04 December 2015

Movie Review: Snails in the Rain (שבלולים בגשם)


There was something about this movie that made me think the director wrote the whole thing to leer at the lead actor, Yoav Reuveni. Yoav plays Boaz, a linguistics major at a Tel Aviv university in the late 1980s. He lives with his girlfriend and works after school. Everything is alright until he starts receiving short, anonymous love letters from another man. Now, if you ever wonder whether it is the external object or the internal feeling that really animates life, this movie definitely takes a position.

 I recall writing love letters to this classmate of mine in high school. And I always felt that he had an ambiguous sexuality and that to explore his homosexuality had the feeling tone of a fate worse than death. That being said, in my adolescence, I wasn't so sensitive to that, so I wrote him poetry. After the first one, if any of my friends delivered the poem to him, without looking at it he'd ask if it had come from me (as opposed to a girl). They would reply yes and then he'd chaotically rip it up to shreds with such force and effort and precision that it obliterated the writing completely. He did that every time. It was as though to see what was written would unleash something that must not be unleashed.

Anyways, Boaz reads these letters. He comes to expect them. And then he starts to look at every man around him as though its a possible author. This only intensifies something long simmering in him -- that is, his own homosexual feelings. His girlfriend is sensitive to this and so his emotional wobble disrupts their normalcy. We learn that during his compulsory army service, his homosexual feelings also broke through at one point.

I was disappointed with the end, big time. Korean double suicides feel more authentic than this. Although as I age, I have come to realize that life is not drawn only in black and white -- even if I feel one puts themselves in such a situation, black is much more preferred.

02 December 2015

Movie Review: Boulevard


In my own thought processes, I harbor romantic notions surrounding the midlife coming out drama. This movie does not disappoint. It is fortunate that Nolan Mack (played by Robin Williams in his last on-screen performance) does not have children and so the damage that is done in a debilitating cruelty that Nolan and his wife have done to each other for decades and that they didn't drag a bunch of other souls into the depths.

Nolan Mack is a middle aged loan officer at an American mid-West bank. He is married to Joy who is some kind of scholar/writer/academic and hausfrau. He goes about his highly habitual life -- lacking in spontaneity or joy. One night he takes a different street home after running an errand to the store and he ends up going to hooker/hustler lane. He practically runs over a young hustler who ends up "getting in." From there, he has made contact with the dark, repressed depths of his unconscious and from there spontaneity, feeling and everything else he's bottled up for 40 years comes roaring into his life breaking everything in its way.

There was an additional feeling layer woven into the story by the knowledge that Robin Williams suffered from depression and had killed himself. It threw the feeling part of the story into deeper relief that the character will be redeemed but the one playing the character not. A story of redemption is outlined by the truth of tragedy.