Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The 10 Most Confusing Films

In yesterday's Melbourne Age a journo called Sebastian Cordoba (and if I had a name that cool I'd be an international jet setter not a humble hack) gave us his list of the ten most confusing films, ever. His list confused me because none of the films that I've seen on it are actually that confusing. However, as a service to loyal blog readers, here is Sebastian's list and my explanations in italics. It goes without saying that there is a spoiler alert operating here.

10. Primer
This tale of backyard time travelling becomes so convoluted that even after several viewings you’ll find yourself wondering what just happened.
Actually no, it's very simple, the boys build more and more powerful time machines so that they can go back further in time and alter the past. In the very last shot he's building a mega time machine so that he can go back deep into the past and stop all of what we've seen from happening.

9. Don’t Look Now
Great film but can someone explain the ending? I’ve heard many theories but none that really make any sense.
It's not his daughter, just a crazy little killer dwarf. That's it, nothing more complicated than that.

8. Southland Tales
I might be alone here but I loved this apocalyptic movie from the director of Donnie Darko. I’ve seen it several times and still don’t fully understand what’s going on.
Haven't seen it.

7. I Heart Huckabees
This philosophical comedy needs to come with a reading pack.
Albert and Brad attain enlightenment at the house burning. By the way I know Wikipedia calls it a "philosophical comedy" but as far as I can see it is clearly neither of those things.

6. Vanilla Sky
Confusing or simply lazy plotting? You decide.
Haven't seen it.

5. Synecdoche, New York
I didn’t get it…there I said it.
What's there not to get? He puts on a play of his life in the warehouse and it becomes increasingly complicated as he tries to make it more mimetic and true to his actual life.

4. The Matrix Revolutions
I don’t know if I didn’t get what was happening or was so disappointed by the Messiah subtext of this final chapter that I chose to dismiss it as simply confusing. Either way a horrible way to finish a great series.
The Matrix is eons old and all the stuff that happens in films 1-3 has happened many many times. Agreed though, films 2 and 3 terrible.

3. Mulholland Drive and any other David Lynch film
I love Lynch but I have long given up working out what his films are about and just sit back and enjoy the disturbingly hypnotic ride.
The first 60% of Mulholland Drive is Naomi Watts' dream/fantasy. The rest is reality i.e. she offed her girlfriend and is now sorry.

2. Donnie Darko
The director’s cut unnecessarily clarified many questions but my theory is that the film makes perfect sense if every time they mention time travel, they’re actually talking about a parallel universe. Thoughts?
Agents from the future come to watch Donnie Darko sacrifice himself to save the world. Simple as that.

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
The film does make more sense after several viewings and catching up on forty years of discussion but I have yet to meet someone who got it on their first viewing. The confusing film by which all are judged.
The monoliths have been going around promoting the evolution of intelligence in various species including humanity on Earth. Hal goes crazy because he has secret orders buried in his memory banks that apparently conflict with the mission to go to Jupiter and investigate the monolith there. At the end Dave encounters the monolith and becomes the next step of human evolution: the Star Child.
And in case you're still confused: Bruce Willis is a ghost, Jaye Davidson is a boy, Kevin Spacey is Kaiser Soze, Gwyneth Paltrow's head is in the box, Inception is a dream within a dream within a dream except at the very end which is real.