16 February 2010

Le fils (The Son)

Not to say this wasn't very good, but I'll always remember this movie as That French Film About The Back Of The Balding Man's Head. What a tight, claustrophobic way to shoot every shot. Obviously to a purpose -- one thing I'm liking about the Dardennes is that for all their pseudo-realism everything is to a purpose -- but still, that's a lot of the back of a man's head. Subjective viewpoint or opaque perspective? I guess they're pretty much the same thing here.

Boy, first Police, Adj., then Lorna's Silence, then Under the Sand and now this. I've been on a real roll with slow, observational, procedural-style storytelling. It's been good for me, after so many bigger, broader Hollywood style films, to watch this stuff and see the same levels of artifice and careful construction now sublimated into a story that at least feels like the real world. Whether or not that's how my writing comes out, it's inspiring to see it done.

For the record, though, both films explored very unique and difficult emotional terrains, but I liked Lorna's Silence quite a bit more than this one on an aesthetic level. I guess I still like my crime stories more than my slice-of-life dramas. No surprise there, huh?

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