Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Bad Day for Art Films

Wow, this has been a bad start to the week for fans of artsy foreign films. Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni both died within about 24 hours of each other. I have to admit, it doesn't really sadden me that much, mostly because I assumed they were both already dead. I can picture a lot of scrawny film school students smoking thin cigarettes toasting these two legends over espressos at any local coffee house that isn't Starbucks and basically acting like they're better than you. Granted, I haven't encountered nearly as many Antonioni or Bergman disciples as I have Kubrick disciples, but I'm sure they're out there, telling their friends why any movie that is popular is worthless. Let's face it, I respect these guys' work and I can see the artistry in it, but it is pretty damned pretentious. While I like The Seventh Seal, I can't say that it's something I'll watch over and over again. It's more of an appreciation than an enjoyment. That's pretty much how I feel about most "art" films. 2001 is a gorgeous, brilliant movie, but I can't say that I really liked watching it, per se. I think this comes down to the difference between "film" and "movie." One is art, the other is entertainment. This is not to say that the two are mutually exclusive. Many movies are also films and vice versa. There are plenty of "films" that manage to be highly enteraining, and many "movies" resonate on a higher level (Dr. Strangelove comes to mind, as does Brokeback Mountain and most Charlie Kauffman movies). I don't know, I don't seem to have a point to be making here. I'm just rambling. I guess what I'm trying to say is: It looks like Ingmar Bergman wasn't as good a chess player as the Knight he created in Seventh Seal. Talk to you guys later.

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