Saturday, May 28, 2016

From Rififi to Waititi

I don't do weekly viewing recap posts on this blog, but if I did, this would be a good title for this week's.

It was a bit of a wild viewing week, and not just because I saw Jean-Marc Vallee's Wild.

No, it was more about the unusual near rhymes in major elements of the movies I watched, as referenced in the title of this post.

I guess I'm on a wordplay roll after my infamous* "Scarfs for Scafaria" post on Wednesday.
* - not infamous

Wednesday I saw Rififi, which I actually started on Monday night but didn't finish until two days later. (The day I finished it is the day that counts in my records as the day I viewed it.) I'd heard Jules Dassin's 1955 film referenced here and there over the years, and decided it was finally time to sit down with it. It confirmed two things I already knew about myself: 1) I like films that are well-made and have the feeling of being a bit ground-breaking, but 2) within that, the big names in French film noir (such as Le Samourai) still kind of leave me cold. Good movie though, one I probably need to watch twice before I will start appreciating it more.

Then on Friday it was Boy, directed by Taika Waititi. Waititi is about to become a hot commodity, or could anyway, as he is getting ready to shoot Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel -- one of the oddest in their recent spate of odd directing choices. Before that he may have another hit in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which just opened here on Thursday, and which would add to what he already gave us last year with the uproarious What We Do in the Shadows. It had taken me until Shadows to come around on the Maori director, though, because my lasting impression of him was 2007's Eagle vs. Shark, which I did not particularly care for. For some reason I thought Boy came first in his career, but I've since learned it came three years later -- and boy does it show additional polish. Boy is quite simply an absolute charmer, sweet and funny and sad. First rate, really.

What unusual near rhymes will I come up with next week?

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