Thursday, 2 March 2006

The Saddest Music In The World

I went with Zoé and a couple of her friends to TNB to see "The Saddest Music In The World" last night.

Sometimes I have the feeling in a cinema that I'm missing gross quantities of allegory or subtext in the film, and last night was the most I've felt that since probably Mulholland Drive. David Lynch is a little different, I guess, in that its often the story that's hidden in his films, whereis in this case I had the feeling that the story was something of a MacGuffin for the "real significance" of the film. Unfortunately, reading reviews it seems I am alone in this view.

In any case, its a film that lives in the bizarre. Realism is not to be seen here. The central characters are all weird, none moreso than Isabella Rosselini's wigged double-amputee beer baroness. I can only I am the first person to ever make the comparison, but the story structure resembles that of the Van Damme vehicle, The Quest, in that it advances as an interspersal of sad-music-offs and the developments of the relationships between the 5 principal characters. The cinematography is mostly black-and-white, and recalls any number of things, from Lynch's Eraserhead to Depression-era newsreels, to classic B/W cinema footage. Its a little tough on the eyes, but I guess it serves to establish a certain vibe.

The whole mix is certainly challenging - not for Van Damme fans, despite any structural similarities :) - and to a degree the madcap assembly probably leads the viewer to read more of his own projections into the film than a he might in a more traditional production. To that end, its certainly not a boring film, if you're willing to looking past the strangeness and listen to what it evokes.

1 comment:

David H. said...

That is certainly the most bizarre film I've seen for a very long time. I particularly enjoyed the song-offs, especially from Spain (or was it Mexico?).