Monday, April 16, 2007

Here in Madison Sunday, everything looked like a still from a movie I haven't seen yet

Maybe it was the influence of the Wisconsin Film Festival, but everything seemed a bit unreal and mysterious around town on a sunny Sunday -- like stills from a movie I haven't seen.

They seemed to be rehearsing for some kind of martial arts movie in Camp Randall.

Why was this couple kicking their bike? I have no idea. Just something glimpsed in the rear view mirror.

With the end of the film festival, it was time to head back to reality -- and go home to finish up the taxes.


Anonymous said...

So, Madison Guy, what flicks did you see?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am curious, too.

Madison Guy said...

Lots of work etc. conflicts and unfortunately couldn't see many this year. But really enjoyed "Poison Friends" Sunday night at the Orpheum. Wickedly amusing, nuanced satire about French academic life that could be viewed on multiple levels, with a memorably charismatic antihero. Why do students at the Sorbonne write? Apparently so they can get grants to study "the master," James Ellroy, at Berekeley.

Anonymous said...

I also saw "Poison Friends," but, for whatever reason, I was hoping for a bit more backstabbing evil from Andre. And I also wondered about the fascination with James Ellroy -- does he represent some sort of hardboiled American "otherness" to these 20-something French students? I don't get the sense that Ellroy is considered high literature here in the U.S., though he's got a legion of fans.

Madison Guy said...

Right -- Ellroy is a terrific genre writer, but not exactly great literature. I thought the Ellroy fixation was part of the satire of French academic criticism. The filmmaker seemed to be asking, is this what France's best and brightest at the Sorbonne are studying as literature these days?

I liked the different ways we could see what was going on. From one point of view, Andre was a manipulative psychopath. From another point of view, he was the only honest man in a world of pompous academics and pompous acedemics to-be.

It also seemed the director was playing with film conventions a bit. As Andre appeared to turn more and more sinister, it just seemed natural to assume something violent would ensue. When he made his stealth appearance in the balcony at the book signing, I was sure there would be violence. But there never was (unless slapping a professor in the face qualifies as violence).