Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some Funny Games

Technically I want to write about the Chinese movie I’ve been going on about, but I forgot the name again so we will put that on the back burner and instead focus on Funny Games and possibly Into the Void. We’ll see how I am doing for time once I finish up with Funny Games. Anyway I didn’t see the original yet which is weird for me. I always wanted to see it but that was back when I was buying everything instead of downloading it so you know it kinda fell by the wayside in favor of other offerings. Last night I decided I wanted to watch the remake first. Why? I am not entirely certain but from what little I remember about the original they are pretty similar in that they are pretty bog standard until the twist happens.

I just checked and the twist is pretty much the same in both movies. Now I am going to come out and say it, I greatly enjoyed the remake. I’m sure I’d enjoy the original too but it will be a long series of months before I get around to seeing it so whatever. The main thing I like is the way the main antagonist talks directly to the audience. I love movies that do that. If you are going to just sit around and tell us something them you know you might as well actually have someone look directly at the audience and let us know. When used effectively it can create some incredibly memorable moments, like Fight Club for example. With a boundary pushing movie like this one it is tempting to take everything and over use it. Instead there first time the antagonist talks to the audience I almost missed it. It was quick and subtle and I wasn’t sure if I had actually seen it or if it was some sort of horrible after affect of Into the Void which threatened to split my head in two. The second time it happened it was more deliberate. I liked that.

See there are movies like this one which are much more violent and horrible and they pretty much follow the same trajectory. Last House on the Left actually is a perfect example, and Funny Games doesn’t have an agonizingly long rape scene to establish that the antagonists are bad peoples. What Funny Games does is that it basically asks your permission going forwards. It also asks the question do we watch these movies hoping that the family will escape or do we watch them for the villains. To put it another way who is more interesting batman or the joker? I mean if we didn’t want to see the family get hurt any more we could just turn the movie off. It is easy go do something else, read a book, draw, call an old friend on the phone, or better yet your parents. Parents love to hear from children. Instead we watch these people torture this family. The movie is cold and has no real reason for excisting other than to point out the fact that you sat through the whole thing didn’t you? And why would you do that? Why did you watch this movie? Would the deaths of the antagonists have made you feel better? Would you have cheered? Well did you? One did die after all shortly before the movie was rewound. For those of us who watched to the end why did we? Why didn’t we just turn it off?

See I go and I poke around the dark side of cinema a lot. I do it for fun and because it interests me. I also find myself asking these same questions though. I mean I’d like to reread a Tale of Two Cities and maybe David Copperfield so why am I watching Funny Games instead. The cold ugly truth of the matter is because I simply like the antagonists a heck of a lot better than the protagonists. I usually do. When I watched House of 1000 Coprses I wanted everyone to fucking die because I didn’t care about them. When I watched A Serbian Film this aspect of me was tested and I got kicked in the nuts for it and rolled for my pocket change and that’s alright too. I am still interested in those people who make those movies. It is kind of a scary thing to admit but that is the thing about Funny Games. It makes you realize who side you are on and all you had to do to save that family is to turn off the TV. You let them die by watching. I like that. This will be my last blog post for the year. What a strange note to roll out the year on.

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