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Faded Films: I don’t know what I did this summer

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Film column by Tamim Alnuweiri.


Most summers I can trace with some certainty—I spent a lot of time at Double Down Saloon or I contracted a disease from swimming in the cigarette butts at Coney Island. Looking back on this last summer…. I can’t remember or even think of what the fuck I was doing. The worst part is I have no way to figure it out either, no way to trace my steps back to figuring it out.

I’m trying not to let let the dread of not being able to accurately recall time reignite my plans of self-destruction so I’m going to do the mature thing and ignore the problem. In lieu of any summer memories are some summer movies, where various people did things.

Le Mepris

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Brigitte Bardot wasn’t always the horrible ghastly flabby Islamophobic immigrant-hating ghost of a woman that she is today. At one point she was a beautiful, if not talented, actress and singer. Le Mepris (which shares a considerable amount of plot similarities with L’important c’est d’aimer) but this is a Godard movie and the plot is not actually that important.

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The three male characters are isolated from each other through through both language and creative vision. Bardot’s character finds herself alone unable to trust anyone, especially her husband. Le Mepris is metaphysical layers upon metaphysical layers, becoming increasingly complex until the whole thing implodes on itself.

Claire’s Knee

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Eric Rohmer’s finesse as a filmmaker and the thing that arguably set him apart from his contemporaries, including Godard, comes from his ability to portray the nuances and depth of human emotion (without resorting to the type of sometimes over the top existential ramblings Godard’s characters were prone to).

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Claire’s Knee like the rest of Rohmer’s “Six Moral Tales” is about a man committed with a commitment to a woman, in this case his fiancé, being tempted to stray from his relationship. Although other movies in this series show a more explicit temptation (a sleepover in My Night at Maud’s, secret rendezvous with an attractive young woman in Chloe in the Afternoon) the crux of this movie is a teenage girls knee.

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing (1987)   Pers: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey   Dir: Emile Ardolino   Ref: DIR002AK   Photo Credit: [ Vestron / The Kobal Collection ]   Editorial use only related to cinema, television and personalities. Not for cover use, advertising or fictional works without specific prior agreement

A couple of weeks ago I went out and had what I thought was a tame night out. For some reason the next morning I reluctantly came out of a mild coma to throw up, eat hot garbage and lie in bed thinking about the car that must have run me over in my sleep. Obviously, this prompted me to watch several very bizarre and corny movies from the 80’s and 90’s including Dirty Dancing. As much as it was a painful fucking movie—that scene where her and Johnny first dance and he tries to get her to gyrate her hips truly chipped away at what remained of my will to live, not to mention the very deep Electra complexes her and her sister have (weird undertones for a dance movie)—I did get some amount of enjoyment out of it.

Red Oaks

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My friend Amy is always telling me that I watch shitty TV which is true only because I watch a lot of TV. But I guess also “good” TV shows tend to just spike my anxiety and make me overwhelmed and filled with human emotion which I would truly like to avoid during those moments when I’m literally trying to bombard my brain into a sense of comfortable dullness. Red Oaks is not a good show. I’m not sure how a never-left-America Jewish New Jersey teenager ends up sounding like Harry Potter but he does! At the very least the actor playing David is a charming and charismatic (which you may recall if you saw his turn in Submarine or The Fundamentals of Caring).

The chick he’s into “Skye” however is not so much manic pixie dream girl but more just the type of person I’d create if I was 12 and wanted someone to seem “edgy.” She has the type of pseudo cynicism that makes my eyes roll so far into the back of my head I think I’ll never see again, plus short dark hair which is meant to imply that she is not like the other girls!! But at the end of the day this all takes place in New Jersey which is the birthplace of basicness and tunnel people.



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