Sunday, May 15, 2011

When indie movies go wrong…

I had a nice day in town yesterday, though I left my camera at home. Ill try to paint some pictures from memory:

First, Allison and I met up at a restaurant/café on Long Street called Pickwick’s, where every item on the menu is named after a Dickens character. I love the décor inside—long, candle-lit tables, funky antiques, mismatched cups and dishes. I had French toast with Camembert cheese and fig jam, and way too much coffee.

We ambled through a few used book stores, and by some miracle, I resisted making a purchase. (I am in love with the Recreational Reading Room in the UCT library—such! good! fiction!—so I have access to tons of novels for free every day.)

Then we returned to the Labia Theatre, though we were disappointed to that Blue Valentine was no longer playing. So I picked Le herbes folles because it was written and directed by Alain Resnais, who also directed Hiroshima mon amour. HMA was AMAZING, and when I watched it this year, I found it impossible to believe it was released more than 50 years ago.

Maybe I don’t know as much about film as I think I do. Whatever the case, I hated Le herbes folles. The pacing was so slow it was painful, and the narrative relied too heavily on artsy shots (of, you guessed it—wild grass. I swear we could see the grass growing.).

The characters were erratic (a neurotic man becomes a stalker? The woman he stalks is frightened, then becomes obsessed with him? Random sidekick characters have an affair? There is a very unfortunate wife character who is just plain nice… and her character goes nowhere. I could go on.), so I don’t see how I was supposed to care about them one way or another. Erratic, or stock characters—now I know what a Manic Pixie Dream Girl grows up to be: A Manic Pixie 55+:

Sabine Azéma as Marguerite Muir in Les herbes folles. She’s supposed to be quirky and endearing, I think.

I don’t really want to go into the plot point about one character’s obsession with WWII pilots and planes and his chance encounter with a dentist-by-day, aviatrix-by-night, because even that stuff was boring and slow.

So that film was a bust. But I’ll take any chance I get to visit that art house theatre, so I’ll hope for better luck next time.


  1. Yikes. sounds like a hot mess of a movie. On the other hand -- A restaurant where the food is named after Dicken's characters?! Lucky duck!! I miss you and trolling through used book stores :(

  2. Also, HMA is now on my list!