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Monday, May 09, 2005
revisiting great films
4:20 PM
so, one of the benefits of dating someone who enjoys films but hasn't seen many is you get to revisit many great films that you may not have watched again any time soon, somewhat under the pretense of "educating" that person.

that being said, Andrea and I watched Memento this weekend. i havent really figured out her tastes yet, but on the other hand, she hasnt hated anything we've watched, either, so i thought i'd try memento out on her.

i havent seen it for at least a year, and quite frankly, i'd forgotten how good it is! for the uninitiated, the film is told in (mostly) reverse chronological order, with some back story scenes interspersed in chronological order (and in black & white to help minimize confusion). it's a testament to chris nolan's writing that despite seeing the "ending" right at the front of the film, there's not only a "conclusion" at the end of the film, it's satisfying and interesting, and rewarding upon repeat viewings.

i have the limited edition 2-dvd, and one of the features is a chronological edit of the film. to access it, though, you have to traverse no less than half a dozen (and closer to ten) dvd menu screens, with a puzzle at the end (Nolan really went all out on the packaging for this thing!). i watched probably a third of the chronological edit. the black & white back story is about half an hour, and focuses largely on the Sammy Jankis stuff. i'll watch the rest later this week, i think.

we also watched Leon (aka The Professional). it's an odd landmark for me, this film: it's where i first saw Natalie Portman (who i think was unfortunately at her peak here), it's where i first heard of Luc Besson, the director, and it's where i first really became aware of Gary Oldman. we watched the "european edition", which restores something like 24 minutes to the american version i'd initially seen a decade ago.

it's a great film, with a good amount of "head stuff" (character development, etc), which i usually need in an action film for me to buy it. as i said, portman's at her peak here, in my opinion, and the restored scenes (esp. the restaurant scene) really show it. oldman's good, too, though he's been better elsewhere. reno is great as Leon, as well -- his voice just kills me.

oh, and the trivia section on imdb.com reveals this:
According to Luc Besson's first script-draft, Léon's full name is Leone Montana.

awesome.

next on andrea's movie education curriculum: the blues brothers. :)

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