Archive for September 12th, 2012

by Ed Howard

Boudu Saved From Drowning is Jean Renoir’s sardonic, wryly comic take on the antagonism between bourgeois values and lower-class crudity. The title figure, Boudu (Michel Simon), is an oafish beggar, an outrageously whiskered tramp who stomps heedlessly over the supposed dignity and sophistication of middle-class respectability. When the bourgeois book store owner Lestingois (Charles Granval) saves Boudu from drowning in the river, he becomes the tramp’s benefactor, feeding and clothing Boudu and giving him a place to sleep indefinitely. Lestingois is portrayed as a decent man in many ways, good-hearted and generous, willing to do good deeds for their own sake: he gives away books to young students, recognizing their romantic, poetic spirit from his own youth, and his rescue of Boudu is not motivated by the awards and kudos heaped on him by his neighbors, with which he seems mildly uncomfortable. At the same time, however, Lestingois is an avatar of bourgeois pretensions and affectations. He has a piano in his house, despite the fact that no one plays it, because respectable families simply must have one, and he carries on an affair with his plump, giggly maid Anne Marie (Sévérine Lerczinska) because his standoffish wife Emma (Marcelle Hainia) no longer interests him. (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Jaime Grijalba.

a.k.a. Ace Attorney

(Japan, 135 min.)

Isn’t it hard to write sometimes? I mean, sometimes you promise yourself that you will write on certain topics on certain dates, and then you promise yourself that you will write more frequently, and then you promise yourself that you’ll try to keep it fresh, keep it good, keep it with a modern context, keep it emotional, maintaining some kind of overall quality that people may seem to expect from you, but you actually end up finding out that either no one reads what you’ve written or that your actual writing skill level is lower than you initially thought it was. Now, I’m not telling you all this because I feel that I place myself in any of those two cases (maybe I am, maybe not, maybe I’m in both categories and I’m just an idiot with no future), but because when you are in the position to write about something (or maybe just write whatever comes into your mind: fiction) and then you start reading instead of writing, you find out either one of these two things: someone else wrote it better (or just already wrote it, not better or worse, but someone already did what you are doing) or that you already wrote about it earlier, and you would only be repeating yourself. Why am I saying this? Because some weeks ago I wrote a piece on this same space about a movie called ‘Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker’ (2012), where I made a two paragraph introduction regarding video game adaptations and films that I like inside that sub-sub-genre of films that usually come out to the public, and I specially was worried about theorizing about the different kinds of videogame adaptations, as that animation was a very special one, one that used the same world in which the game takes place, but tells a totally new and maybe canon-related story, much like the ‘Resident Evil Regeneration’ (2008) japanese animation film or its sequel that will come out later this year and I hope I can see to review in this same spot. The problem was when I finished watching the film that is the subject of today, I was totally sure how I was going to write about it, I was going to do a mini-history lesson on the video game adaptations, and if it wasn’t that I was looking for a template to do my review that I stumbled upon the one I did for the other video-game adaptation of sorts (you can read that review here) and read that I had already written about it. So, what the heck was I supposed to do know? I had to improvise some structure of sorts, something fresh, something new, and I guess I didn’t found it, because I’m going through the laziest of the processes: telling you the how-I-got-here story that makes me deliver a review that in my mind was totally interesting, and maybe now is just a bit lackluster. So, first point that I have to get across in this review: yes, this is a videogame adaptation.


Read Full Post »