Friday, December 7, 2012

Restless (2011)

"Restless," directed by Gus Van Sant, dedicated to Dennis Hopper with Dennis Hopper's son Henry.

I watched this late at night when I actually was restless.  I knew going into it that it was supposed to be some kind of version of the story of "Harold and Maude" and "Harold and Maude" is probably my favorite movie so I've been wanting to see it for awhile.

A dreary depressed guy? Check.  An over-the-top girl cheerleading him on? Check.  Obsession with death? Check. Lots of time frolicking in nature? Check.  There's even the songs of Sufjan Stevens, son of Cat Stevens, who did the soundtrack for "Harold and Maude."  Both movies also have a re-enactment of the Romeo and Juliet death scene.

So what is the difference between the two movies?  Well, "Harold and Maude" is a dark comedy, with an emphasis on comedy.  I laugh, laugh, laugh, then cry.  Harold's mom is hilarious.  The cop, the priest, the therapist, hilarious.  This movie, not so funny, just dreamy.

girl with a red scarf kissing Enoch

All the shots were beautiful, as beautiful as they can be which is not surprising since Gus Van Sant is the one who directed the surreally-blue "My Own Private Idaho."

The two main really young actors, Henry Hopper and Mia Wasikowska, were super raw. You could see they were both putting their all into the parts and very beautiful themselves. 

In an Oct. 1, 2011 interview for The Oregorian, Mia states, "After we'd shot the amount of takes that Gus was happy with, we'd do one silent version of the scene. Which was fantastic, because by that time we were so much in sync with the rhythm of it all, literally going through all the beats of the scenes but without words. Often, at the end of doing a silent take, I'd think, "Oh, I get it now." I understood it a different way.I think that's a brilliant idea to film a scene because it's Hitchcock's idea of "pure cinema"--the idea that a film story should be told in pictures and not words---at its best.

Like many movies I've seen recently, it ended on the best possible image after some fabulous editing. Smile.

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