Benny spends a lot of time in his room, given money but not attention by his parents, watching rental movies, news reports and homemade movies of his sister’s pyramid-scheme and a family-vacation pig-slaughter. Eventually, inevitably, he invites another girl home and kills her with the pig gun. Parents find out and help Benny hide the evidence. And Benny turns them in!

So apparently Haneke has been making this movie for years. Comfy rich family meets unexpected bursts of violence, shocking them our of their complacency. And we, the audience, who attend Austrian art movies… we are they! Their violence is ours! Or something, I dunno… Senses of Cinema is smarter than me, and has actual Haneke quotes:

Says the three movies just out on video are a trilogy, “reports of the progression of the emotional glaciation of my country”. “My films are intended as polemical statements against the American ‘barrel down’ cinema and its dis-empowerment of the spectator. They are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false (because too quick) answers, for clarifying distance in place of violating closeness, for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus.” Mattias Frey points out echoes of Benny in Wes Bentley’s American Beauty character, which I should’ve thought of myself.

Benny's Video

Same ol’ good ol’ movie. Gets better every time. This time paid close attention to: Halle Berry’s acting (not great), Rogue’s hair (you can kinda see it turn white if you pause on the statue of liberty scene), overall pacing, Magneto’s costume. Waffling on seeing X-Men 3 in theaters or at all.


Watched on the night Imamura died. Thought it was the right time to expose myself to a great new filmmaker. Imagine my surprise when I didn’t like the movie.

Dude kills wife. Eight years later, out of prison, opens barber shop. Has pet eel. Girl works for him. Bunch of obvious stuff happens, but not so obvious that I can remember the details two weeks later. That’s why I write in this thing… to write about movies I didn’t like right after I see them, so later I’ll remember why I didn’t like them. Too late now. Oh wait, I remember complaining about a dream sequence when someone jumps out of the water and grabs the dude’s boat and says… something…

Cute fable about a crippled girl (with blind mom) who wants to sell newspapers. Gang of boys makes throat-slitting gestures at her, shoves her off pier and steals her crutch, but never sells any papers themselves. Very good looking movie. Katy had seen it before.

Girl Who Sold The Sun

Watched on porch with passing traffic and marauding cockroaches and j0sh0rZ. Still great, though cluttered. Was thinking that it might be better if the whole underground rice-eater group from the sewers wasn’t in the movie at all. Useless to try comparing the Jeunet movies… is this “better” than City of Lost Children? Are the new ones “better” than the old ones? Why does nobody like Alien Resurrection except me? Katy liked this pretty well, I think.


I still enjoy watching the whole journey, but still not quite sure about myself afterwards. So Julie Delpy might’ve written the letter? But probably not? Is that completely beside the point? I again failed to recognize actresses. Julie Delpy leaves, Sharon Stone sleeps with him, Frances Conroy lives in a model home, Jessica Lange talks to animals and Tilda Swinton has him beaten up. Got it. Hmm, the guy who directed Habit and Wendigo might’ve punched him out. And Sun Green gets him a bandage, which makes me wonder why I haven’t watched Greendale yet.

The extended director’s cut! I didn’t start out paying too much attention, and I ended up paying even less attention, after less than halfway through I decided the movie definitely sucked. Performances fine, cinematography fine, story even fine, but screenplay silly and overall kinda crappy. Full of those Gangs of New York “blood stays on the blade” recurring moments of extreme character poignancy that mean very little to us, the audience.

So I’m not sure that it even matters, but Orlando Bloom is a blacksmith whose wife killed herself after their kid… died… somehow. Liam Neeson rides by, claiming to be Orlando’s dad I think. Orlando doesn’t want to go with him on a crusade to redeem his wife’s unholy death, but after killing his assistant and burning down his own shop, he decides maybe he’d better. Neeson dies soon, I’d venture. Orlando hits Jerusalem, where mighty king Ed Norton in a fancy leper-mask is always being betrayed by evil & scarred Jeremy Irons. Orlando is maybe in love with Norton’s sister, then I stopped caring at all and a whole lotta shit I already don’t remember happens.

Hmmm… from the writer of Martin Scorsese’s very star-studded Infernal Affairs remake. And the director of Gladiator, I should’ve remembered. Katy didn’t like it either, to say the least.

Very, very pretty movie. More a motion photography exhibition than a movie. The music was pretty good but the Lawrence-Fishburne voice-over poetry was unnecessary.

Elephants, hyenas, kids, kids on elephants, women with hyenas, hawks, sand dunes, etc. Seemed more like something I can use to scavenge stills for my screen-saver than a movie I’ll want to sit down and watch again. Katy seemed to like it. Helped that it was so short.

Ashes and Snow