Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cultural film exchange

A friend of mine has been trying to get me to watch the film A Knights Tale for some time and each time I have refused. The reasons for this being that I remember the trailer for this made the film look awful (it looked like the mindless popcorn films that I really despise) and in addition to this, my friend has been known to have terrible taste in films (he really likes The Mummy Returns).

Eventually we have reached an agreement – If I watch A Knights Tale he had to watch a film of my choosing. As such I lent him INLAND EMPIRE (the capital letters really are very important). The reason for this is that it is the absolute polar opposite of a mindless popcorn picture, it is by far one of the most challenging films to watch that I have ever seen and I say that in a good way.

Before lending INLAND EMPIRE to my friend, I decided to watch it again. On my second viewing I was able to piece together some of the elements which were lost on my first viewing, also the themes of the film seemed to come to the surface a lot clearer this time. However, it has to be said, that this is a film which I believe is impossible to fully decipher (unless of course you are David Lynch). Above all else, it is a film which needs to be experienced and appreciated, but not fully understood. I am still of the opinion that it is one of the most remarkable films in recent memory and is also a perfect example of how the medium of film can be used in a very, very different way.

Anyway, as it turns out I actually rather enjoyed A Knights Tale, mainly thanks to the strong supporting characters – most prominently Paul Bettany who was superb as Chaucer. As such, I’m feeling a little guilty lending my friend INLAND EMPIRE, as I’d be very surprised if he actually enjoys it, and standing at just over 3 hours long it really is a lot to take in!

Film watched:
A Knights Tale

Extremely predictable, but strangely endearing medieval romp.


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