Find here the third installment of the Recommended Watching series, a section on this very blog that aims at linking the discussion topics we see in class with really cool movies for all of you to expand on those topics, find ideas, insights, and different perspectives in the matters previously debated in the class context and attain the ultimate, holistic and all-encompassing learning experience. Maybe I overkilled it, huh?
Well, anyway, I just wanted to tell you about a couple (actually TWO this time) of movies heavily dealing with the topic we just finished (Relationships); chances are that you may have not seen either, as I would say they are RATHER obscure choices. I mean, you didn’t expect me to recommend watching “Titanic” or “Love Story“, did you? (not that there’s anything inherently wrong about those, just that you may have seen both already and there’s no chance for me to brag about my knowledge bla bla…).
The first one is Neil LaBute‘s Your Friends and Neighbors, a pretty ruthless depiction of the feeble nature of certain romantic relationships and “friendships” (yes, between quotations). I missed LaBute’s debut (and allegedly, his best film), 1997 “In the company of men“, but this one (released the following year) is a standout flick in its own right (IMHO). Betrayal, deceit, cynicism, callousness and all sorts of cheery and gay things occur in this smart, indie movie. Its a stellar cast? another reason to track it down: it stars Ben Stiller, Jason Patric, Aaron Eckhart, and none other than Nastassja Kinski. God, I can’t get enough of Nastassja Kinski. Give me the latest 3 hours and a half-piece of crap coming from overrated so-called genius Wes Anderson and, if it features a cameo from the German goddess, I’ll sit through it. I promise.
Be my second shout-out for a more recent choice, 2010 Blue Valentine, with Michelle Williams and the multifaceted and always competent and convincing Ryan Gosling; if I had to describe this one, I guess that using the term anti-RomCom wouldn’t be an awkward thing to do, because it is precisely the opposite of what films like “When Harry met Sally”, “Before Sunrise”, “Up in the Air” or even “Amelie” intend to do. Not that it wants to bury you in the dirt and suck your will to live and lose faith in humankind, like Von Trier’s or Haneke’s works, but this love story is not a happy one. But it is worth seeing it, mark my words. You just want to grab the fearless, impassive stunt-come-revengeful vigilante guy from Drive and hug him and comfort him and kiss him for being such a great person and partner. The story of a relationship collapsing and people being torn apart. But, please, do not let this description discourage you. It is a GREAT film, greatly acted, which is saying something. Do yourselves that favor!
Well, these are my two choices. Do you know of any, non-obvious picks dealing with relationships? If so, please tell us about them in the comments section!