08 November 2010

Movie Mondays: Wristcutters: A Love Story

Oh, Wriscutters. How I love you so. This movie is one of my favorites in the universe. Wait, I take that back. It is my favorite. I like it so much that I have named not one but two pet fish after the main characters. Like last week's movie, this film is gloriously indie and extremely creative... but mostly it's just straight up pure awesomeness at 27 frames per second (some media arts major knowledge comin' atcha ;) lol).

Now, don't be taken aback by the slightly gruesome and extremely emo-sounding name. This isn't a film about two romeo and juliet-esque tragically angsty teenagers who eventually end up cutting their wrists because their love is too great or whatever.

Oh, no. Quite the contrary. 

This is a film that takes place in a world that is not earth and is beyond heaven or hell. I suppose it's a type of purgatory, in a sense, but if purgatory had pizza joints and dive bars and long stretches of open highway in the middle of the dessert. This is the world where people go after they commit suicide.

Hang on, hang on, it's not as morbid as it sounds. Well, it's a little morbid. But it's mostly an absolutely enthralling look into human emotions and the idea of life and love after death. I'm getting ahead of myself, though... let me go back to the beginning.

Wristcutters: A Love Story is based on the short story "Kneller's Happy Campers" (which I own and read within an hour and then lent to a friend over a year ago and would very much like back, ahem, Jaimie!!!!) by Etgar Keret. The film pretty much follows the 100 page book to a T, with a few adjustments here and there such as changed names and of course a lot of additional material seeing as it's a full length film. Also, the ending is different... but I happen to prefer the movie's ending more.

The film and novella follow Zia (Mordy in the book- played by Patrick Fugit) from after he commits suicide and finds himself in a place that he describes is "the same, just a little bit worse". He works at a pizza place and spends his nights getting drunk with his only friend, a German singer/guitar player named Eugene (Uzi in the book- played by Shea Whigham). Interestingly, Eugene is based off of the lead singer of the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello, and a lot of GB's music is on the film's soundtrack.

Zia soon learns that his girlfriend Desiree "offed" herself soon after he had, and so he and Eugene decide to jump in Eugene's car and drive to- well, wherever they can go- to try and find her. Along the way they pick up Mikal (Lihi in the book), a spunky, pot-mouthed, red-sweatshirt-wearing girl played by the oh-so-lovely shannyn sossamon who insists she got to this suicide-world on accident. Between the mysterious "bermuda's triangle" under Eugene's passenger seat, Mikal's persistent search for "the people in charge", and the bizarre miracles that seem to occur around an odd campsite-runner named 'Kneller', the movie is a whirlwind of the strange, the lost, and the wonderful.

I wrote my final comm 100 paper on this movie last year so I could literally go on forever about all kinds of symbolism and themes and uses of rhetoric, but I'll spare you the technical stuff and just tell you that this film is beautifully done both aesthetically and naratively, with a story that illuminates the beautiful in even the most desolate of places. The characters are incredibly unique, with such amazing depth that is not typical of most films you see today. It is seriously a beautiful work. Here's the trailer:

Love, love, love. Oh, and it literally JUST got added to the Netflix Instant thing online, so you can watch it if you have netflix RIGHT NOW. which you absolutely should :)

AND, it has Tom Waits in it. If that means anything to you, then you know you should watch this film.

Alright that's all for now... have a lovely monday!


1 comment:

  1. what is the symbolism of the red sweatshirt changing to pale blue after the sleep on the needle infested beach?