Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I Can't Sleep (Claire Denis, 1994)

Claire Denis' quite, contemplative film investigates what it means to be an outsider, and what it, in fact, takes to become a part of the dominant culture you are outside of. The three main characters are Daiga, a Lithuanian actress who came to Paris on the promise of a theater role that never materializes, Theo, a Martinique immigrant who takes care of his son and has has a tempestuous relationship with the child's mother, and Camille, Theo's brother, a gay/transvestite cabaret singer. Alongside the day-to-day struggles of these three outsiders, there is a mystery of who is behind a rash of old-lady murders around the city.

Denis takes an outside approach to these characters, not giving them any real backstory or other facts for the audience to relate to. This is interesting in the character study sort of way, but I have a problem sometimes with movies that don't let the viewer in enough. While I really felt for each of the characters in a specific way, the ending leaves a little too much open-endedness. The murderer is caught, but we never get a feel for the motives, other than pure greed. It's a beautiful meditation on alienation and violence in the modern city, but a little too removed for me to love it.


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