Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lost in Translations

Mes Amis

Call me late to the party, but it seems that of late all the best films are being produced outside of the US. Coming back from Edinburgh the other day with a bit of DVD haul, I realised that the only US thing I had was the final episodes of THE SOPRANOS (after my recent indulging of THE WIRE and the complete OZ I realised I'd never seen how my favourite mob family ended). Other hauls included a French comedy (OSS117 - Cairo, Nest of Spies), a Spanish horror movie (.[REC]) and the Del Toro produced movie, The Orphanage which has a hollywood connection with the man himself but is a spanish language movie.

OSS 117 is probably the second weakest French movie I've seen (just ahead of the empty but irectorially impressive District 13). However, it is still funnier than a number of US comedies I have seen of late*. The accidental musical number is brilliant and the sheer arrogance of our French agent is a joy. I suspect, of course, that like the excellent Brice de Nice, it loses a lot in the translation.

.[REC] is what Romero's appalling Diary of the Dead wishes it could have been and what JJ Abram's great fun Cloverfield just fell short of: A lovely unsettling build up followed by a harrowing last third and the fact that it's all done from a POV camera is extremely unnerving.

Anyway, I have to finish some redrafting for book #2, so I haven't yet seen The Orphanage. But this one appeals to me a great deal; I love a good old fashioned ghost story.

Au revoir

*Steve Carrell's appalling Get Smart is number one contender at the moment for most appalling comedy I've endured recently.

1 comment:

Vincent said...

Surely a bit harsh on Get Smart there? Certainly for a comedy it fell short of funny more often than not, but it was mildly amusing and provided passable entertainment because rather relying solely on jokes, it had a story that while by the numbers, was at least on a par with an episode of The Man from UNCLE.