In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_transporter_refueled_ver3

The Transporter Refueled

The Transporter Refueled is an unnecessary bore from start to finish, one that even the most devoted Luc Besson fanatics will find difficult to defend.

Thumb_large_xbjzcdnnuxx7z1v5g68dtbpgfid

War Room

War Room preaches that we have no call to be righteous and judge others, yet the film itself is righteous and judgmental in the extreme.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

TIFF: Suicide isn't painless

237b.jpg

"2:37"

Born out of a suicide (a friend of the filmmaker's) and an attempted suicide (the filmmaker's own), "2:37" is a movie 20-year-old Australian Murali K. Thalluri never intended to write or direct. It just came out that way.

"2:37" is a suicide whodunnit. In the course of one day at school, multiple character perspectives, and a maze of Steadicam shots that virtually trace those in Gus Van Sant's "Elephant," we catch glimpses from the lives of several kids, any one of whom could turn out to the one in a puddle of blood on a restroom floor at 2:37 in the afternoon. (I wonder if the title isn't also a reference to Kubrick's Room 237 in "The Shining," another film drawn with a Steadicam.)

Though they appear to attend a big school, each of these kids feels utterly -- at times disconsolately -- alone. Even when they're surrounded by friends, the bonhomie is forced, superficial. Hey, it's high school. (As a friend said after the screening: "I guess it just shows that Australian high school is as f---ed up as American high school.") Emotions -- big emotions -- pass through like storms on any spring day. And that's part of what Thalluri is getting at: There's a whole catalog of After School Special subjects here (sex, drugs, other physiological and psychological problems) but any one of them, even the most trivial, could be the trigger for a suicide attempt.

The film flows naturally around its central contrivance, employing unforced performances by unprofessional actors and a visual style that uses available light to pull you into the worlds these students inhabit. The black-and-white reality-show style interviews with the kids are unnecessary, and the movie will no doubt be be met with charges of "derivative!" when compared unfavorably to Van Sant's masterpiece. But, even if I hadn't read the press notes (after the screening), I'd still admire the authenticity and unerring behavioral observations of "2:37."

(Side note: "2:37" was a 2006 Cannes Film Festival selection; "Elephant" won the Palme d'Or and the Prix de la mise en scène in 2003.)

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Wes Craven 1939-2015

An obituary for Wes Craven.

The Unloved, Part 21: Anonymous

Scout Tafoya's Unloved series continues with Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus