Friday, November 11, 2011

Back Slapping Happy Club

"But as John pointed out in his incredible review (incredible until he starts comparing it to other non-relatable films),"

Yours is pretty great, too.

Instead of taking the compliment, though, I have to take issue with your "until he starts comparing it to other non-relatable films" jab.

My last paragraph was a bit of fun, but it wasn't just a piece of Armondian wankery. I'm having fun, but I'm not just being blindly antagonistic or making connections where none are warranted. Why not compare one film to other films, especially other films that I've seen recently? What, can Melancholia only be compared to Tarkovsky films? Screw that. I think that I WAS getting at a description of Melancholia precisely by relating it to so-called "non-relatable films."

I'll risk annoying you further by expanding the comparisons a bit.

Melancholia and Green Lantern are both about the end of the world. This is obvious. Melancholia is by far, by far, the better film. I was being flippant.

Drive is another lauded artsy-fartsy film. Drive was low on emotion (or at least low-key). Melancholia revs up the emotion, even if it's only to have the audience respond hostilely. Drive has slow buildup leading to sudden exaggerated moments. Melancholia has slow buildup leading to more slow moments.

Rachel Getting Married tries to make us love bourgeois weddings. Melancholia rightly gets us hating them.

Melancholia doesn't have half the wisdom of Pooh. Pooh celebrates small truths. Melancholia demolishes all truths regardless of size. If I had to choose one of these realities to live in, Pooh would win every time.

Tree of Life and Melancholia are the two Titans of this year so far. Of course they should be compared. Both may be prayers.

Finally, the attack on Midnight in Paris was just an attempt to stay in character. Someone has to stand up against that cinema tyrant and it seems like I'm the only one to do it.

I'm just having fun. Really, all I'm doing is externalizing the listmaking process, making it plain what sorts of comparisons and contrasts go into lining up movies in nice orderly numbered formation.

For what it's worth, right now I'd rank Melancholia second behind Tree of Life on a 2011 list, but I also, at the same time, don't really care about it. It's not a film that I ever care to see again. I'm discussing it now because it's fun and because I find that I can't just go back to 1940 and ignore 2011. I care about cinema past to present. I care about what's happening now. I was only half-joking in the car when I said, "Melanwhat?" I am really thinking about City for Conquest and The Shop Around the Corner. I'm forced to write about Melancholia because it's 2011 and not 1940 and it's what's worth arguing about. And I don't begrudge it that. I'm enjoying it. I'm still eagerly awaiting Chris' post and hoping that Ben will jump back into the fray now that four more of us have been initiated into the end of the world club.

My next post will be a long essay on the similarities and dissimilarities between Melancholia and Birth of a Nation. Just for Brandon.

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