Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Life Aquatic

Thanks to a friend’s brother who has a job in PR, we occasionally get the opportunity to attend free advance preview showings of forthcoming films.

In the past it means we’ve seen films like LA Confidential almost a month before it’s release date. I assume the purpose is to try and get people talking about great films that could be hard to sell to the public through the usual advertising channels; films that defy easy categorisation, films that just have a certain something.

Tonight’s offering of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, certainly falls into that definition, though with only 2 days to go until its general release, I’m wondering how much word-of-mouth momentum such preview showings will build up (still I'm writing this blog I suppose).

It’s a very hard film to explain, I loved it, but I’m not entirely sure I can properly explain why. Perhaps the most useful thing to say is that it's directed by Wes Andrson, who also brought us The Royal Tenenbaums and if you dug that film, you’ll dig this one too.

There are huge similarities between the two in terms of the creation of a strange world portrayed as entirely normal, twisted relationships, dysfuntionality, captivating innocence and many a knowing wink to the audience.

I could tell you what the plot is about, but it wouldn’t even begin to explain things; this is a film that has to be seen first-hand. It’s a feeling, an atmosphere, a whole concept wrapped up in celluloid.

One of the very last scenes follows the cast in an underwater trip in a ‘yellow submarine’ style diving craft. The film-makers have wisely decided to forego the eternal quest for realism in CGI in favour for an altogether more exotic and colourful option. They have me convinced – why stick to reality when ones imagination can create so much more colour and vigour.

Truly, beautifully strange.

We head from the Filmworks to Zinc Bar and Grill. Definitely a better idea to watch the film first and then drink…

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