Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

05 March 2008

Le Scaphandre et le Papillon, dir Julian Schnabel (2007)

NIKKI says:
I took my mum to see this at the Kino cinema in Melbourne. We haven't been to the movies together for a long time, since before I left for America in 2000. Mum reminded me that the last movie was saw together was Legally Blonde, and I was highly embarrassed that I'd paid money and likely bought M&Ms for something so ridiculously banal.

But then I realised I've come an awfully long way from the days when I'd pay cinema prices for just about anything. Nearly a decade on and we're in an independent cinema, at a film we both deliberately selected, as far from cinema puff as one gets. I felt proud, and I think mum did, too. I still had the M&Ms though, so not everything has changed.

We both enjoyed the film, as much as one can enjoy something so deeply painful. I was conflicted at the end, because I think I'm accustomed to feeling some sense of uplift with such stories. You know -- he was paralysed from head-to-toe and died, but he changed the world! Well, I didn't get that with this one. It was a depressing tale, and the filmmakers allowed it to be such without wallowing in that depression. The story was told quite matter-of-factly, and I think that's what has remained so fascinating for me. The film stripped away any potential sugar, anything that might make dwel on how sorry we felt for Jean-Do, and simply let us listen as he told us exactly what life was like inside his diving bell.

The story itself, and the incredible compassion of his speech pathologist, Celine, were just amazing. And I don't think I've even seen a film quite like this in terms of it's visual aspects, like director Julian Schnabel's ingenious method of making Jean-Do's remaining good eye the camera throughout much of the film. It was disconcerting, off-putting, and difficult -- probably the perfect way to really let us into Jean-Do's experience.

Everything about this film really stunned me. The story, the vision, the character development. My heart broke a few times, like when Jean-Do's wife must translate his responses during a telephone call to his mistress who has not been to see him since his accident. Also when Jean-Do says "death" during a conversation with Celine. Therea re so many key moments in this film. It's just superb.


Steve did not view.

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