Perhaps I am just trying to justify my own imperceptiveness, but occasionally I just don’t get a movie when I first see it. Typically I know if a movie is great, but I may feel there are layers that I missed or that there were some things that just flat flew over my head. Sometimes I think something sucks and then learn that I was dead fucking wrong. I don’t think I’m alone in this, judging by the reactions I’ve seen from other folks when certain credits have rolled. Unfortunately, it’s frustrating to talk about it sometimes because of the common and condescending reaction of, “Oh, you didn’t get that when you saw it?”

The most recent example of this for me was watching Dellamorte Dellamore* (the poorly re-titled in America, Cemetery Man). I knew absolutely nothing about the movie except that it looked like early-90s Peter Jackson in Italian. It managed a few chuckles and some decent gore right off the bat and cruised along well enough at the start. Quickly though, it got real fucking weird. Events started happening that made no sense and, being that it seemed like an early-90s Peter Jackson film in Italian, I quickly wrote it off as shlocky and cheap and sat back for a grindhouse-level C-movie. The fucking thing keeps going, with me and my friends scratching our heads and incredulously asking “What?!” periodically through the runtime and eventually, it ends. I immediately crack open the laptop to look this thing up and see what the deal is. IMDB presents me with numerous awards that it has won and accolades from critics about it’s depth. Being IMDB, I take this with no regard and move on to Wikipedia. Here I find this quote:

Renowned director Martin Scorsese called Dellamorte Dellamore one of the best Italian films of the 1990s.

…well son of a bitch. Thanks a lot Marty, now I actually have to pay attention to this fucking thing. I dig through more of the background material and find the plot synopsis. As I read I begin to understand that many of these events that made me go “Huh?” actually made sense or were supported by the film’s plot. Some I missed due to the shitty sound, some I missed just because I wasn’t following with all of my attention. This being said, I still think it is a regoddamdiculous mess of a movie, but not in the way I first thought. Apparently it’s intent was to be a schlock-fest and an art film. Apparently it bases itself off of an Italian concept of the relationship between love and death. Apparently it actually involved a number of filmmakers with sizable reputation. Apparently, it’s actually quite brilliant and deep and I was just too dumb or reluctant to pick up on it! …Well, I don’t know about that exactly. I still don’t know precisely what I think about the movie, but I realize it’s not the disposable piece of garbage that I thought it was- somebody behind the scenes was thinkin’. Just reading that it is brilliant (or at least, good) has not convinced me, but it does make me open to the idea that it’s worth taking a second look at.

This whole idea of something not clicking doesn’t necessarily apply to movies that you got all… wrong**. No Country For Old Men left me pretty befuddled, as did There Will Be Blood. I understood the point of each but I had to see them again and spend a good bit of time writing and thinking on them to understand how truly special they are. Unlike Cemetery Man, I didn’t need Scorcese to point out that these were movies worth pondering.

I guess that’s what I get for wearing the high hat.


Thanks for reading!

    
*Ha! I’m on to you and your pen-name now, Mr. box-office-covering-dancing-enthusiast!

** I’m fucking sorry.


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BONUS: Renn’s One-Word Movie Review

Good / Bad / Neutral

June 17th, 2008 : : The HappeningEmbarrassing

Past One-Word Movie Reviews
June 14th, 2008 : : Kung-Fu PandaThin

June 12th, 2008 : : Run Lola RunReckless
June 9th, 2008 : : Day WatchUpgrade
June 8th, 2008 : : The AmateursEndearing

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