Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Films I Want to See

Cinema frequently disappoints me. Some movies just look better on a big screen, the ones with guns and testosterone, or improbable flying lizards, others, in small constrained settings are comfortable to watch on a laptop monitor. I also find myself weary of predictable plotlines and resent playing guessing games with the director for the next slice of action.
Not much left, it would seem. Or, perhaps not. Quite often, the more a film is hammered by the critics, the more I'd like to see it. It's nice, too to have read the books first, which movie critics seem to do less and less.
For example, "The American". George Clooney. Art house with firearms and the moral dilemmas faced by an executioner. Might be interesting, especially with an unknown cast and filmed in the Abruzzo mountains. A grown-up Jason Bourne, perhaps. The twaddle-merchants (barely pubescent juveniles with little experience and no taste) seemed on the whole to dislike it, which means I'm quite looking forward to seeing it. Perhaps I've seen too many European films - which look different to Hollywood eyes.
According to one critic, the tough-cool tradition of classic French crime dramas lives in Anton Corbijn's thriller adapted from the late Martin Booth's 1991 novel "A Very Private Gentleman". Locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla - Mr. Butterfly - a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous; mornings spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafes, and evening talks with his friend the town priest over a glass of brandy. Yet there are other sides to this gentleman's life: Clara: the young student who moonlights in the town bordello. And another woman who arrives with $100,000 and a commission, but not for a painting of butterflies. With this assignment returns the dark fear that has dogged Signor Farfalla's mysterious life. Almost instantly, he senses a deadly circle closing in on him, one which he may or may not elude. Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal. H'm. Interesting. Novels and films about ageing, the past catching up with you and self doubt are probably not good for me but at least keep me honest.


  1. Of course these novels and films will be good for you. If only to provide the opportunity to exclaim (to yourself, of course), "Thank God I'm not that bad."

    Leaving aside aborted navel gazing, I've never heard of the French sounds intriguing. I've always liked butterflies.

  2. Not released till 27 October.
    I bought the book, btw for "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" - the original film in Swedish is excellent. There are English books available here with a more congenial content base than the Hawally bookshop or Virgin.

  3. Absolutely - check out Q8 Books - Salam Tower(mezzanine), Salam Al Fahad street in Kuwait City. Jacob is there every day after 4 pm. One of my favorite places in Kuwait, and I can walk there on my lunch break. This is not always a good thing. lol

  4. HM introduced me to it when i was on taxi duty..
    And you were otherwise engaged.

  5. I finally went to see this. It needs patience, and painstaking concentration, like assembling a handgun. But, each part fits beautifully, , Clooney is dark enough to make a Catholic priest think twice and the Abruzzo scenery is marvellous.


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