I have 478 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2006)
What’s it rated? Unrated for forcibly turning not just dreams into images, but turning the feeling of forgotten dreams into reality.
Did people make it? Written and Directed by Stephen & Timothy Quay. Acted by Cesar Sarachu, Assumpta Serna, Amira Casar and Gottfried John.
What’s it like in one sentence? A hybrid of every movie not yet made by Terry Gilliam, David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Jeunet & Caro but without ever feeling derivative or beholden to them.
Why did you watch it? Chewer andrewhawkins threw it my way.
What’s it about in one paragraph? It’s about big ideas like love and destiny, but through a prism of duality and mirroring (as our illustrious M. Morse would say). An opera singer is poisoned by a full blown mad scientist obsessed with her beauty during a performance for the man she loves. Dr. Creeperpants then steals her body away to his remote villa which seems like it borders on the lands of death, dreams and desire (ohai Neil Gaiman) and resurrects her in order to reenact her abduction and murder through song. The Doctor then invites a renowned piano tuner to come and fix his seven mysterious automatons that will apparently help then opera singers performance (which is coinciding with a lunar eclipse and possibly the end of the world?) achieve transcendence.
Play or remove from my queue? Play it, but not through Netflix. Apparently there are two differing versions of this film. One is the UK release by Artificial Eye that’s a crystal clear print which is the version intended to be shown by the filmmakers. The other (and the one shown on Netflix) is the US release by Zeitgeist and is so murky and cloudy that a large majority of the film was incomprehensible to my eyes. I tried watching it on two different screens and neither made a bit of difference; anytime there were shadows or darkness in the frame it bled over to anything else in the frame with it, making about 75% of the movie almost unwatchable. It seemed like in the last 20 minutes or so the picture crystallized a bit, but it was too little too late. Because of this, I feel like giving the film a full review is unfair since I didn’t really see the film in the way that the Quay Brothers intended especially since the film is driven by the inventive and possibly visionary filmmaking as opposed to the dialogue or the story.
I will say that the bits of it I could see were gorgeously realized and what I could make out of the stop-motion animation was fantastic. The film truly sets a tone and overall mood that slowly begins to hypnotize you. On the negative side, some of the performances were extremely clunky and the heavy handed voice over narration was distracting, at best. Mostly this movie was mesmerizing and fascinating and it deserves to be seen on the cleanest and most pristine print possible, and Netflix is not in possession of that shit at all. I’d really like to see the proper film before really stating too much of an opinion on the work because I don’t feel informed enough to do so. I do recommend watching the movie, but not the Zeitgeist release. I will try and track down a better copy of the film and give it a proper review.
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? On it’s opening weekend, this film played on 1 screen and made $944.00. That’s fucking Delgo money right there, son.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Why? Little Otik (looks fucked), Eden Log (I tried watching it but it was so poorly lit I gave up and watched white noise instead), Natural City (been meaning to see this. Worth it?), Tuvalu (looks and sounds very similar judging from it’s Netflix page), Anatomy of Hell (I didn’t know a movie was made about Sarah Palin’s vagina).
What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? Why? Eraserhead (the imagery struck me as similar), The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (fuck you, I liked it), The Science of Sleep (perfectly flawed like this is), Badlands (doomed love and all), and Drumline (Nick Cannon somehow makes drumming gay…er).
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 3.1
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? I don’t know yet. One day.
Can you link to the movie? Nope. Won’t do it.
Any last thoughts? Yeah, don’t watch this movie on Netflix. It deserves better and it fucked up my review for being so shitty looking.
Did you watch anything else this week? I got caught up on Game of Thrones. Is it super lame to want to name my firstborn Hodor? Even if it’s a girl? Go to hell, unwanted opinion.
Next Week? Your pick, fellow Chewers. Something a little brighter, I hope. Sorry about the briefness of the column, next week we’ll dig in a bit deeper.