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Monday Movies: Deadwood redux

This week we watched a couple movies with actors from Deadwood, along with some others:

  • 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance — in the six months or so since my last Haneke movie, I felt I had recovered enough to watch another one. I’m not sure how well the news footage really worked, but this movie did have some really striking moments, most notably when it is revealed that the adoptive parents are trading out the little girl for the homeless Romanian boy and when the wife yells at the husband for saying “I love you.”
  • Winter’s Bone — John Hawkes, who played Sol Star, plays a much different character here. As The Girlfriend remarks, it seems like poor whites are the new inner city gangs, particularly with the drug element added by meth.
  • 44-Inch Chest — I suggested this one because Ian McShane is in it, though he winds up being seriously underused. Overall, they focused almost exclusively on the least sympathetic or relatable character, and the only moments of relief came from cut-away scenes to his friends. The opening sequence was frankly amazing, though.
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days — this was a really harrowing experience. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that they didn’t focus on the woman actually getting the abortion, but on her roommate, who truly goes above and beyond the call of duty in every respect.

What did you watch this week, dear readers?


February 14, 2011 - Posted by | Monday Movies


  1. “but on her roommate”

    Yeah, the last scene in the restaurant is strangely devastating. Great movie. Parable?

    Jigoku – Nakagawa 1960
    Ohayo – Ozu 59
    Hakuchi – Kurosawa 50 (counts as two)
    Sex and Fury – Suzuki 73 (Pinky violence, woman clothed only in katana and tattoos kills 30 Yakuza in snow kind of thing)

    Comment by bob mcmanus | February 14, 2011

  2. Friends of mine rent a house from the woman who played Trixie.

    I was sick last week and had a good run. My Winnipeg, Dogtooth, Starting Out in the Evening, Arthur. Aborted: Oldboy at the beginning for being a dub and The Vicious Kind in the middle for being bad (though I do want to see more dramatic Adam Scott).

    Plus I returned Trouble Every Day unwatched after three months.

    Comment by k-sky | February 14, 2011

  3. i watched _Yossi and Jasper_, _The witnesses_
    both were about gay people and tragic, very heartfelt and thoughtful, so i approve them
    i skip the 71 fragments’ and 4 months’ movies deliberately cz don’t want to feel too upset, netflix keeps suggesting me those too
    that Dogtooth movie was really horror to watch, i wished afterwards i didn’t, but for some reason i was waiting perhaps that the girl will break free or something, some kind of that, catharsis to redeem the creation of the whole thing, and got watched until the end, if it’s that same Greek movie
    really, that is the kind of art i could never get, it belongs maybe to the criminal/psychiatric records, not to the public viewing to traumatize people

    Comment by read | February 14, 2011

  4. got watched sounds wrong, the movie, it got watched

    Comment by read | February 14, 2011

  5. Oh man, Oldboy is a crazy ride.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | February 14, 2011

  6. Yeah, the roommate in 4M3W2D is truly a saint, as the other girl trying to get the abortion is an absolute dolt. I don’t think I would have gone that far to help someone so pathetic.

    Shorter Haneke: I blame television.

    Comment by jake | February 15, 2011

  7. I endorse read‘s opinion that some movies, ‘released’ for the public viewing as ‘Art’, are rather “criminal/psychiatric records” meant for “the public viewing to traumatize people”

    Comment by grrl_visitor | February 15, 2011

  8. I wrote a fair bit on Blue Valentine at my guest spot. The other thing that struck me about the movie, that I didn’t put in the essay but might write about sometime, is how it didn’t show you how much fun a divorce can be.

    Comment by k-sky | February 17, 2011

  9. I watched Mamma Mia! last night. This movie puzzled me on a couple of levels. On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine who the target audience of this movie is, if not myself. I am a fairly uncritical fan of movie musicals. I have a lot of affection for Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgard. I love — genuinely love — ABBA.* Also, I have terrible taste. And yet, not only did I not love this movie, it was so embarrassing I could barely watch it. By what immense collapse of judgment were Meryl Streep and Colin Firth induced to make such a disgraceful spectacle of themselves? Also, poor Pierce Brosnan. Was he under the impression that Auto Tune would fix that?

    A side point, but one that bothered me throughout – why were the adults in the movie so freaking old? Stellan Skarsgaard, Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep are all sixty or pushing it. Amanda Seyfried’s character is said to be twenty years old. So — did Donna’s wild youth extend into her forties? That would be stupid, but it isn’t right either – she says that when she got pregnant, her mother told her not to come back home, so she had to make a new life for herself. Surely this is meant to imply that she was in her teens or early twenties when she had a baby. But that would make Donna around forty now. You know who’s around forty? Ashley Judd, Winona Ryder, Hugh Jackman and Owen Wilson. Barring horrific damage from the sun off the Aegean, Meryl Streep, Stellan Skarsgard and Pierce Brosnan are obviously not forty. Also, why are everyone dressed in such grotesque costumes in the old photographs? They’re like, Halloween versions of hippies and disco dancers. What kind of idiot dressed like that, well, ever, but especially in 1988?

    There was one moment in the movie that genuinely made me laugh – towards the end, the camera finds Stellan Skarsgard, sitting down, looking totally baffled and very stoned – the very picture of the feeling, “what the fuck am I doing here?”. Other than that, the movie was totally grim and devoid of joy.

    *I once had a near-religious experience at the La Seu Cathedral that was triggered by a performance of “Chiquitita,” and also, some drugs.

    Comment by jms | February 17, 2011

  10. I am sincerely surprised to learn that Stellan Skarsgard is nearly 60.

    Comment by ben | February 17, 2011

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