Saturday, 21 August 2010

Art is art...

There are some films that leave an indelible mark...films that are so surprisingly good that you (if you are me) sit and think about them with glee...a strange pleasure in the knowledge that such films exist.

A Single Man (2009) is one recent example. It's just so beautiful - both in its concept and in its execution. It's a simple love story, a simple life story, a simple hopeful story. It's not trying to grab attention by saying 'look at me, I'm a story about a gay man - give me an award for being so modern and non-conformist'. In fact, it's saying 'have a look at me when you get time - I'm actually breathtakingly simple - and I happen to be about a gay man'. The story-telling is so effortless, it's almost painful. And the visuals (including the clever use of colour saturation) are so unusually perfect. The film is written and directed by Tom Ford, better known as a fashion designer - and this is his first film.

It's especially fascinating when a new director or writer, who is firmly established as an artiste in another world, creates a near-perfect movie. Case in point is The Proposition (2005), possibly my favourite Western, penned by rocker Nick Cave. The film is a brutal classic - a masterpiece for its visuals, dialogues and once again, its story-telling and characterisation. It has all the formulaic ingredients required of a genre film, and yet it rises above, way above, the limitations set by the rules of the game.

Both films are recommendations - even though they really have nothing in common, except artistic excellence.

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