"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
Pinky finger up: Check.

Went to go see Cache with Nick and Evan last night. We hit up SFBC for some tasty burritos, then played some Shadow of the Colossus at my place.

If nothing else should have tipped us off that Cache was going to be a really French French movie, the three minutes of watching the character's house at the beginning would have. Well. Watching the character's TV as they watch their house on their TV.

The plot isn't incredibly intricate: A family starts receiving some tapes of someone filming their house for hours on end, some weird phone calls, some disturbing pictures (stick-figure people bleeding from their noses and mouths, a chicken with a huge cut in its neck). As it unfolds, everything seems to become more and more sinister and confusing, and nothing is ever made clear to the viewer. You're given the same information as the protagonist and left to figure it out yourself. There's no "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky kids and their dog!" moment. Where it works, it works well. Where it doesn't, you're just watching some guy's house.

There are moments in the movie where you're completely drawn in and you give a damn what happens... and then you spend another two or three minutes watching someone's house, and it kills the build-up, the little pieces of conflict, completely.

As a character study, I guess it worked well. The acting was decent to awesome, and the dialogue, when it was good, was really good. When it wasn't so good, it was just staring at fucking houses, if you take my meaning. As a picture of a breaking marriage, a guy who isn't really that good a guy or a father, and something awful he did as a child coming back to haunt him... those things all work rather well.

There was a pivotal scene where everyone, everyone, in the theater gasped and went "Oh shit!", and it was totally amazing. If you watch the movie, you'll be able to guess which scene I'm talking about, because it's the sort of shit we Americans are used to, more or less, only this film makes you believe that something like that just can't happen within the context of itself. And that, to me, is probably the best thing about it: It lulls you into this sense of complacency even while all this weird and disturbing shit is happening to this family, and then rips it away for a brief second and you are awed by it.

Then it's back to watching houses.

And then after another two little conflicts, the movie just ends, with no resolution. It was obvious, after a few minutes of thought, what had happened, and why, and even a little pointless sub-plot was resolved well enough (all through excellent acting, even), but... I found it hard to care. With some editing it would have been much better... but the director obviously had a vision (of watching houses) and wouldn't deviate from it because he was making art (and watching houses), so.

It was just really French, and I'm really American, or something.


(Oh, and while walking down South St., some girl in called to us out of her car and asked Nick where she could buy a bong. Nice.)

February 5, 2006 6:58 PM