I’ll admit upfront that I am generally not a movie person — certainly not a theatre-going movie person. It’s so outrageously expensive to see a movie in the theatre, and then… I have always gotta pee before it’s over, so I’m sitting through the last however much debating whether to miss a good part or just suffer. It detracts from the experience rather.
Even at home, though, I haven’t taken all that much advantage of Netflix. But because this new place is big for one person, and so quiet, I’ve taken to cuddling with the cats in the TV room (ie, the bedroom that is just off the kitchen) and turning the TV on.
Today I actually watched two movies plus the end of a third I’d started the other day. They were all in French — so I can practice comprehension and be engrossed in the physical details when I’m bored with a story or it’s too tense — and all rather different.
I finished up Hadewijc; I found it by turns frustrating, intense, interesting, and perplexing. It was another one of those “people not responding to conversational cues or in other circumstances where I think normal people would say something” films. If I’d been having conversations with the main character, I’m sure I’d have been snapping “What?!” or, er, “Quoi?!” at her a lot. Just say something, woman!
Her piety was both enviable (to feel that God is so very real, and to be truly in love with Him) and seriously unbalanced. As a devout Catholic, I think Mass and confession (especially, for her, confession!) should have been part of her life, but were never seen, and I should have thought she would have worn more traditionally modest clothing, especially when she became close to the Muslim brothers. Also, I’m not quite sure what happened in the end — did she get caught, or no?
Before finishing that one up, I watched Mademoiselle Chambon. There was even less talking in this film, if possible — but much more believable tension. It captured very well the fact that with almost no words, you can still be drawn to someone with a force that slams you together before you realize what’s going on. It was also intense in the sense that there were no good, painless choices for the characters. Bittersweet.
Over dinner I saw When the Sea Rises. Hmm. I remembered Yolande Moreau from Séraphine, and that disconcerted me a bit. Her stage act (which apparently she really performed at the beginning of her career) was creepy and stiff to me, but perhaps that’s a cultural thing. And her leading man did not grab me at all at first. Eventually, though, I was on his side. And again, bittersweet.
Yesterday I saw Special Treatment, which I really enjoyed — it was interesting to see a no-nonsense businesswoman whose business was sex; the sets were awesome; the story quite good. I was struck again, refreshingly, by the realization that sometimes, being extremely thin — while one has a lovely shape — can make one’s face look drawn, haggard, and older. (The one thing I like about being Not Thin is that I look at least ten years younger than I am, long may it continue.) Yet, of course, having that French insouciance and wardrobe offsets a good portion of the haggard. It, thankfully, did not have a bittersweet ending!
Actually, there was one bittersweet thing about the film — bittersweet for me, not for the characters. I was wistfully jealous of the close friendship, camaraderie, and fellowship between Alice and her best friend, also a prostitute. I have never had a friend like that and I don’t expect I will.
Meanwhile, in real life, I sent a couple of packages to friends in France, recycled some boxes and paper at the old place (dumpsters!), and took delivery of the chair-and-a-half that turns into a twin bed and lives in the guest room/office. Now I just need to sort the rest of that room out! Also, the wifi doesn’t really reach there, so I need to have a word with AT&T. I just hope it isn’t going to be an expensive proposition!