Thursday, November 12, 2015

Jason goes to Holehead--Day 5

Two more movies on Tuesday, the night of oddities.

First up was MAGNETIC, an oddity with a lot of interesting ideas, but one fatal flaw. First the interesting ideas. Alice leaves New York to live in a winter wonderland (yes, her name is an intentional reference to Lewis Carroll.) There, in an analog dystopia replete with cassette tapes and rotary phones, she works the shittiest job in the world--calling parents to tell them their child has died and what morgue to pick them up at. All while a massive solar flare is about to hit the Earth, and an all-female Ra cult are planning to take over. Oh, and she's the only one left with dreams. And it's all set to a retro-electronica soundtrack. And I haven't even gotten to the weird part yet.

Now the fatal flaw. In the beginning, as she leaves the city, she throws out a bottle of pills. A voice in the shadows tells her she'll need those. She replies that she can feel nothing even without the help of medication. And then she spends the entire movie showing that. Everything is played with absolutely no feeling. Which is clearly an artistic choice, and is clearly making a point about our sense-deadened society. But aesthetically, it makes her journey a tedious and tiresome slog. This is a movie that may be well worth thinking about afterwards, but not possible to enjoy as you watch it.

And then the opposite, an oddity so random that you think it couldn't be interesting, but ends up becoming a cool, enjoyable story. CURTAIN, after a mysteriously bloody opening, tells the story of Danni, an ex-nurse who has finally moved out of her uncle's apartment and into her own. She's just setting up, putting in furniture, hanging a shower curtain, etc. And after a nap, when she goes to take a shower, the curtain is gone. Well, this strange and simple premise leads her and her colleague/boyfriend Tim (who mentors her in her job with a save the whales organization) on a strange journey to unlock a portal that leads to...well, the backwoods of New Jersey. And a terrifying cult, and a lot of strange, confusing danger. And a damn cool story.

Total Running Time: 143 minutes
My Total Minutes: 409,788

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