Not all films stand the test of time… Each of us at least once in our life had a moment when, out of sentimental reasons, you decide to show your new boyfriend your favorite adolescence film - and in fifteen minutes you want to sink into the ground out of shame. There are films that are simply scared to tackle again: it’s scary to break their fragile charm. Or just scary. We decided to put together a kind of antitopic and asked film critics to tell us which films might be worth watching only once in a lifetime.
My Blueberry Nights
As a child, Kar Wai seemed to be the most subtle, the most modern, the most sensual - and so on - a director. I needed to review it at work, it became very sad. It seemed that only "2046" and "Blueberry Nights" were a careless step into the intimate chatter, but no, it has always been that way. "Wild Days" once seemed the most perfect film in the world, and today it resembles a campy guide for an aspiring pickup artist. "Chungking Express" surprises only by the fact that once a director could play the same song thirty times in a row and he did not get anything for it. "In the Mood for Love" could have been better if half of its timekeeping had not been given over to the beautiful slow passageways down the street. I write all this without any schadenfreude: there are directors and films that are vital in their time, but it is better not to return to them, but to cherish warm memories of them.
Chaplin's "Gold Rush", a lead classic, seemed to me funny and funny as a child - eating a shoe, dancing with buns and so on. And only when I saw him at the special screening in noise-dubbing in the cycle of film screenings "Silent cinema plus live music", I realized how scary this film was. There it is about uterine horror and childhood fears: an evil uncle will now devour you, turning into a bear. Nowhere is safe: your house suddenly begins to sway under your feet, and you fly out through the open door and hang over the abyss, barely having time to catch on the threshold. Everyone will forget about your birthday. You go out to dance, all eyes are directed at you, and your pants fall off, what a shame. And then, on New Year's Eve, Charlie is waiting for a beautiful girlfriend in a shiny gold dress, played by Georgia Hale, but instead of her, a horse's muzzle is poking at the door, like a ghost from a nightmare. A funny comedy - you just laugh. And all it was necessary to change the musical accompaniment to see what this film is really about, how many fears from the subconscious are locked in it, which are disguised as gags.
"Corporation" Holy Motors "
Most often it happens the other way around - you watch a film at the festival and you hate it: it is your sixth today, soon midnight, and tomorrow you will get up again at half past six to ride a bike from the flophouse, which you are filming for five. Six months pass, the film blooms like an amazing flower in the desert of the Russian box office, and you realize that you have not seen the masterpiece. Everything that I managed to fall in love with before 2000 has stood the test of time: Shouts, Aliens, and von Trier. But lately, surprises have been happening.
When I watched Carax's Holy Motors for the first time in Cannes, it seemed to me that I had fireworks in my heart, like in Lovers from the New Bridge. Each of Laban's reincarnations is a blow in the gut, so unexpected and unlike anything (minus Shit). Such delight that you penetrate this dream and begin to settle down in it and guess about something. Six months later, I watched a film in Moscow, the projector was terrible, the gray shadow of Laban was swarming on the screen in the dark.But the point is not only this: everything has become too predictable, disposable, childish - I did not want to look at this dream again. A typical case of fake Christmas tree decorations. And about the fact that it’s scary to watch it: the first time from “Load 200” I had a tremor for two days, the second time it seemed to me a comedy, the third time it was a love story, and I won’t watch the fourth.
The worst disappointment I got not too long ago was when I watched the good Terminator movie. The disturbing nightmare that was caused by watching this movie more than twenty years ago has disappeared. Remained a strong low-budget action movie with dystopian elements. And Schwarzenegger is so indecently young. The heart responds only at the sight of the young, unsuspecting Sarah Connor. Run honey run
Death of the gods
If an urgent professional necessity does not make me, I try not to watch the main and most favorite films at all. In order not to jinx it. And this has already happened. Back in Soviet times, I watched Visconti's Death of the Gods on a black-and-white countertip. And so he remembered him forever - like a great black-and-white film. Seeing in color, I was almost disappointed, as if the pure image of first love was unnecessarily embellished with makeup.
Nights of Cabiria
Fellini's films are a must-see when you get to know cinema. This is like a monument to a hero unknown to you, where parents bring in childhood and talk about his exploits. It is customary to trust them, and as a hero - to silently admire. At first views, this is what weighs on you as a viewer. But over the years, returning to it already frees one from such conventions. The recent revision of the film "Nights of Cabiria", for example, caused a feeling of great deception - directorial, historical, etc., where everything caused irritation: from excessive kitsch and clumsy mise-en-scenes to the director's strange arrogance towards his characters. That is, in a striking way, all the worst that was in neo-realism and Italian melodramas of the 60s and 70s fit into one film. In general, it would be better as a child that they immediately revealed to me the truth that the greatest Italian director is Raffaello Matarazzo.
The Blair Witch
The first time I watched this film, without knowing anything about it in advance, in a screen copy, on a bad monitor, with huge Chinese (for some reason) subtitles obscuring the image. I was scared as if I had met my own death and miraculously survived. I remember, in order to return to reality, I immediately put on some trivial drama with Kevin Spacey - and all the way I was afraid for Kevin Spacey: "God, he doesn't know WHAT threatens him!" A couple of weeks later there was a press preview at the Roland cinema. The critics chuckled and teased each other. The fear disappeared along with the Chinese subtitles. In general, never re-watch films in which you are fortunate enough to be very scared. This is a valuable feeling, it must be protected.
So far, so close
At the fifth minute, Mikhail Gorbachev appears in the frame, who is hugged from behind by an angel. He reflects on the meaning of being, then says that he will now read "our compatriot Fyodor Tyutchev, poet and diplomat." Moreover, the word "compatriot" is pronounced in a strange way - something like "compatriot", I still did not fully understand. Trying to make a phonetic analysis, I rewound to this moment over and over again, as a result, I was engulfed in unrestrained laughter, and the viewing had to be postponed. Over the course of several years, I made seven or eight desperate attempts to watch this film beyond the sixth minute, but then I interpreted its title in my own way and somehow calmed down.
Love is colder than death
Here you need some kind of memory, a chance. But there is no memory. There is an image from the past, vibrating like a circle from a lamp (or is this a memory?).It's about such a deadly beautiful life, figures caught in motion as they crouch for a shot (eyes squinted to be more precise). These are Fassbinder's first films, seen once, somewhere, as if on film, most likely in the halls on Krasnaya Presnya, in halls as small and dark as they are. Oh, no, there is a memory. I remember when I was thirteen years old trying to get on the "Innocent" Visconti (children under sixteen) and put cardboard boxes in my shoes to look taller. "Love is colder than death" - looking at him with today's sober gaze - everything rests on such cardboard boxes stuffed into children's shoes for adulthood, importance and beauty. This angel of death Ulli Lommel who swallowed the coat hanger, this diligent teenager Rainer in his rudeness, these Straubian enchanted passages and, finally, this heroine named Erica Romer (sic!) - all this now reminds of the distinctly dark nights of sixteen when composing someone else's novel … Of course, about death (about what then) and, of course, with Werther's bitten lip. Once upon a time, this passion against the background of the parental cuisine was congruent with yours. Now you look at it like Trigorin looks at Treplev. Of course we were much happier at eighteen.
Once I showed a friend of twenty-four years old a once favorite film and almost died of shame. No, the prophetic comedy of Yuri Mamin is not at all devoid of moments of pure genius: the grotesque story of the Fuhrer-Pushkinist and his sideburned henchmen, terrorizing a provincial town with torchlight processions and pogroms of hipsters, wittily retells the past (in particular, "The Death of the Gods and" by Visconti) for example, the activities of youth movements of a patriotic orientation). But my God, what a pain it is to watch now how Mamin draws the main opponents of the militant tailcoats - the painted "informals". All that perestroika freedom, which today it is customary to talk about with enthusiasm and edification, seems, after repeated viewing of "Sideburns", a naive and unfashionable outburst of demonic idiocy. And how to live with this sediment now is not clear.
A Space Odyssey 2001
I sincerely believe that one should listen to Pauline Keil and never revisit anything, because there are so many unseen films in the world and so little time that it is wildly unpragmatic to watch what has already been seen unnecessarily a second time. But in any case, do not revisit Kubrick's "Space Odyssey". Firstly, because this should be done only on the big screen and in extremely good quality, and this is possible only in an ideal world. Secondly, because most of us saw her at a more or less tender age, and this, in my opinion, is an emotional shock of the level that is not forgotten.
Fifteen years later, all the details are erased, you remember from there, by and large, only the singing monoliths, Hal's voice, the white room and Strauss's music there, but the memory of the fact that you then saw something gigantic, very distant, inexplicable remains for a lifetime of crystal clear grandiose and at the same time wildly scary. If you revise her, she will not get better or worse, and you will not love her more or less - it just will not happen again, a lot of questions will arise, and you will have to wait another fifteen years so that only the main thing remains in your memory.
Wong Kar Wai's 2046 is the only film in the world that I want to watch all the time, but for several years now I can't bring myself to do it. The director filmed it for four years, the premiere was constantly postponed - the maestro was finishing something, reshooting. The wait was endless, with the film being joked that it would come out in 2046. When the picture was released in 2004, it was not at all long by today's standards (only two hours and ten minutes), but a terribly stretched, almost unbearable collection of some emotional fragments, shadows, dull pain, it is not clear what caused.
Wong Kar Wai made his best films practically out of chaos, worked without a script, invented stories already at editing, from a short anecdote that fell out of one plot, he could make a whole film. All of these films were about Hong Kong. In 1996, when the city was handed over to China, Wong stopped filming modern-day Hong Kong.He transferred his heroes first to emigration ("Happy Together"), then to the past ("In the Mood for Love"). “2046,” one of the original designs, was about what happened to Hong Kong in the first fifty years under Chinese rule. Then the director added the heroes of "In the Mood for Love" to the film. Then he finished something, reshoot. As a result, "2046" became about how Wong Kar Wai himself, having lost his native Hong Kong forever, lost control of chaos, and this destroyed the genius of one of the best directors in the world.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
I am not afraid of almost anything, not even prisons and bags. Moreover, to watch films for fear of being disappointed: this does not happen to me - I was not an idiot at least five, even twenty-five years ago, when I was fascinated by this or that film. But there is one that I would never risk revising for fear of the animal, the irrational, the primitive. This is "Henry: A Portrait of a Serial Killer", the debut of John McNaughton, four years not rolled even in liberal America (only, it seems, Scorsese's help contributed to the removal of "Henry" from the shelf). This is a chronicle of the true deeds of the maniac Henry Lee Lucas (the first role of Michael Rooker, whom I have greatly respected since then - you have to be not just stupid or brave to accept such an offer), the only one - for me - physically unbearable film.
In all the generally accepted bogeymen, like Pazoliniev's clever "Salo" or brutal meat horror films, there are saving straws - an exquisite form, morbid voluptuousness, the courage of a Grand Guignol. Nothing in Henry; icy (if you believe that it's cold in hell, then hellish) dispassion of intonation, total anhedonia and, to hell with it, naturalism in depicting death, the main thing is pathological indifference to life (without the pathological beauty of the prepared body). Of course, I would have banned and destroyed this film altogether - and to hell with liberalism.
Stanislav F. Rostotsky
In fact, it is rather difficult to remember the appropriate case, somehow everything turned out to be extremely revised into a vein. Almost the only one comes to mind, but that is why an even more striking episode from the audience's practice. It was about ten years ago, and in the company of one film director, one film producer and one film actor, I was going to revisit something from a win-win classic. The choice fell on "12 chairs" by Leonid Gaidai, then just appeared on DVD and specially reserved by the owner of the house for such an occasion.
Already ten minutes after the start, the air in the room was so thickened from the general awkwardness that, excuse me, it could be spread on bread. As it became clear from the very expressive discussion of the situation that followed after the unfortunate disc was removed into the light of day (the aftertaste was eventually varnished with some kind of anime), vague suspicions about this film adaptation tormented the souls of almost everyone present, who, however, persuaded to the last yourself, that this is nothing more than twists and turns of memories, but in fact everything is wonderful, sparkling and funny, almost at the level of "It can't be!". Alas, this particular film remains Gaidaev's main failure.
A Clockwork Orange
The main source of disappointment in teenage film ideals, of course, lies in the area of cult cinema. Fortunately, I have not watched Jodorovsky's The Mole or, for example, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for a hundred years, but a year ago it still caught up with me - in the somewhat unexpected form of Kubrick's Clockwork Orange. Not that he ever seemed one of the favorites, but all of his elements were so imprinted in the DNA that the thought of possible betrayal did not even arise. According to the recollections, "Orange" firmly stood in the cult canon in all its VHS charm, but ten years later and on the big screen, I suddenly saw some completely unfamiliar film to me, which I nevertheless knew by heart.
In the first ten minutes I really wanted to close my eyes, after half an hour - to run away. Ultraviolence, singing in the rain and devochki evoked nothing but the desire to throw something heavy at the screen. What used to look, in general, an extremely good and witty movie, now looked like a bad BBC production of a cult novel, made by a man who desperately tries to joke, although he knows that he never had a sense of humor. It is doubly surprising that "Barry Lyndon" and "Eyes Wide Shut" still seem to be some of the funniest films on earth.
The material was first published on the Look At Me website in 2013.