Tag Archives: french cinema

The Greencine Five, Part II: Phantom India, Tribulation 99, Immortal, Twin Peaks, Gattaca

Sometimes clicking “rent” at things that look vaguely interesting gets you classics, like I’m Not Afraid. At other times — well, you get my last two weeks of movie watching. That “Gattaca” is the highlight of the list says a lot. I would have had more fun watching any of the movies on the Awful Movie Database.

Paternalistic Marxism

Like Twin Peaks Season 2 Disk 2 (reviewed below), this second disk is one DVD too many. The director’s orientalism, marxism, and general Frenchism (calling the Jews degenerate was a nice touch) gets tiring, as does his superficially informative documentary about India. If you want to see what India’s true problems in the 1960s were, watching Commanding Heights. If you need to punish yourself to restore karma from a particularly bad dead — say, the sacking of Samarkand — then finishin Phantom India. If you liked Amin Maalouf’s In the Name of Identity, as I didn’t, you may be able to tolerate this movie.

Republicans = Molemen

A real conspiracy theory wrapped inside a false one, Tribulation 99 starts out fanatistically strange.. and ends as yet another angry, campus-radical screed against Reagan, Bush, the United Fruit Company, and counter-revolutionary generally. The whole film is about 50 minutes long — watch the first half, then throw the disk away. (Or, if you subscribe to greencine, return it and get another in the mail!). Many references will be familiar to Coast to Coast AM fans. If the film hadn’t strayed so far into late-eighties-campus-leftist paranoia it would have been a classic.

Thank you, France.

Immortal deserves 3/10 stars because portions of the soundtrack are courtesy of Sigur Ros. Without this touches it’s a solid 1/10. A dull French fantasy about revolution in a futuristic New York
features, among other things, a floating pyramid and an uncomfortable fixation with schizophrenic rape.

And the murderer is…

If Season 2, Disk 1 of Twin Peaks was the equivalent of how LOST’s second season started out, Season 2, Disk 2 is the equivalent of how LOST’s third season began: awful. The pacing is slow, all the interesting stuff is missing, and the acting is hardly believable. The only redeeming feature is that the first scene of the first episode on the disk ties into the last scene of the last episode. I only watched this disk because I want to watch every episode of the series, in its proper order, by the end of the summer. Not recommended.

Run! Science!

A stylish sci-fi drama set in a futuristic 1950s, Gattaca is based on a simple fact: as variation in environment decreases, the variation in outcomes explained by genetics decreases. This is not a terrible thing — unequal environments, of course, are how we can look at low IQ across Africa without resorting to racial explanations. Gattaca drags on, but makes one think a lot. Final verdict: Below-average but still good.