Monday, February 21, 2011

Proxy War

Summer Wars (2009) - Hosoda
Summer Wars
Summer Wars 2
Still haven't seen Social Network, but when it comes to internetz on the big screen, it fails miserably. What could be so exciting about people intensely hammering away at keyboard? The answer is obvious: it can only work in anime. And Mamoru Hosoda's Summer Wars answers with bright colors and cutesy style. In it, "Oz"- the network that is so vast and integral in our daily lives, when it gets hacked, the world is thrown into pandemonium. It's the Jinouchi Clan to save the world with the help of an emo programmer Kenji.

The digital animation of Oz and the avatars that inhabit the virtual world look very much like pop art sensation Takashi Murakami's work. Ah, circle of life, since Murakami's work totally rips off of anime. Also ironic is game of Hanafuda (Japanese card game) saving the day, since the game is socially and culturally looked down upon as crass, low brow entertainment. But behind the happy super fun exterior, Summer Wars actually has a story and a lesson in this internet age however slight it is. And I like that.

The Knack

The Knack... and How to Get It (1965) - Lester
the knack
the knack 2
Richard Lester's playful sex romp from the 60s can be hard to understand sometimes. But it doesn't make the film any less fun. Michael Crawford is Colin, a Ron Weasley-like school teacher who doesn't have the knack. He tries to learn from his suave, motorcycle riding housemate Tolen the ways of seduction but fails because he just doesn't have it. Enter Nancy Jones (Rita Tushingham), a new arrival in town, looking helplessly for YWCA, ends up with Colin and another of his eccentric housemate Tom while they are out to get a gigantic bed frame for Colin (just in case he scores). The following scenes are reminiscence of Jules et Jim but sillier.

With sight gags and plenty of physical comedy and playfulness, it strongly reminds me of early Woody Allen films. Fun film.