November 15th, 2005

eyes black and white

Movies with a Social Commentary

In the last few months, I saw the following movies.

Harold and Maude, 1971

A very touching movie. Dark humor, sadness, true love, albeit unlikely, and kind of a didactic movie. Very good acting and direction. As in many self-claimed convention-blowing movies, there are a few cheap shots (notably against the military), but all in all a good movie. Now if you tried swapping genders, you'd see that this movie doesn't prove much.
Note: 6

Look at me, 2004

The original french title is Comme une image. A good social satire. A bit slow paced, like all such movies, but that's the way it works. The story is articulated neatly enough to avoid repetition, yet manages to keep things true sounding enough to be believable. As with other movies by that couple, it won't try to issue judgments for you: you're able to say asshole yourself. Of course, the implicit judgment is fully intended, but the authors will rest their case on the verisimilitude of the story; you tell which parts of their story you think is believable or too cliché.
Note: 6

Spanglish, 2004

A poor mexican single mother becomes the housemaid of a successful american family. An unfathomable abyss of political correctness. It raises a few potentially interesting issues, but doesn't dare deal with any of them. Hollywood smoothness makes a muddle out of morality. And the acting is oh so conventional. An illustration of the moral bankruptcy of the goodthinking democrats. What a waste of film!
Note: 3

Lawn Dogs, 1997

A young girl who's recovering from an open heart operation shuns the people from her cosy suburbia, and seeks the friendship of the lawnmower boy, whose shack in the forest she equates with Baba Yaga's house. Revolt without anything worthwhile to revolt for or against. Poetry here and there that's not enough to create an atmosphere. It's nicely shot, nicely played, but the story is rather thin.
Note: 4