august MOVIE MEME, day 8: movie I’m ashamed to hate
The shame continues. Only this time it’s shame for lack of understanding. Ever see a movie that’s loved by the critics or by the bloggers, and you simply don’t get it? In fact, you may even hate it? Yeah, here are a couple of examples. (And maybe “ashamed” is a strong word, as I’m more than willing to explain below why I dislike these movies so…)
Mulholland Dr. (2001, dir. David Lynch) – I’ll start with the example that will likely elicit the most complaints from the blogosphere – Mulholland Dr. To preface, I’ve never seen any other David Lynch films, including Blue Velvet, and I enjoy Naomi Watts in most everything she does. But what the hell is this? I’m all for experimental, quirky films, but quirk for the sake of quirk is grating and ineffective. What this whirlwind of weird left me with was a slack jaw and dissatisfaction. Through a flurry of bizarre scenes, the two female leads go from complete strangers to passionate lovemaking to being each others one true love in about a day or two of knowing each other. Nothing about it connected with me, and I rolled my eyes more than I smiled contentedly. Yet, it inexplicably received accolades, including an Oscar nod for Best Director and a Golden Globe nod for Best Screenplay – what exactly did the screenplay entail?
Antichrist (2009, dir. Lars von Trier) – Maybe it’s just me… or does Lars von Trier sort of strike you as a bit of a loon? Granted, I’ve only seen this and Breaking the Waves, but what am I supposed to take from an indulgent, overwrought, nonsensical drama such as this? The plot was so interpretative I couldn’t stand it. Experimental theater does not always make a good film, and that is basically what’s at play here. Charlotte Gainsbourg received accolades from international critics, and I found her performance so painstakingly sullen and affected that I could barely get through the whole movie. I’ve yet to see something relevant from this bizarro director, and this one, which so many found so wonderful and provocative, I found grating and frustrating. I just can’t get on board with movies that are strange and shocking just for the sake of it. There’s no substance here. Or do I just not get it?