Is The Shrine On Hiatus? It Just Might Be…

As no one has noticed, I haven’t posted in a while. To say the least there have been distractions: family visits, moving in with two new roommates and, well, life in general.

My consumption of film, literature and pop culture hasn’t stopped, however. Several weeks ago I attended a screening of Meek’s Cutoff (the cutoff was literal, which was quite a surprise). I also saw Max Winkler’s Ceremony (2010), which I enjoyed very much. I thought Michael Angarano exceeded all expectations. He was perfect in this film. In fact, if he plays his cards right he could be the next Sam Rockwell.

Ceremony is also another testament of how Lee Pace is capable of playing anyone and anything. He is one of the best- and funniest- parts of the film. To get an idea, you should view the trailer. In fact, I’d just recommend you watch it. Everyone mentioned already, as well as the rest of the cast (Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, and Jake Johnson – who I remembered from Funny Or Die’s Drunk History), are stellar. I hate to think that this little-known film will be neglected.

Since my move I have started emptying my Netflix instant queue of dark, sexual and violent films I’ve avoided over the past year and a half. I watched Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover (1989) this morning. It was fun to watch Michael Gambon shout for two hours and I intend to watch him shout for another two hours when I watch Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire (2005) tonight. Also, Tim Roth was in it. He was a gem.

There was David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986), which I have seen before but still doesn’t move me. I then watched Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress (2007), which was surprisingly good. It was more about a man’s intimate history and societal expectations than Breillat’s usual subject: sex (surprise, everyone!). Then I watched Mistress‘s predecessor, Anatomy Of Hell (2004), and gaped at a film about a gay man sticking random objects into a woman’s body then going to a bar and crying about it. It hurt my brain. Also, I will never look at a garden rake without cringing.

Rocco Siffredi: “So… where should I put this garden rake?” Me: “Please stop.”

Then the supreme happening happened: Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (2009). I finally got around to it.

First of all, this movie made me promise my body I would never hurt it in certain ways (“It’s okay. I’ll never do that to you.”). Secondly, happy Charlotte Gainsbourg is way more charming and sexy than sad/homicidal Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Thirdly- best character in the movie? The main characters’ deceased son. Seriously, as shocking and sad as the opening sequence is, shooting with that little boy must have been a blast. It looked like he was having the time of his life. I just wanted to hug the shit out of him.

In conclusion, if I had been babysitting all of Antichrist could have been avoided.

Of course, Antichrist is the kind of film that doesn’t leave your mind for days. This keeps with von Trier’s filmmaking philosophy. He once observed: “A film ought to be like a pebble in your shoe.” In the end the film didn’t disturb me as much as much as want to own pieces of it. I don’t know what I’d pay more money for: a sound recording of the audience reacting to it at Cannes (its first screening ever) or all the slo-mo footage of that kickass little boy jumping off of things.

Seriously. I can’t decide.

I also see parallels between Antichrist and the Maine episode in Fishing With John, since both are about two people going to an isolated place in the wilderness and losing their minds. What’s more, both involve Willem Dafoe. Would that be confusing for some people? Perhaps.

“Hey, do you remember that episode of Fishing With John where John crushes Willem Dafoe’s testicles with a piece of wood?”
“No dude, that was Antichrist.”
“Oh… right. I always get those two mixed up.”

In other news: I have been continuing to immerse myself in various fandoms since I last wrote in mid-July. I watched the Star Wars trilogy again. I enjoyed it. I attempted to read Tolkien. I failed. But who knows? Maybe I’ll do a short series of entries on the film adaptations of The Lord Of The Rings series. That’s it, though. Maybe.

For now I think I may become completely absorbed into another, much larger project. I may post but less frequently. I will most likely continue with the Z to A series. Other than that, I wouldn’t expect a film review until Breaking Dawn – Part 1 in November.

I wouldn’t miss making fun of that for the world.

Until then, I’ll be listening to this and doing slo-mo pirouettes through my new house. Have a nice, lazy Sunday.

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