another suffering heroine in a lars von trier film. here after losing her son in an accident her psychoanalyst husband takes her deep in the woods to 'eden' where she is to confront her fear of nature. nature is the garden of death. but it is also woman- and herself. evil resides in her as passion as she rebels against reason and the phallus; and her own womanhood in gruesome scenes of genital mutilation. gratuitous violence that i could not bear to watch. incredibly well made with all kinds of biblical allusions thrown in. not that i figured out most of them. but nowhere as complex as dogville.
a similar conversation that pits male rationality against female romanticism occurs in the middle of pierrot le fou, jean luc godard's wild ride with ferdinand or pierrot and anna karina- the wild child that leads him away from his stultifying bourgeois life- wife and kids and parties where the latest commodity is discussed in detail through coloured filters. pop culture and cultural references pop up everywhere- from proust and james joyce to film noir. film genres switch in staccato rhythms. seemed like a pop art film with its in-jokes about film making, its palette of primary colours and its set design with posters o art reproductions and designer chairs. lenin and coke are discussed in the sun drenched south of france; in the genteel sun and sand american culture is lampooned and loved, the vietnam war becomes a game.
graham greene's hero in 'the quiet american' is a world weary british reporter in love with a beautiful vietnamese woman, when a young american arrives in saigon with visions of a different future for the country. this white man's burden is to save the vietnamese from the evils of communism and the ineffectual colonial rule of the french; no matter what the cost in human lives. after all it is the larger ideological battle that must be won. echoes of every american war since. iraq especially.
'the italian job' is good american pulp. mark walberg and a huge bunch of stars including donald sutherland and edward norton in a oceans eleven style crime caper. something about gold bricks and a double crossing partner. with all the cool gadgets and lines this really should be much better.
in the film version of ayn rand's 'the fountainhead' gary cooper as howard roark is the first laugh. and then there is the dominique francon who gets an orgasm everytime she sees his sweat drenched shirt- or when she sees him drill the limestone with his strong arms; or the 'radical' architecture that roark is supposed to have built which all look like bad renderings of modern architecture that you find in every architecture magazine even today. the film manages to stay true to the book and brings out its inherent silliness. the 'inspiring' speech at the end when roark justifies his individuality over the collective is hilarious especially since he has just blown up a low income housing settlement because the evil mediocrities have prettied it up. the howlers in the dialogue make this a must watch for all architects.