Monday, March 1, 2010

Thums Are Decidedly Down -- and I'm Lucky I Didn't Shove My Thums In My Eyes. . . .

So this weekend, I had the worst experience of my film-going career.

'Twas The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Terry Gilliam's self-indulgent, incomprehensible frolic through special effects and lame imagery.

I begrudge no one his taste -- if you wanted to sit through it, if you found some meaning -- even tiny meaning -- then bless you.

I found no merit.

But that didn't make it the painful experience that it became.

That occurred when I was trapped. Unable to walk out, as I was the driver on a dreaded double-date.

I would have left one couple behind to fend for itself; it's a dog-eat-dog world, and survival is key.

But the other couple included my girlfriend's very nice, very kewl, very cinematically-misguided [at least in this case] daughter.

I couldn't bolt.

And I also couldn't sleep. It was in a historic [read: ancient] urban theater designed for men 5' 8" tall, weighing 174 lbs. at the top end. I was, as I say, doomed.

Just call me Alex, and let me tell you about the Ludovico Technique. . . .

click any image to enlarge
I thought I could wash away the pain with a visit to The Ghost Writer, Roman Polanski's taut little thriller. It cam e highly recommended, and I would frankly have sat through Polanski's rape trial rather than sit through Imaginarium again. But I digress.

I felt like I was watching a Hitchcock movie; the reviewers had it dead right.

I don't like Hitchcock movies. I respect the shit outta the things, but they don't get me hard.

The artificial, staged, isolated vibe that permeates every Hitchcock flick I've ever seen [you know, isolation even in a crowd scene] hung over the movie from the first word. It was stagey and claustrophobic, but not engaging. So I gotta give it a Thums Down.

James Belushi was the best thing in the movie. I kid you not.

But I urge you to memorize the theaters still playing The Ghost Writer. And I urge you to buy a copy.

You never know when someone might suggest you see or rent The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. . . . .

1 comment:

Mister Parker said...

I haven't seen The Ghost Writer but should I live to see my 88th birthday, when my blog will reach 2010, I'll be sure to plug a jack directly into my cerebral cortex and download the entire thing.

Of course, no one will be blogging by then, but I digress ...

Oh, and the other thing, The Wacky World Of Parnassus, or whatever you said, it's admittedly not on my radar screen so likely I'll never see it.

Now, if some weekend you and Ms. M want to head down to the AFI-Silver to watch The Outlaw Josey Wales or High Fidelity or some old Jean Arthur movie, well, I'm your man and Katie-Bar-The-Door is your woman.

But Terry Gilliam is right out.