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Boarding Gate (2007)
She's losing control again.
Filmmaker(s): Olivier Assayas

A sordid and complex series of events unfolds when an ex-prostitute becomes involved with a couple in Hong Kong.

Boarding Gate (2007)

Asia’s Tectonics

Two things are interesting about the film.

The first and most discussed is the actress, Asia Argento. She and Beatrice Dalle are similar I think. They both have the quality of fearless commitment – like Emily Watson in “Breaking the Waves” and never afterward. They both have fumbled around facial features. They both are known as sexy — only because of nudity and the roles.

But more fundamental to me is that they both know things. I believe that an artist has to both have talent and be truly an interesting person; they have to know things we do not. Asia does. In fact, you can see it even in her first movie just as she is hitting puberty. This woman shows us a character that has qualities that this woman understands.

Streep has talent but no knowledge. Asia has less talent but she matters. This is one of her best. Don’t miss it. Don’t miss how she breathes. The nudity and story is nothing compared the grace of her visible breathing.

Here, she plays a woman who does what we all do: make compromises for companionship which if it has what we want we call love. The missing bits always catch up with us and with her the writer maps these pretty deftly into components of a thriller.

The structure of that thriller is the second notable bit. Of all genres, the thriller is most plastic. Allowing many flows so long as tension and guns are involved.

The story here sneaks up on you. Almost nothing is predictable. It starts slowly, and then bam. It goes off in an unexpected direction. The interesting narrative device here is that we follow her and discover things as she does. But she knows things, many things, that we do not. She does get surprised as we do, but not always so. At the end, she is allowed to write the future, for her lover at any rate.

My guess is that if she had never gotten and displayed that labial tattoo, she would have been taken more seriously. And we would be better off cinematically.

This is a good one. Angelic.

Posted in 2009

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


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