A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What I'm Watching

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Did Woody Allen find something new in himself by getting out of New York City? I haven't been a Woodyphile for many years, but this struck me as fresh and funny work. (I haven't seen the films he made in England.) Admittedly, it's the same old neuroses -- though incorporated in Rebecca Hall's Vicky instead an aging male worrywart. And there's nothing particularly new in playing off uptight Americans against volatile Europeans. But the handling of actors is masterly, especially Penélope Cruz, who deserved her Oscar. It's the best work by her I've seen outside of Almodóvar's films.

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