21 (2008)

Surf Heard in the Background

It is a matter of tone. No matter what a film does, it has to take us somewhere. Ideally it goes another place after it has established you, but it has to establish a place, a form, a tone.

MIT is a place worth being taken to. Not the fictitious clowny place of “Good Will Hunting” but the abstract warmth of the infinite corridor. Not the silly notions hinted at in “Beautiful Mind” but the sexual fulfilment of deep math. It is inherently cinematic and valuable. This does movie not take you there.

Las Vegas is also a valuable tone to set. Unlike that mathematical warren of mind, many, many films have taken us there and given us the lights, motion, unconstrained urges and those that live off all these. It is also naturally and simply cinematic. It is cheap in terms of filmmaking; you have to try hard not to take the viewer there. This doesn’t take you there.

It takes you nowhere, and to nowhere from there. This isn’t just the filmmaker, it is the actors. No one is a being. No one establishes.

What is left is looking at the girl, I suppose, and wondering. She was wonderful in a little film called “Blue Crush” that was natural, whole, simple. I wanted to go back to it all through this.

Folding: a trivial fold being a structured performance about performers.

Posted in 2008

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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