A Post In the Machine.
"EO," a wrap and endorsement of "Giri/Haji," thoughts on Oscar "losers," one final thought on "The Last Of Us," what's your "weather woes" go-to entertainment, some love, snarkiness and fantasies.
I’m probably going to need a donkey now. Are there any quiet donkeys? I’m looking specifically for a Sardinian donkey because I’ve learned they are the cutest and they exude melancholy from their eyes. Anyone know anything about donkeys before I get one? And maybe most important, was there a THIRD great movie that I’m unaware of involving a donkey, because I think we need to hit that trifecta?
If you’ve been paying attention to the movies and I guess, to a lesser extent, the Oscar nominees, then you’ll have noticed that a donkey was a key part of “The Banshees of Inisherin” and the key to the entire “EO” film.
I watched the latter before the Oscars aired on Sunday and it was so many things. I loved it as as an evocative experiment in point of view. Then how it managed to be both a linear story about animals (and their relationship to us) and also weird and disconnected on its second track (where the donkey traveled in the story). It was the second time in the span of a roughly 36 hours where I had to ask myself if I was OK with the creative choices being made (the other was a TV series — more on that below).
Also, “EO” is streaming on Criterion Channel, which has once again proven to be a great addition to my line-up (especially because, as bonus content, I got to see the discussion between director Jerzy Skolimowski and writer Ewa Piaskowska). The couple have conjured up something truly moving and imaginative and delivered it with the bare minimum of language.
Compared with the ever-talky “Banshees Of Inisherin,” it’s a double donkey jolt of 180 degree storytelling and yet both are wonderful and magical in their own way, in their own oddness and their own distinctive sorrows.
(If you missed it, here’s my “Banshees” post):
I am feeling very positive about cinema, as you can tell. If you haven’t seen either of these films, add them to the list. Both are wonderful and moving and contemplative. And if you have seen either, I would love to hear your thoughts as both films have their powerful elegiac endings and each asks the viewer to give in a bit to the story, to let their minds allow it, if you will. As a writer I’m fascinated how that hits viewers since making those bold decisions that lead to such a dilemma is, I think, less naturally considered positive (or encouraged) in television than it is in film, where abstraction and nebulous turns are more welcome.
In that regard, I felt my mind get sticky and doubtful about the plausible storyline in “EO” much more than I did in “Banshees,” but ultimately I was overcome by one (well, actually five) donkeys playing the lead in “EO.” It’s proof that a movie can move you (to tears, in this case, as almost everyone I’ve talked to about it cried) while simultaneously having you less supportive of the plot.
I think the plot in “EO” was less the point, at least the logistics of it. And the plot in “Banshees,” while arguably a little more straightforward, is also nebulous and the audience is left to insert their interpretation into it.