Friday, May 21, 2004

Thanks to the excellent Making Pictures: A Century of European Cinematography, which just crossed my desk this week, I've started a little side project of European film-watching. I'm hoping that as the spring term comes to an end and we head into summer, I'll have more time to fill in the gargantuan gaps in my "Seen it" list. (Fellini, I'm looking at you.)

First up, last night: Lola and Billy the Kid (1999), a German-made film about gay Turkish immigrant subculture in Berlin. Which begs the question (at least for me): why do directors feel they have to follow a formula? It does the film no favours, it does the audience no favours. It's boring. A sub-question generated by the same film is: why do we need stereotyped secondary characters? I have a theory that film making (or any kind of storytelling) should be like cleaning out the fridge: if it fits a mold, if it's mold-y, bin it.

I don't mean to slam the movie; it took a good stab at representing the complexities of machismo and male sexuality, as well as those of immigrant minority cultures. But let's just say I've put in an interlibrary loan request for La Haine, and I'm looking forward to rewatching it. It's been a long time since I saw it, but that one scene, where the DJ in the mainly-Arab tower block is mixing Edith Piaf's "Je ne regrette rien" with a song called "F**k the Police" at top volume through the urban wasteland... That's a cool, complex, funny, sad, interesting scene. And Lola and Billy the Kid gave me nothing like that.

Though there was a very cool cream Daimler.


Post a Comment

<< Home