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The Final Cut

2005-04-25 22:11:57.749787+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Yesterday I woke up, hiked 13 miles (in 4 hours), came home and pulled French broom for two hours. So when Charlene got back from her errands with a video, I was all over sloth.

The video was The Final Cut[Wiki]. Not the Pink Floyd[Wiki] album, the movie written and directed by Omar Naim[Wiki]. I've whined here before about the lack of ideas in modern SciFi, and in looking about at reviews of this film maybe it's because I've been ignoring film and looking to print, but this one spoke to a lot of themes.

The premise: At birth, parents can buy a device which records memories. After death, "cutters" (ie: film editors) edit the life down to a eulogy. Obviously there are things for which the deceased don't want to be remembered, or which the living don't want reminders of, and the particularly nasty cases fall to Robin Williams[Wiki]'s character.

It's fashionable to hate Robin Williams[Wiki] nowadays, but he turns in a perfectly serviceable character, haunted by his past, living vicariously through his subjects, and willing to absolve those whose life he extracts as he searches for absolution from his own demons.

Omar Naim[Wiki] turns in that sort of meticulously crafted film that accomplished but young directors can sometimes do. Small touches matter a lot, but unlike old hams (ie: Stanley Kubrick[Wiki] ) don't always leap out as subtext applied with a power sprayer. The extras on the DVD show watercolor storyboards; he was obviously willing to go the extra mile on visualization but divert when the actors took him onto places he didn't expect.

Good stories also aren't about what they're about, and Naim leaves room for interpretations. He makes some judgements, but leaves many questions open, so that in the end I felt like I'd watched a fairly light movie, but in the process got exposed to some explorations of ideas that I think were worthwhile.


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#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-26 14:02:51.919774+00 by: ebradway

I was looking at this just the other day and opted against it. Asha and I have been on a string of disappointing movies. Not always the quality of the movie, but rather, the inability for the movie to match our moods. I heart Huckabees was a little too disjointed and not really funny. The Fast Runner was in some ways beautiful but in many ways hard to follow (not to mention, we are both a little tired of having to read a movie - this one was in Inuktitut). Of course, you'll never see male, full-frontal nudity, like the seen where the movie gets its name.

Even though, Monsoon Wedding was in English, we still turned on the subtitles, because the accents forced me to keep the remote in hand with a finger on rewind. By the time Stepford Wives got to the climax, the movie was over. And Being Julia trudged along in a rather predictable and tedious manner.

What really blew us away was that Spanglish both moved us and made us laugh despite there being a scratch on the disc 1:15 into the movie. Fortunately, it wasn't quite midnight and Blockbuster is about 1/2 mile down the street. I had the clerk shaking in his boots, though, because they didn't have anymore copies on the shelf. I wasn't about to let a scratch ruin the first enjoyable movie we've had in weeks.

Next up, Touching the void. Trying something completely different - adventure and survival.