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Wild Grass at the Keystone Art Cinema

I've added a few review quotes to the bottom of this description, for those of you who are still on the fence (or were scared off by the middling score on Rotten Tomatoes). Wild Grass (Les herbes folles) has been at the top of my want-to-see list for some time, so I was very happy to see that it will be showing at the Keystone Art Center. In case anyone else wants to see Wild Grass I decided to set up a meetup, so we can see the movie together, and then talk about it at the Indie Lounge after the movie. Showtime is 7:30. Meetup time is 7:15; if you miss us in the lobby beforehand, find us in the Lounge (the bar attached to the theater) after. Wild Grass is the latest film from veteran French director Alain Resnais (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad, Mon Oncle d'Amerique, Life Is a Bed of Roses, Melo, Love Unto Death, Not on the Lips); the cast is toplined by André Dussollier (one of the bigwig bad guys in Micmacs), Sabine Azéma (Life and Nothing But), Emmanuelle Devos (Coco Before Chanel, The Beat that My Heart Skipped), and Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Quantum of Solace). According to the IMDb, Wild Grass is a romantic drama, and has a running time of 104 minutes (it should be about two hours, once the previews, ads, and so forth are factored in). Here's the spoiler-free plot synopsis from the film's Facebook site: "A wallet lost and found opens the door - slightly - to Georges and Marguerite’s romantic adventure. After examining the ID of its owner, it is not a simple matter for Georges to turn in to the police the red wallet he has found. Nor can Marguerite retrieve her wallet without being piqued with curiosity about the person who found it. As George and Marguerite navigate the social protocols of giving and acknowledging thanks, turbulence enters their everyday lives." Since Sony Classics apparently didn't bother to include review quotes on their site for Wild Grass, I thought I'd include a few here; all of these were taken from the film's poster: "A whacked-out masterpiece with an ending worthy of the final minutes of 2001."- Glenn Kenny, "A constant, confounding delight."- Richard Corliss, Time "Psychodrama, sex farce, tragedy, comedy- Alain Resnais' masterpiece is all of these things and more."- Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York "The most sublime film I've seen in Cannes in years."- Todd McCarthy, Variety I'm a bit leery about the word "masterpiece" being used in two of those quotes- I hope that I'm not setting expectations too high here- but I suspect that the Rotten Tomatoes ranking isn't very representative of what the "good" movie critics out there think of Wild Grass. (I'm also fairly skeptical about Rotten Tomatoes rankings anyway, after the Piranha 3D debacle- but that's another matter...) In any event, Sony Classics' page for Wild Grass (under the "Gallery" button) at least does a good job of showing off some excellent-looking shots from the film; this looks like it will be worth seeing for anyone who appreciates movies with excellent cinematography. (I'm not sure why, by the way, Sony Classics used that painting of two people in a field- at least one of them with a head that has turned into a plant, apparently- as the main image on their site for the Wild Grass. As far as I know, this is not a movie that involves anyone mutating into a plant...)

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  • mike m.

    An unusual movie, to say the least. I loved the first half hour or so, then it kind of lost me for a while- but I wound up liking it again in the last third or so- even with that bizarre conclusion. And even with the ending, I did think that it was more than a collection of non-sequitirs- just as I think the argument could be made that the two main characters were psychologically plausible (even if both of them- especially Georges- were both head cases). Here is a link to the English-language press book for Wild Grass from when it was at the Cannes Film Festival:

    If you go to pages 5-6 (blue background), it shows what the director had in mind here, to a certain extent. And while I don't think that it's fair to rely on a press book to "explain" a movie, in most cases, I also think that- sometimes, at least- a little extracurricular reading can help clarify certain aspects of some puzzling films, like Wild Grass.

    September 27, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    I liked it! It reminded me of other French cinema. Plus it had surreal relationship qualities. The discussion wass fun.

    September 25, 2010

  • Helen

    The French New Wave lives? Resnais and co. delight in confounding audience expectations of story, character, theme and generally speaking, progression from A to B. People bored to tears with traditional narrative storytelling may love it. It was not my cup of tea. Fortunately the company was excellent.

    September 25, 2010

  • Maureen

    Movie was random, but entertaining, and the company was great. Thanks for always making me feel welcome. :-)

    September 24, 2010

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