Thursday, June 17, 2010
while not jeneut's best film, but it was very good. the story follows the odd young man bazil, who's father was killed from a landmine, and bazil, himself, has a bullet lodged in his brain. as it turns out the manufacturer of the landmine is right across the street from the manufacturer of the bullet and both companies despise one another. essentially, it is a wildly funny and eccentric tale thematically centered on anti-war and arms dealers. not even at the top of his game, jeneut still delivers. the only downside to this movie is that the theme is really, really obvious and is spelled out right from the get-go. however, that doesn't make for any less of an enjoyable movie experience and, with a slightly larger budget, jeneut is able to do some pretty spectacular things. visually, the film is a mish-mash of clutter upon clutter upon clutter. the mic-macs live in a junk yard and spend their time separating trash from treasure and this aesthetic is one that is heavily exaggeraed throughout the film. stylistically, one of the characters (elastic girl) appears much like alexander wang a/w 10, that it's crazy. calculator girl is all '50s vintage. most of the characters have a vintage style to them, primarily b/c it is assumed that htey are finding their clothes in trash heaps and the junkyard. think old leather jackets, tattered beanies, and floral curtain print dresses mixed with heavy leather pants boots and jackets to aid in junkyard scavenging.
one of the most spectacular things about the film, aside from the amazing sets and locations, is that even with a subject matter as heavy as war and weapons of mass destruction, jeneut still creates his world of idiosyncratic dreamers who within the film reality create their own world completely separate, a world where their peculiarities are not only celebrated, it makes them heroes. watching jeneut's films, be it delicatessen, amelie, or a very long engagement, it makes me want to live in his reality, one that is built for dreamers, for contortionists, wish givers, ex-clowns, ect, i want to live in his sepia toned, green colored, yellow colored world. one of the most beautiful things about his world is that jeneut's leading ladies are never wilting flowers or women waiting to be rescued, they are film heroines with agency, that often propel the plot and solve the conundrum, bringing the film to a climax and then resolution. they often have talents or traits that, either visually or musically, set them apart from the normal world and mark them as dreaming outsiders. he films his characters with such respect that it instills a quality of longing in this viewer, i wan to be calculator or elastic girl (characters from micmacs). when the film is over, i got lost in a reverie quite like watching a film without subtitles and with the film done and the credits are rolling, i find myself still waiting to be in jeneut's world. leaving the cinema, alone with my thoughts and imagination, i find myself retreating back into the story (visually and cinematically by rewatching the trailer over and over again), and those thoughts have stayed with me for days.
(top image, from jak and jil, bw- me in christian louboutin flats, bottom still from movie)