I recently watched a movie I won't name right now, and the best thing about it was the way people just stopped and dead-pan stared - for a joke. It was a comedy. It was, harmlessly sardonic.
Well, then I watched, "Marie Antoinette (2006 film)," with Kirsten Dunst being, as always, Kirsten Dunst, pretending to be Marie Antoinette. This was not a comedy. But ut was amazing to watch, and had a soundtrack that could have been for Repo Man II. I mean really, grand ball dances of the aristocracy while some zany song by Oingo Boingo is playing? However, the point I want to make is that this movie spent a lot of time just stopping and staring, but not as a joke.
Tonight, I watched one of the best-made fucking-weird movies ever, starring Scarlett Johansson as a space alien. I don't really read much about a movie before I watch a DVD, and so I was trippin on this one. Under the Skin (2013 film). Scarlett Johansson, space alien, is a London girl who learns how to drive the Scottish way, picking up unintelligible Scottish guys, whom she lures into her sexness and somehow feeds to some kinda something somewhere, all in surreal weirdness.
It is clear that this movie owed much of its style to David Lynch's, "Eraserhead," a cult film which once made me run all the way home praying that I was not pregnant. Both movies just spent a lot of time wasting a lot of time just stopping and staring, for dramatic, if not horrific, effect. I highly advise watching Eraserhead before Under the Skin.
Then, chase that down with Sea of Trees. Because Scarlett's movie kept getting more and more "real"/existential, and she ended up in a different sea of trees, which is apparently a great place to die. Come to think of it, Kirsten Dunst also ended up in a sea of trees, and this leads me to the obvious conclusion that Marie Antoinette was a space alien. Seriously. They were both completely out of their element. They were both bombshells. Nobody understood them. They ate babies. They ate cake. They just stood there, staring. And they ultimately travelled away into outer space.
Not to mention they both had weird fucking soundtracks. I don't think Kirsten realised that her movie would seem a little more comic than, Amadeus, and would more closely compare to, "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me," in all its farce and banality. However, I wouldn't stretch this comparison to include the other two movies, except when the super-speedy motorbikes show up, which take us back to Repo Man.
In Marie Antoinette, sex is a bad thing. The young king simply never gets around to banging her, and everyone is all upset about this. Oh, but then they do have sex, so, that was like the major part of the plot, turning out to be a red herring. They were SUPPOSED to have a BOY, OR ELSE, but they had a GIRL!!!! Oh NO!... Oh, but then they had a boy, so forget all that.
Another red herring was the evil duchess who threatens all harm but then disappears from the movie so I guess we shouldn't have cared about that element. And the Swedish soldier shows up and has sex but then disappears, and we don't even get a plot twist that Marie's new son MIGHT BE HIS...
The whole movie was not about plot - I mean the revolution just appeared out of nowhere, near the end of the movie. Instead, it was all about stopping and staring at opulence. The thrill of being a 15 year old girl being lured away into seemingly infinite wealth. Marie was just misunderstood - torn between two kingdoms - and between the French commoners and the French aristocracy, both of whom were clearly asses.
But, if I allowed myself to get inside the head of a monkey who was strapped to a machine which constantly rewarded him cocaine, I would sit there and commiserate with that monkey, believing in my heart of hearts that overdosing was truly a very good and natural thing.
They say the rich have always been greedy. Well, that's what wealth IS. That's what value is: consuming! Destroying! Everybody wants that same ham on the table, and you're the one who has it - but its too big for your mouth and so what do you do? You use it as canon fodder, of course, because you wouldn't want to see its VALUE trashed in any way, right? That would demean YOU!
Anyway, sex was bad in the movie, Marie Antoinette, until it was good. But then everything came to a tragic end.
Similarly, sex was bad in the movie, Under the Skin. Strip away all the sci-fi and alien veneer, and this is just another movie about a female alienated by life and eventually learning to love it through sex, although THIS alien also meets a tragic end.
Both movies were amusing, pleasant and disturbing to watch.
We all live in a sea of trees. Because of the bad sex. We all steam away in an old cranky radiator. We grab our little crumbs of cake, for one brief moment, and then we are falling like flies on some space alien's shiny black kitchen floor.
Do you know that the real Marie Antoinette was not referring to REAL, tastie sweet cake, when she supposedly made her famous pronouncement? Rather, she was referring to something yuckier, such that the phrase would more appropriately be interpreted as, "Let them eat creosote!" or, "Let them eat coal tar!" (Apparently "tar" and "cake" are pronounced the same way, in France, or something...) However, whether she even said anything at all is debatable. She might have said, "Let them eat zombie flesh!" for all I know.
That would have made the commoners just stop and stare.