Tuesday, November 29

from machine, toward what?

most people who know me know I get incredibly picky about movies. it is an awful snobbishness, an unshakeable sensitivity to predictable tropes and shallow sappy mush. in my silly opinion, most films are tolerable, a few are worth having seen but not much else, and a few are utter wastes of time. and a very, very few are masterful, provocative constructions that I'd definitely watch multiple times in order to get the most out of them that can possibly be gotten.

my list of movies I find significant fault with is pretty long. much of the time it's endings-- they're too neat, or too pathetic, or too conventional. I'm incredibly picky about endings of things.

my list of movies I hate is short, and my list of movies I love is somewhere in the middle. former favourites or near-favourites have included The Princess Bride, the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, A Beautiful MindFight Club, Seven Pounds. maybe Inception.

I went to see Ex Machina pretty much on a whim. because I'm so dreadfully picky about films, I don't often bother with seeing things in theatres. but friend Eric had mentioned he was going; I idly looked up the trailer and decided to tag along. I'd done the same with various other films friend Eric and/or friend Sam planned to see. Guardians of the Galaxy was alright. Mr. Holmes was alright.

Ex Machina was astonishingly good. magnificently astonishing.

{ borrowed from this kind soul on Flickr }

it had all the thought-provoking subtlety that I demand of a good film, along with great art and believable/relatable characters, and nothing at all slow or boring or in-the-way of the story. the settings and sequences carry such spotlessness and shine

the ending spun to a stop with a thrilling momentum, yet at the same time with all the delicate, delicious unpredictability I could ever want.

writing about it now, I'm reminded a little of the way Seven Pounds winds back on itself with its puzzling pieces of morbid evidence. but Ex Machina only barely leaves room for us to recognize our own disbelief or suspense--by the time its beautiful twists were unfolding I just had to let them wash over me and my expectations like an avalanche of something wide-open different, ambiguous and unsettling.

I immediately wanted to see it again. in the dark of that theater, gaping, speechless, I just wanted to start all over and keep thinking about the story and the future and the brilliant composition of words-pictures-acting I'd just seen.

if you haven't seen it yet, I'll watch it with you. just name the weekend.

here are a few miscellaneous and relatively unimportant footnotes, for anyone interested in reading more about Amelia's new very favourite film:
summary and info from the production studio
other films from the same studio, some of which I should find and watch to see if I enjoy them as much as I did this one.
some words on the fancy, remote, Scandinavian locations

1 comment:

Janeheiress said...

I loved Ex Machina, too. Such a unique, though-provoking movie. Still need to see Seven Pounds...