a word I'm unsure of the spelling of, and cannot at the moment do a spell check - deal with my guess!). I think the fact that one of the songs sung came without any sound from the guy's mouth. He was miming a song in a foreign language, and we didn't even get the subtitles.
All that said, it was an enjoyable film. If you're into that sort of thing.
For me, it brought back memories of English class. We had a particular name for film's like Only God Forgives; we called them Michael Films, so called because the lecturer, Michael, seemed to make it his goal to show us the most bizarre and/or mentally scarring films he could possibly fit into vague genre definitions. I'm still caught up over which film was more damaging to my psyche: Oldboy, Blue Velvet, or Spanking the Monkey.
This particular brand of film, however weird, almost always manages to do something: it gets me thinking.
Tonight, I ended up thinking about a book I plan on writing, and how other books I'm planning on writing seem to all fit into one vaguely described universe. It's interesting how that happened, and while I'm not sure I know which elements of stories will actually fall together neatly, I know I've got some new ideas for the utilization.
That's the fun thing about cinema night. I don't always pick the film - actually, I rarely do - and so I'm exposed to a lot of different types of cinema. Comedies, horrors, actions, violent-artsies and artsy-violents, thrown into a mixture along with films for children, superhero films and the occasional fantasy. Cinema night, and film classes, are central to my life. In the space of a couple of hours, I can see the world through the eyes of another, however disturbed and crazy a world that might be. Stories are told, lives are lived, people are cut open by sharp swords, and it makes my brain whir with excitement at the potential for stories in the future.