November 20th, 2006

amd: fishing

"By the blue tiled walls, near the market stalls, there's a hidden door she lead you to..."

So, I went with "Running With Scissors" this weekend. It came very close to being a good film, so very, very close that I'm not even positive where it went wrong. The acting was uniformly terrific, particularly from Brian Cox, Annette Benning, and Alex Baldwin. And there were enough personality quirks in it to power two Wes Anderson films.

I suspect that the big problem (for me) was the lack of momentum. This is a tough problem to fix when transmuting a personal memoir into a film, since real life is rarely helpful enough to follow the "rising action - climax - falling action" model that works so well in filmmaking.

It also used the risky trick of relying heavilly on period music to convey how the viewer is meant to feel at given points. Personally I don't hate this trick, but I'm not sure they pulled it off as well as they could have. Still, they made some fine selections, and I was quite happy to be reminded what a marvelous song Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" is. I probably hadn't heard that song in twenty years.

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    Al Stewart - "Year of the Cat"
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