Saturday, 31 January 2009

Broken sky - is this really a film?

The first 15 mins, while prettier than Son frere, are about as promising. It was clear from the opening scene when the main protagonist walked across a campus for many minutes to some small amphitheatre, picked up a boy and took him somewhere and made love. Unerotic but pretty. Now he has a new boyfriend, Jonas. Ditto. The music is execrable - during that first intercourse scene, the sporadically hit harpsichord was interrupted by a repetitive ringing that sounded like they were ignoring the phone. Apparently not, or maybe. Not clear. Now they are playing hide and seek in a library - enormous fun. Looks like there's a new cutie to complicate this brooding intensity, a lightbulb replacer who was vaguely reminiscent of Ringo Starr for a moment. Perhaps more like Scottie. And now another scene when MP is waiting (3rd one so far) Jonas turns up and they cuddle, kiss, fondle. Jonas has just spoken for the first time and we're 25 mins in. If they don't start talking about the meaning of life, or the Wizard of Oz, oops, that is the meaning of life, then they are never going to get off on a sound footing. Oh now, we are now in the shower. And now a slow dance in some bar. The lyrics are subtitled, therein lies the meaning of life? OH bugger, there's a song in German and they are not subtitling it. Very two faced. And now Scottie has turned up - one for the books. He seems to have the hots for MP. Looking lost in thought, very profound, boring and contemplative. Jealousy on the dance floor! What ever happened to PSB's thus entitled song. And now the narrator has to tell us what MP is thinking. Thanks ever so. Jonas is distant. MP is standing around waiting yet again and lo! Scottie spots him. And still looking like dour dumplings and cabbage. Just got home to the longest slowest pan across darkness that has ever appeared in an edited film. It appears that MPs name is Gerardo. He is standing around waiting somewhere else now. If they'd use sign language, you could believe that they were really mute. Let's pan along his black jeans and then when we get to his red shoe, skip across to J's face. All this silent movement and gestures might have been improved with a modern ballet score. It's difficult to feel anything for these silent expressionless passive characters. We are now in bed - Jonas took his undies off but Gerardo didn't - they are making love. But it didn't work. J gave up. Now G has removed his and is trying again, but J is frozen on the other side of the bed. (at 50') Now he's standing in front of the mirror and he's taken them off again. Now Gerardo is stalking Scottie. On some pick-up steps. And now in a passionate embrace. But Scottie pushed him away, almost violently. Another song with subtitles to move the plot on a bit. Did someone say Plot? Now G is stalking Jonas - couldn't someone smile for a second or two? No, I don't believe it, Jonas just did - he's arrived at the disco, trailed by G. And bought him a drink - how significant is that? Oops, he's just walked off alone.

Now some real music at last - it must be love: is it not Dvorak - mesicku? OMG, it fucking is. After systematic rejection by Jonas, Scottie meets Gerardo in some dubious place to this accompaniment. OMG. Things are looking up. Well, it is still dialog-free. Scottie has a stud in his chin and an earring. Tenderness. Love maybe. Jonas wants him back now? Back to pop music and telling subtitles. Very passionate kiss. Lucky these kids go to a Spanish school - at least they are students in a an education system that does not require them to participate in meaningful discussions - these mutes would be totally lost.

Really annoying is the subtitled commentaries that punctuate this otherwise silent film: they come and go so quickly that you can't read them let alone process them. It turns out that Scottie's name is Sergio. Masturbating in the shower. OMG! Jonas is in the adjoining room. Looking vacantly distant or distantly vacant - who cares! I suppose one can always make a dialogue free film with porn stars - but why not some active action? Even the mother is mute. Is this the sort of film you could play at Richards where dialogue is persona non grata at the best of times. I am not speaking of conversation of course. That is something entirely different. Yet equally absent. Yep another shower scene, solo dancing full frontal to some nice Spanish pop - and you guessed it, with subtitles. The problem with a complete lack of dialog is that it lacks credibility. People don't not talk. And the kissing and the sex happen too quickly. No prep. While G & S are making love in S's apartment, J is sitting alone in a bar, lips aquivvering, tears aflowing. He's clearly devastated. And Sergio tells Gerardo (spoken words - like Marcel Marceau in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie) that he's loved him for such a long time. The film, which started off as Gerardo's film now seems to have Jonas as the central focus. This is an art film with a capital F. Could we please have an invasion of killer bees, or some extraterrestrials or a submarine turn upside down or something to bring some life into this Fart.

Jonas is tracking the new lovers in the school corridors. They look supremely happy - there was even a smile and a cuddle. Maybe Jonas is going to kill him. Even better, seduction in the school toilets, now that S has delivered G to class. Nope, that didn't work. Jonas is obsessed. Life would be so much easier, and quicker, if only they could speak! Nevertheless, it seems that he is going to have admit, wordlessly, that he's lost. Think of all the consolation, rationalisation that words could accomplish. They have woken up together and Jonas is going to do his sexual best. But G won't let him take his undies off - it's doomed. And now another shower scene? At 2:03:16 such a nice pic of G lying naked for us. etc.

2'15" of my life spent watching this. At least "Australia" was an epic. This film deserves at most to be 90 mins. And a much better score of original music - the haprischord and amateur sounding (prob "Early music sound") were totally wrong. We could have done with a proper ballet score. and moved the film along - pace pace pace.

Tis a pity that these directors are willing to be so indulgent. Now why did I buy this film? Given my distaste for this and Son Frere, two of my current Amazon purchases, I'll be much more choosey henceforth.

The nudity, well, a few flaccid dicks don't cut it any more. That's for sure.