Monday, March 26, 2012


This may be the most I've written about a movie that I HAVEN'T actually seen. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but my anticipation for Andrea Arnold's adaptation of 'Wuthering Heights' is on another level right now. More than 'Dark Knight Rises', 'Amour' (Haneke's new movie) and even 'Holly Motors' (Leos Carax's long awaited return). And I seriously don't fully understand where all this excitement is coming from either. Oh and trust me, it has nothing to do with the character of Heathcliff being portrayed as black. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I'm such a big Andrea Arnold fan (I LOVED 'Red Road' and her use of classic hip hop music in 'Fish Tank' was a pleasant surprise). But at the same its not like shes one of my personal favorites. These days I think I'm just drawn to somewhat boring, "off", lingering, flawed yet challenging films which is what I'm gathering Wuthering Heights is from all the reviews and firsthand reports that vary more than anything I've seen in years. Flawed or misunderstood movies can still bring a lot to the table. Just look at recent stuff like; Black Venus, Trouble Every Day, Tree Of Life, House Of Tolerance, The Pornographer, Demonlover, or the other misunderstood/boring masterpieces we've explored here on PINNLAND EMPIRE. These are the kinda movies people will revisit 10 years later and realize how genius they are (well maybe not all of em, but some). I know I'm blowing this up and setting myself up for disappointment but the last time i blew a movie up like this it turned out to be 'Drive' (probably one of the greatest movies ever). At TIFF last year Atom Egoyan said Wuthering Heights was the best thing Andrea Arnold has done so far. However Chris over at the pink smoke thought the opposite. In fact I could almost feel his pain through the text he sent me from Sundance after he saw it. I remember one of the texts reading something along the lines of: "its tough, man. really hard to sit through." Actually, why don't you read his opinion on it (Sundance 2012) then continue reading this...

See what I'm saying? Not the most flattering review. Like Chris' review, many other critics are pretty much saying the same thing (more or less): An adaption of Wuthering Heights where the dialogue sounds like its straight out of a 1980's English pub with parkensons-esque cinematography and unnecessary long shots of trees and bugs with the wind blowing directly in to the microphones to the point where you can barely here the actors. And speaking of actors, i hear the fella who plays the older Heathcliff cant act very well either. But even with all that i still wanna see this badly. Another reason I'm so drawn to this movie is because of the trailer (below) and the various images and stills floating around online. As I wrote in a previous blog entry; it really is a work of art in the realm of movie trailers. It accentuates a lot of the characteristics I was talking about earlier: lingering shots, hand held cinematography, and it does look boring...but good boring (if that makes any sense). Ive been kicking myself for six months because at this point in time I COULD HAVE ALREADY SEEN IT! that's right. What you could be reading right now is an actual review instead of my rambling on and on about a movie I haven't even seen yet. But by the first few days of TIFF I was so worn out and tired from watching 4-7 movies a day I didn't wanna wake up @ 6:30am to make the 8:00am screening (its also ironic that from that moment on the festival took a serious nosedive with the exception of Shame, Monsieur Lahzar, Alps and a few more). I was so sure additional screenings would be added because of all the buzz it was getting at Venice (which was going at the same time as TIFF), but it didn't happen. Oh well.
Anyway, I'm hoping it'll come to NYC soon (IFC is about to release their new film schedule so I'm hopeful).


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