After Flying Lotuss debut film induced mass strikes at Sundance, we asked our reviewers about the movies that established them head for the exit
I tend to remain in my set for the length of movies , no matter how wretched they may be. Perhaps its due to some eternal optimism that a last-gasp twisting might suddenly make sense of the clunky talk and swiss-cheese plot of the previous 80 -odd hours, or perhaps its because the prospect of fumbling my way out of a jam-packed cinema in pitch blackness, knocking over popcorn and stand in consortia of half-defrosted Slush Puppies crowds me with abject horror. Either way, Im staying put.
The one exception to this informal govern was for the Brobdingnagian orgy of detonations and khaki that was Michael Bays Pearl Harbor. At the time of release the cinema was savaged by reviewers for its Hallmark-greeting-card characterisation and interminable historic inaccuracies, but it wasnt for either of those reasons that I made an early departure; it was because the film was three sodding hours long and by hour two and a half I genuinely, actually needed the loo. The war was still raging on after I had sorted myself out, but there was no way in hell I was going back in there if theres one thing worse than trying to escape a darkened cinema, its trying to get back into one. GM
The Baby of Macon
Ive ever felt that as a film commentator is too a sort-of reporter, its a point of principle to stay to the end of a cinema, however frightful it is.( If its unwatchable, I tend to shut my eyes, impede my ears or just quietly fall asleep, depending on how exactly my fragile sensibilities are being offended .) I dislike horrific and/ or ordeal horror I represent, whats the part? but for the real crimes against cinema you need to go to the ostentatious, the vacuous and the unnecessarily brutal. Putting aside the two hours of the self-involved smirkfest that was Rian Johnsons The Friend Bloom, I can think of best available candidate than an obscure Peter Greenaway film I viewed in 1993 called The Baby of Macon.
Greenaways epoches as an outrage-provoker are reservoir behind him of course, and I like a lot of his 80 s movies: The Cook, The Thief His Wife& Her Lover; The Draughtsmans Contract; Belly of an Architect. But I took an instant, visceral dislike to Macon: a play within a film kind of event, boasting a restaging of a medieval decency performance( which was Greenaways own invention) about a woman who counterfeits a virgin birth and is sentenced to being repeatedly raped by the neighbourhood militia. It starred Julia Ormond and Ralph Fiennes, both very early in their occupations. Greenaways big-hearted turn is that the actual actors( in the modern production processes the decency play-act) ended they didnt like the status of women playing the virgin-birth-faker, and crimes her for real, and her agonised calls are taken by everybody else for uncannily brilliant play. Over 20 year later, I still dont insure any condone. AP
This Is 40
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