In spite of my previous post with the imaginary posters for the ideal movie for my weekend, none of the movies I watched starred John Cusack, were narrated or at least directed by Werner Herzog, or took place in Italy. Wait. Is this true? Yes.
Russia, though. No, that's not like Italy at all. I saw The Last Station on Thursday night, because Emma wanted to see it, and I'm always up for a movie with James McAvoy in it—as long as it's not Atonement, because watching that, being strung along and thinking that this insanely unfair situation was going to slowly work out and then realizing that it was all LIES, was probably one of the most upsetting movie experiences of my life. Plus The Last Station looked funny, and was supposed to be so good, and all that. And it didn't disappoint. It was not, of course, all comedy, but Tolstoy was hilarious, Valentin Bulgakov (played by James McAvoy) was awkwardly cute and therefore also hilarious, and Helen Mirren was great as the countess. And nothing gruesome happened to James McAvoy, so that was good. I do wish he'd tried to help the Countess more, but the thing with biopics is that there are some facts.
Then, Nico and I were going to see Ajami—apparently it's the most critically acclaimed Israeli film ever—at the Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival, but when we got to UMMA, where it was being shown, we learned it had sold out. Having bought Haribo Gummibärchen ( = gummy bears) in advance, we couldn't just not see a movie, so we turned to Nico's quickly filling hard drive and watched the new animated children's film The Secret of Kells, which lost to Up for Best Animated Feature and had the same producers as The Triplets of Belleville. It was fun, and the animation was really cool. And...then we watched Sherlock Holmes as well. It was very long. Entertaining, but, you know, ridiculous. Oh wait, I also watched The Big Lebowski on Friday night with a group of Nico's friends (and Nico, of course). There were a few gallons of White Russians involved, and it was a fun time.
In a different film-vein, Wild Strawberries, a Bergman film, is playing tonight at the Michigan Theater as part of their World Cinema series, and I haven't decided yet if I'm going to go. I saw it over two years ago, and vaguely recall thinking it was good (which is generally what People Who Know would say), but I don't remember much else about it. I'm already going to Kaffeestunde in the RC, then dollar burgers at Sava's with Maraia, and then what time will it be? I still have to read some melancholy German literature and think about studying for an exam on the Inca and their predecessors and god knows what else. I've been seeing (and paying for) a lot of movies lately, but I've got a pretty convincing justification, at least in my mind: I only live in a city with movie theaters in it (let alone one that plays foreign and indie films) for a month and a half more. One of the city parks at home does have a community movie theater, but I remember the extremely tall-backed seats being somehow uncomfortable when I was there (watching Viggo Mortensen in Hidalgo, which was a stupid movie), and they only play one crappy movie at a time, and only a few times a week. To be fair, the Detroit Film Theatre is a short drive from my house, and Royal Oak isn't much farther, but for mainstream, first-run movies we drive all the way out to Clinton Township, because the theater we would go to on Eight Mile when we were being cheap(er) closed years ago. Not that I went to that many movies. Anyway, it's the principal of the thing. There should be a real movie theater in any city that I live in.
(If I wanted to go on a thing about how horrible Grosse Pointe is, I would complain about how there aren't any commerical movie theaters because too many Detroiters would come to see movies and we can't have that, now can we? When Jacobson's closed, one proposal was to put in a movie theater, but no, no, no, let's have Trader Joe's and condos for old people or something. Why make life fun? And while we're at it, let's put some more hedge barriers on the cross streets with Alter because that will surely keep people from crossing the border. And make it a pain for Grosse Pointers who want to take Alter to the expressway.)
I spent a lot of college unwilling to pay for things due to money anxiety, but I've only got a little while left where the temptation is this big and the university is paying for my life, so I think I'll keep forking out my money at the Michigan Theater/hoping that someone will let me in for free. Also, the Michigan and State Theaters in Ann Arbor are the only ones I've been to and remember that use real butter on their popcorn, so I've been spending even more money there. Oh well. I haven't regretted it once.