Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Movie Night 3

Short list this week:

1. Superthunderstingcar -
This is an hilarious sketch from the Peter Cook/Dudley Moore series Not Only...But Also (wiki) which ran intermittently in the late sixties and early seventies. It is a spoof of Thunderbirds and similar marionette shows that ran at the time (think Team America with live actors). Unfortunately it is no longer on YouTube, but I snagged it before it was removed.

2. Voices of a Distant Star (2002) -
An amazing 30-minute anime short about a young girl text messaging a boy while she battles an alien threat in deep space. Why are cell phones still prevalent during a time when interstellar travel is possible? If you need to ask this question then perhaps this movie isn't for you. The text message device is simply in place to explore the relationship between two people divided by a seemingly infinite distance. As Mikako's mission takes her further and further away from Earth, her messages take days, and then years, to reach Noboru. Never mind that he ages years while mere days pass for her. It's a simple and beautiful story.
Even more impressive is the fact that it was made almost entirely by one man, Makoto Shinkai, on his Macintosh computer.

3. The Saddest Music In The World (2003) -
This is still the only movie by Guy Maddin that I've seen (not including some short films), and it is one of my favorite movies of all time. It looks like an old silent movie, and it feels like watching someone's dream.
It's about a beer baroness during the depression in Canada. Depression, or no, alcohol is always in high demand, which has left the baroness relatively unaffected. She decides to host a publicity stunt in the form of a contest to see which country has the saddest music in the world.
It's also about a broken man trying to mend his shattered family, while attempting to win back the love of his life.
And it's about a man's quest to find the essence of sadness while simultaneously refusing to face his own tragic past.
And it's also absolutely hilarious.
Hell, I love any movie that manages to coherently combine a daydreaming nymphomaniac who receives messages from her tapeworm, beer-filled prosthetic legs, and a man who keeps the heart of his son preserved in a bottle of his own tears.
As the main character testifies early on, "Sadness is just happiness turned on its ass!"

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