It was nice

No false moves because nothing does.
Reported on 29th of May, 2017

Departure, identical but slightly less lyrical and visually poetic as last year’s Moonlight, is a perfectly admirable film. I appreciate the earnestness and sweetness of this film that ain’t coming near you. It’s not even getting a UK release. But an idea occurs. Is there a greater secret insult than the word than ‘appreciate’? And I ‘appreciated’ it but good.


25 May 2017 @ Les 2 Alizes

$2.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


Insult because there is not a lot of feeling there, not a great deal of connection. And to that lack of feeling, there’s a sense that this is the melodrama that took out the drama and added an ‘l’ and a ‘w’ to the mix. That’s supposed to be ‘mellow’, not ‘melolw’. That’s what you get for trying to clever. Which is what I’m insulting them for not doing.

Departure follows a young boy’s sexual awakening as his mother moves out their French holiday cottage. As the husband is also gay, it is the aluminum skeleton of Sirkian melodrama, without the gasbag of fights and clever lines and slammed doors that make it catch fire.

First seeing the trailer comparing Lady Macbeth to Hitchcock?????? That was someone who has either never seen Hitchcock or is blind. And then, and oh my God, the terrible, terrible, terrible short films based on Hitchcock that presage the local Dinard Film Festival. Even Bernard Hermann couldn’t save them. Replete, ironically given the film that followed, with weird dated gay panic stuff. ‘It’s a man? Baby?’ was a joke about the 1960s. And the fact that even frat boys don’t say it anymore should tell you about its viability.

I sympathize with this trend of well-mounted but positively nonexistent films. A criticism I could have made of mine own Treasure Island was that it was made by someone who didn’t want to show himself. This is what I see a lot of in these modern and disconnected dramas: hiding, that keeping it real is just an excuse for not showing our cards.

For Departure this manifests as long silences, underwritten observations and scenes that never come to a head, because that’s real life! That’s it hard to write well in real life. They make a point.

As the mom and son reconcile at the end, kind of, really nothing happens, but I thought of the end of Rebel with Mr. James Dean crying, begging for his dad to really see him. It’s so obvious in the best possible way. In the midst of all the Actor’s Studio nonsense, we get the catharsis.

Melodrama, which is something I like rather a lot, needs those moments. Hidden motives are fine, but require the level of writing where we can hear what the characters are really thinking, Hr. August Strindberg comes to mind, or an old go to, Mr. David Milch. If you write minimally, you need to hear what’s behind the words.

Instead, it’s real life as an excuse. It’s not enough to not be fake, you have risk being true. The real crime is immobility. There are no false moves because nothing does.

The Take

As said, it was sweet, and that counts for something these days.
Anal insertion masturbation! Why didn’t I like this movie?
Total Profits
Because it never comes to life.
Total Losses


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