TSP2011: Genevive Goes Boating

Genevive Goes Boating. Lucy Gray. 2011.

This short (narrated by Tilda Swinton) can be found on Vimeo.

It’s a kind of fairy tale/parable thing.

I really like the way it’s made: The home-made-aesthetic scenography etc, and it is interesting, but I didn’t really get much involved. I guess the fairy tale thing just doesn’t work for me.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2017: Okja

Okja. Joon-ho Bong. 2017.

I remember there being some controversy about this film at the Cannes Film Festival because it’s a Netflix film. That is, it wasn’t released to movie theatres? I think? And they changed the rules to exclude such films afterwards?

Anyway, I signed up to Netflix to see just this film, and I’ve remained signed up for a year afterwards… without seeing much of anything on Netflix, because, let’s face it, Netflix sucks. Outside the US it’s just a cruel joke, which in the US it’s a slightly wittier joke.

But they got one year’s worth of money out of me, so they’ve got that going for them, I guess. (I’m assuming that all the rest of their films suck.)

But this is good! It does go somewhat off the rails (mostly due to Jake Gyllenhaal (my first thought when he appeared was “Geez, Jason Schwartzman isn’t as likeable as he used to be”)) and it’s got huge pacing problems, but there are some really exhilarating and moving scenes in here.

The plot doesn’t make any sense whatsoever (when evil corporation Monsanto I mean Mirando I mean Monsanto creates a super-pig through GMO, they obviously won’t create something that takes ten years to get to a market ready state; instead it’ll take two months from gestation to slaughter and be in agony the entire time), but I don’t think that makes that much of a difference.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2014: The Gospel According to St. Derek

The Gospel According to St. Derek. Andy Kimpton-Nye. 2014.

This documentary can be found on Youtube here, here, and here.

It’s a quite traditional documentary: A theme is established, and then they get a series of people talking about that, and then a new subject, and then pretty much all the same people talking about that new subject. It’s OK, but it fails when the director tries to replicate some of Jarman’s mannerisms, doing super-8-like stuff with video, and it looks horrible.

“We got about four films made off the back of being Derek’s last film.”

Hm… some of these interviews seem very familiar. Did I already watch this? Hm… Oh yeah! Many of these interviews were also in Life as Art, which was made a decade earlier.

But this is a different film.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2016: The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

The Seasons in Quincy: Fout Portraits of John Berger. Bartek Dziadosz. 2016.

This is a documentary film in four parts (with four different directors) produced by The Derek Jarman Lab.

I know nothing about John Berger (but I’ve probably seen a couple of films based on his… work?), and this is not a film that makes any attempt at contextualising him. Instead the first (and longest) bit, written by Tilda Swinton features herself talking to Berger as an old friend, telling vague anecdotes and sitting around his kitchen.

Still, even if I had no idea what they were talking about most of the time, I was kinda fascinated.

The second bit was supposed to feature Berger, but his wife died just before they arrived, so they filmed some nearby farms instead and had Swinton (I think) recite some Berger texts over. It’s great!

The third bit is a straight-up debate about neoliberalism interspersed with footage from the countryside. And some more texts. It’s nice.

And the last bit is the most sumptuous one. They got a helicopter in and did a lot of aerial shots of Khan-cee. And you get to hear Berger more, and he sounds interesting. Then the film follows his son for a bit, and then there’s a long sequence where they harvest some raspberries.

It’s really good.

Oh! The last bit is directed by Tilda Swinton!

She should direct more stuff.

Anyway, perhaps I should pick up a Berger book or two.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.