Monday, September 20, 2004

Movie Rentals, Week of 9/13/04

HAIR (1979): I rented this musical because 1) I’ve never seen it, and 2) a local theatre company is doing a production and I keep hearing the music everywhere on commercials. I had high hopes for the film because it was directed by the great Milos Forman. I don’t know if it was the film itself or because I was so tired when I tried to watch it, but I found it so tedious that I actually turned it off after 30 minutes. That’s very rare for me, because I will usually stick things out until the bitter end. Maybe I’ll give the film a second chance some other day.

THINGS BEHIND THE SUN (2001): This intense little film by independent filmmaker Allison Anders features a struggling musician self-destructing from the effects of her childhood gang rape. A handsome magazine reporter arrives on the scene, ostensibly to interview her, but is hiding troubling connections to the musician’s past. This is a somewhat difficult film to watch. The violence—both physical and psychological—is very palatable. Anders, a rape survivor herself, aptly portrays the wreckage wrought by rape, and shows the seeds of healing and redemption. I’m a big fan of her work, and Things Behind the Sun has the hallmarks of a great Allison Anders film—great cast, good storytelling, and focusing on stories that normally aren’t told on film. This redeemed my film watching week after the Hair misfire.

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