Day 241: Sonatine 1993 + ‘Do I risk doing Godard?’

Sonatine 1993

An interesting Japanese crime film. Time Out’s List of 100 Great Films includes not one, but two Kitano films.


‘Do I risk doing Godard?’

Fassbinder is now in the past. I need to decide what is next. Do I stay in Europe, where I have been living for at least two months now, or do I move to Russia. My big question is whether I go to Tarkovsky or Godard? Fellini is out of the question. I’m in no mood for circuses and trying to get my head around what it is that makes his films so special. Tarkovsky, I feel, is going to like Eisenstein and Sergei Paradzhanov or the bleakness of The Tree of Wooden Clogs.

I don’t feel like I want flashiness or brutal realism. But I know that if I go into the world of Jean-Luc Godard it will be two weeks of intensity that I don’t know if I have the energy for. I could go into the land of John Cassavetes and watch his five or six best films. I could pick off some films by Ophuls and Sirk. I don’t know whether to give myself breathing space by doing a week of one-offs before launching into another director who has eight or nine films that I have to watch to understand what he’s getting at.

My gut is telling me to do the Godard films. I want avante-garde. I want broken narratives and non-sensical meaning. I want creativity that is out of the box.

My instinct is telling me to do Imitation of Life (1959) and Madame de… (1953) and Raging Bull (1980) or Touki Bouki (1973) or In the Mood for Love (2000) or Close-Up (1990).
Godard would require the time to do an insane amount of analysis and living out of my comfort zone.

It’s a terribly hard decision deciding where to leap next but I’ve decided to do some films which require just seeing one film by a given director like Imitation of Life (1959)… I’ve just gone to my DVD room and found that I don’t have this film. I must have been thinking of another Douglas Sirk film. Okay, I’m going to do another Wong Kar Wai film which I found in Lane Cover Library tonight: 2046 (2004). Three films of Wong’s turn up