Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Boredom & Irony

Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait is one of the most vacuous, pointless and, yes, pretentious, films I think I've ever come across. I admit, I'm not really a football fan, but even those in the audience who obviously were had been reduced to glazed, slumping forms by the time this finally drew itself to a close. That was, of course, if they hadn't left the theatre already. Zidane says it's going to follow the footballer closely for an entire match, but it can't even stick to its own rules- why all the jumps between the live match and pixellations of it on a tv screen? Why the half-time deliberations over what was happening in the world that same day? Why the hollow, pompous subtitles ostensibly telling us Zidane's thoughts? Come to think of it, why did you even do this in the first place? Zidane tells us nothing other than footballers sweat and spit a lot, and I think pretty much anyone could have told you that. Grade: F

I love- LOVE- the fact that when I bought my ticket to Blood Diamond- which does, if nothing else, make its intentions to open people's eyes to the corruption in parts of the diamond trade- they handed me a leaflet (see left) with which I could win an £8000 diamond. I do wonder, sometimes, if the people who run these cinemas actually know anything about the films they show beyond their titles. There's a scene in a film where someone's- I forget who- voiceover talks of the corruption in the trade as the picture shows an atypical man slipping an enormous diamond ring onto his fiancee's finger. I'd say the message here is pretty clear- get off this jewellery obsession, or at least ask before you leap. Thankfully that diamond there is, well, too big to actually be one of the blood diamond's of the film, but still. Oh, and the film itself is a bit bombastic, which rather dilutes its message, but it's rather more exciting than I expected (it is from the director of The Last ZZZamurai, after all) and I was quite gripped by it until it decided to turn Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou into some strange African odd couple and have them trek across the jungle, and then descend into cliched histrionics. But worthy of those sound noms it got, at least. Grade: C+

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