2007: 3 movies

posted on 2020 June 8

Margot at the Wedding
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach
Produced by Scott Rudin
Cinematography by Harris Savides
Editing by Carol Littleton
Casting by Douglas Aibel
Production design by Anne Ross
Art direction by Adam Stockhausen
Set decor by Debra Schutt
Costumes by Ann Roth
Make-up by Michal Bigger
Hair-styles by Lori Guidroz
Starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Jack Black, Zane Pais,
and John Turturro

   Fantastic study of childhood in the developed world. There is sadness, there is beauty, there is confusion, every character has admirable traits and despicable ones. No one is to be trusted but everyone is to be loved. It's like a wizard has taken up cinema, and emotional engagement has, somehow in an instant, become the new metric. The reliance on silence or muted music as the soundtrack is both a bold statement of trust in the strong script and performances, as well as a realistic method of depicting what life really feels like. The decision is successful on both counts. The fact that we are from the beginning trying to obtain a meaning or moral, and that the morals and meanings are constantly morphing is one of its stronger attributes. Master performances all around. Mephistopheles must have been the editor. And the director. And the writer. The whole team gets extra kudos for being a part of this phenomenal project.
   Side note: I find it interesting that both of the only two directors who have movies that made it into the Canon for this year are friends and sometimes collaborators. Their understanding of cinema's history and how they could fit within it, propelling it forward, blossomed at the same time and maybe even assisted each other's achievements.

Hotel Chevalier
Written and directed by Wes Anderson
Produced by Patrice Haddad
Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman
Editing by Vincent Marchand
Art direction by Kris Moran
Make-up and Hair-styles by Frances Hannon
Starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman

   This movie and the next one present a conundrum, since they are always shown together, they share much of the same cast and crew, as well as mood, look, pacing, characters. On top of this, the story-lines compliment each other hand in glove. I have only watched them together and I have no desire to watch them separately. It's like appetizer before meal. Song before symphony. Poem before novel.
   So, how do we decide which comes first on this list? I list them in order of which was released first and which is to be screened first.
   As for the quality and importance in cinema of this short movie, it's a neat, subtle, quietly humorous piece about the violent yearning to hold onto someone who isn't ready to be held onto by anyone. The lasting effect is an epic romanticism, one heart breaking as it releases a lover that wants to be set free.

The Darjeeling Limited 
Directed by Wes Anderson
Written by Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola,
and Jason Schwartzman
Produced by Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola,
Lydia Dean Pilcher, and Scott Rudin
Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman
Editing by Andrew Weisblum
Production design by Mark Friedberg
Art direction by Aradhana Seth
Set decor by Suzanne Caplan Merwanji and Aradhana Seth
Costumes by Milena Canonero
Hair-styles by Fabian Garcia and Frances Hannon
Make-up by Frances Hannon
Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman,
Adrien Brody, Anjelica Huston,
Amara Karan, and Bill Murray

   This is the main feature tied to the introductory movie listed above. Should be viewed together as they are parts of a two-pronged project.
   It's a fantastic novel of a movie. The kind you can't put down, but rather you race through the pages of breathlessly, laughing, crying, shouting with pain, and shouting with pride.
   It's about family and how time separates, but how some bonds can never be replaced, and also how some people you love are the people can hurt you the worst. It's intricately designed and somehow hilarious with a great soundtrack. The music makes it not only a novel of a movie but also a classic rock record of a movie. Must see.

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