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Me & You & Everyone We Know [Import USA Zone 1]
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Christine é un'artista ma nel suo tempo libero, anche per guadagnare qualcosa in più, fa da autista a degli anziani. Richard, lavora in un negozio di scarpe e ha da poco posto fine al suo matrimonio. Un giorno Richard, pronto ormai a nuove emozioni, incontra Christine, bella e vivace tanto da metterlo nel panico.. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition DVD.
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The movie's most self-referential scene involves the playful conversation between the two lead characters as they walk to their respective cars. In offering their respective interpretations of the walk, they each take chances by playing a game at the risk that the other will not play along. It is precisely this vulnerability of the characters that makes the characters so endearing and the main narrative so romantic. By taking the risks and playing along with the conversation, they each reveal to the other a common openness to a shared way of relating to the world. By extension, through the entire film Miranda July takes risks, asking the viewer "this is game that I am playing, are you willing to play along?"
A less central but significant scene recognizes that not everyone is willing to play along. An awkward and unsuccessful conversation in the intimate setting of a female character's bathroom between two recently separated characters presents them as each good and decent individuals who simply cannot connect with one another successfully. I take this sympathetic representation of the separated wife as one of the most admirable dimensions of the film. It celebrates the playful artistic stance of the two main characters, the quality that brings them together and allows them to connect, while respecting the alternative ways that other characters relate to the world around them.
The scene in which "you" and "me" move toward and away from one another captures the theme that runs through the interactions of various characters in the movie. Yes, the characters experience various forms of rejection or unsuccessful attempts to connect with others. However, nothing tragic happens to anyone who breathes though lungs rather than gills. For instance, two teenagers running distractedly down the middle of a street could easily have met unhappily with another character driving her car in a funk after partially obstructing her windshield. They did not. At bottom, Miranda July presents an optimistic world in which connecting is tough and brings painful disappointments but perseverance is ultimately rewarded. Living and loving are hard but the world is not ultimately hostile to either.
Two scenes involving a bird in a tree bracket the film, symbolizing an openness to be moved by aesthetic pleasures that extend beyond practical concerns. After receiving inadequate or incorrect explanations of a clanging sound heard early in the morning, the youngest character sets out under the bird image to discover the truth by direct investigation. He meets a kindly buss passenger who gives him the coin he had been clanging against the bus signpost. So, the character gets to the factual, literal truth of the matter. Then as the character clangs the post, the sun rises, echoing an earlier explanation given by his mother but on a more magical level. Clanging the coin signals the sun to rise. With that leap the character steps beyond the mundane into the playful stance of the artist: The childlike willingness to find more in the world than what is actually there is the wellspring of artistic creativity. "This is the game that I am playing, are you willing to play along?"
"Quirky" has become the new curse on the indie film scene. There are an abundance of films that work with outlandish character types--we're supposed to be instantly charmed. But for all the films that utilize this formula, few are really successful (for me, two diverse examples would be Solondz's "Happiness" or even "Junebug"). And while July doesn't quite reach those heights, there is still plenty to be admired in her first effort.
One very smart choice is that everything is underplayed! The situations aren't particularly believable, but the feelings elicited from them have a truth and sweetness. I used the phrase "finding the realness in unreality" in another review, and I think it's apt here too. While I didn't believe many of the plot points were realistic, there was still a thoughtfulness and heart behind them--and I think there are parts of the film that will stay with you.
The actors are uniformly good. Again, the success of the film rests on it's subtlety. Most of the performances were understated, it was as if life were just unfolding around these characters. Had any of this been played broadly, it would have been disastrous. For those concerned about the elements some label as "child pornography or exploitation," serious minded viewers have nothing to get worked up over. Sexuality and children do not exist in different worlds, as much as some would like--and it's no crime to illustrate a sexual curiosity on film. The intent of the film is clear, there is a purity and innocence within-- even if some are disturbed by the implication.
I didn't fall in love with this film, but it was never less than interesting. It succeeded in my mind, but it's for a particular audience--and even that audience seems to be divided. Is it pretentious or is it art? Those who know me realize I ask that question a lot--this film leans a little in both directions. It's 3 1/2 stars from me, which I'll round up for nicely nuanced performances from the younger, more unknown actors. KGHarris, 11/06.
i appreciate this movie the same way i might appreciate a beautiful photograph- with respect and wonder.
Are you offended by teenaged girls flirting and exploring and using their ever-budding sexuality in a mulititude of ways? (they do this also you realize)
If so don't bother!
This is a strange, hypnotic and eclectic film that is primally addicting, even if you're not sure how to feel about what these characters are doing and saying, you can't stop watching. (ofcourse unless your a delicate flower with your head in the sand)
In a very abstract way this film examines the way people communicate. What we say vs. what we mean.
There are no movies stars, no super effects in this film. The people are real, they aren't going to gloss a pin-up magazine anytime soon. If you find sadness in this film you are only seeing one side of it, quite clearly we live our lives all over the emotional map and this film explores that quite effectively.
Give it a try if you can toughen up enough to handle it or maybe instead you don't even need toughening up, you already like awkward, brilliant films just left of center.
You will probably like this movie if:
-you love good indie and art house films
-Don't mind a slower paced film that focuses more on character development and interaction
-enjoy slightly odd and awkward characters, dialogue, and scenarios (i.e. Wes Anderson stuff, Squid and Whale, etc.)
*The film innocently includes curiosity that kids and teenagers have towards their own sexuality in a couple of parts. I read a few reviews where people were upset by this. I find this a normal fact of life and can't see being upset about it, but hey, everyone has a right to their opinion.