My sister goes to see a lot of films and her return to Ireland has meant that I too am going to a lot more films. Here’s a pretty unsuccessful batch
Waltz with Bashir – Ari Folman
The best of the bunch. I saw it in the Kino in Cork and was able to take a snack bar and a cup of tea into the auditorium which alone would have justified the price of admission. The last film I saw in Hebrew was Kadosh, true, that was a long time ago but that experience has kept me away from Israeli films for a while. This was really very good, if somewhat disturbing. It’s an animated film about a former Israeli soldier’s experience at the Sabra and Shatila massacre. I went with my younger sister and her friend and I was astounded that neither of them had ever heard of Sabra and Shatila.
The film did get me thinking again about the state of Israel. It is the most extraordinary thing. If you made it up, no one would believe you. A state founded largely by central and eastern European intellectuals; people who had been in hiding; in camps; fleeing for their lives; people whose relatives had been killed in vast numbers. They go to a patrt of the Middle East where the climate is a bit different from say, Odessa; revive Hebrew (very guttural language and that is the least of its challenges); win wars against their Arab neighbours; and go about building and protecting their state with a stubborn single mindedness. You cannot but gasp at the improbability of it.
The tale of Depereaux – Sam Fell and Rob Stevenhagen.
This is an animated story of a mouse who rescues a Princess. I didn’t think much of it myself but I wasn’t the one to be pleased. The Princess and Daniel found it middling but Michael found it absolutely terrifying and watched it sitting on my lap while sobbing in fear and peering through my fingers at the scary cat. At the same time he refused to leave. He is still traumatised. Not recommended.
Twilight – Catherine Hardwicke
Now that my sister is back, I don’t have to drag my unfortunate husband to this kind of film. There aren’t so many people in their 30s who are in the market for teenage vampire flicks. I must say that I quite enjoyed it and am now toying with the idea of trying the books. Does anyone have views on the books?
The Spirit – Frank Miller
This is a beautifully shot film with a hilariously over the top performance by Samuel L. Jackson. It mixes real people and animation very cleverly. It is therefore a pity that the plot is atrocious and the dialogue worse. After about 10 minutes I begged my sister to abandon ship and a stream of wiser people left the cinema. We stayed to the bitter end. It was, undoubtedly one of the worst films I have ever seen. Wikipedia quotes Robert Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times on the film, “There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material”. Mr. Ebert is spot on.