Satire, in this case, of a Madonna music video, is one of DiCillo's strengths.
The Real Blonde is similar to Life Is Sweet.And I do know for a fact that DiCillo likes Leigh’s work. I rewatched The Real Blonde a few nights ago while slightly drunk because I didn’t have the patience at the time to watch anything better. That should say it all, but… that would be unjust. I do like DiCillo, and maintain that Box of Moonlight is one of my favorite movies, and his very best work – and it’s the only one in which the typical DiCillo Hollywood Ending is more subtle. The same can’t be said for The Real Blonde despite its many wonderful moments of humor and outrage, in which DiCillo’s own personality comes out. I do admire his optimism, but I’m afraid I can’t share it.
Life Is Sweet – leave it to the self-effacing British to trash Mike Leigh every time I mentioned him in conversation overseas. I understand where dislike for him comes from, but I don’t agree with it. However, Life Is Sweet is the only film of his I’ve seen where I have felt something similar to what his critics talk about. The characters are so broad (with the exception of David Thewlis’s mesmerisingly languid “Lover” and Jim Broadbent’s immediately familiar Andy) that you feel the life go out of the film and are only left with the “sweet” part. And that’s never any fun. What I love about Leigh’s films are the details… Life is Sweet seemed to lack those things. But as a filmmaker it does teach me a lesson. Which is much much more than I could ever say for garbage like Quills.
I will write about the films posted previously in a short while. For now I have decided to focus on my most recent viewings. The last few days have proved difficult ones for filmwatching, but nonetheless I’ve managed the following:
Mit mir will keiner spielen (Nobody Wants to Play with Me) – Werner Herzog – 1976
Quills – Philip Kaufman – 2000
Life Is Sweet – Mike Leigh – 1991
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe – Les Blank – 1980
The Real Blonde – tom DiCillo – 1997 (revisited)
Ordinary People – Robert Redford – 1980 (revisited)
Burden of Dreams – Les Blank – 1982
Night of the Hunter – Charles Laughton – 1955 (revisited)
Hangover Square – John Brahm – 1945
As you can probably guess, this will mostly be about Herzog. But let’s just go in order.
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Tagged comedy, documentary, film, hollywood, horror, movies, noir, sadism, thriller, trash, werner herzog