This trailer for 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, which opened Friday in New York and expands at least to Washington this Friday is really one of the most expert ones I have seen in a long time. (I saw it at THE SAVAGES last weekend.)
It’s incredibly effective at selling the movie, without simply aping the movie (in fact, stylistically, it’s nothing like Mungiu’s film). The short shots, the sharp cuts, the sudden blackouts, the flash edits, the constant motion of both the camera and the things within the frame (amped up by the shortness of the shots) and the “zzzzmmmmppppp” sound effect really wind you up for a tension-filled thriller — what the film is, in many respects. But the trailer does this in the only way you can in 2 minutes. And then there’s hose musical thumps on the soundtrack that you realize eventually become … the sound of a heartbeat.
I’ll try to have something to say in the next few days about some of the reviews I’ve read. But in the meantime, here’s what I wrote back in September about 4 MONTHS, which I thoroughly recommend and would be perfectly happy to see atop my 10 Best list this time next year. (I see that Peter Chattaway and Steve Greydanus agree with me, so this isn’t a case of “Victor’s iconoclastic tastes setting him apart from other Christians.” Can there be a better recommendation for an abortion movie than that the Academy snubbed it for Best Foreign Film?)
Hopefully, this won’t be too much of a regular feature, because the day after I put up my Graham Greene post, I read his review of BLACK LEGION and was absolutely floored. The film (Greene accurately calls it “intelligent and exciting, if rather earnest”) stars Humphrey Bogart as a man who loses his job to a foreigner and so joins a group that’s about equal parts American Nazis and the KKK (this is 1936). Anyway, here is Greene on one of the film’s strengths.
It is an intelligent film because the director and script-writer know where the real horror lies. The real horror is not in the black robes and skull emblems, but in the knowledge that these hide the weak and commonplace faces you have met over the counter and minding the next machine. The horror is not in the climax when Taylor shoots his friend dead, but in the earlier moment before the glass when he poses romantically with his first gun; not in the floggings and burnings but in the immature question at the inaugural meeting “if we join up, don’t we get a uniform or something?”, in the secret accounts read to the Managing Director: so much from the sale of uniforms and regalia, so much from the officers’ commissions, so much from revolvers at wholesale rates, total profits for the months, $221,049, 15 cents.
Keep in mind … not only is Greene writing 25 years before Hannah Arendt’s famous “banality of evil” in Eichmann in Jerusalem … he is writing a half-decade before Eichmann committed his crimes. Talk about prescient.
1. Pick a single person past or present who works in the film industry you would like to have dinner with. And tell us why you chose this person.
2. Set the table for your dinner. What would you eat? Would it be in a home or at a restaurant? And what would you wear? Feel free to elaborate on the details.
3. List five thoughtful questions you would ask this person during dinner.
4. When all is said and done, select six bloggers to pass this Meme along to.
5. Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre, so people know the mastermind behind this Meme.